Juvenile American Bald Eagle’s Maiden Flight!

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I received my long lens back from service and couldn’t wait to get out and try it, but I got that bug so, didn’t go out to try it until yesterday (Sun. June 18th).  I headed over to Milpitas to see if the American Bald Eagle Fledgling was out of the nest testing its wings.  I arrived just before 7 A.M.  I didn’t have to wait long before it started flapping its wings and hopping onto a branch outside the nest.

It sat on the branch surveying the land for a bit then turned around and did a hop/fly combo back to the nest where it tucked itself down out of sight. It remained out of sight for over an hour. As we waited the morning got hotter, and hotter. When I left just before noon, hot, sweaty, and very thirsty it was 96º degrees Fahrenheit.  The high hit a record breaking 103º F!  That broke the 1945 record of 99º F.

Myself and several other photographers, and birders were patiently waiting for one or both of the parents to return with food, and of course we wanted the Fledgling to come up out of the nest again, but quite a few people left as it began getting hot and there wasn’t anything to see.

Finally, the young Eagle got restless and called its parents to no avail then it began to jump and flap its wings again. It jumped way up and flew to the branch!  It stayed there awhile pecking at the branch and looking around then suddenly it made a leap of faith into space and FLEW!!! Its maiden flight! A Fledgling at last!

Oh, I wish you were there to see it, to feel our anxiety and hope for success, and hear our joyous cries of delight when the young Eaglet made that leap of faith and flew to a neighboring tree!

There are quite a few images today, and the story doesn’t end here! Because there are so many images I’ll share the rest of the story another day.  I hope you enjoy these first images of the young Eagle’s Maiden Flight.

Popping up to check out what’s happening…

American Bale Eagle Fledgling in the Nest

Lemme test out my take off, and wing position. I wonder…

Practicing flight

Ha! I’m outside of the nest! Okay, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

That was Easy!

Ready. Set.

American Bald Eagle Fledgling Take Off

GO!

First leap into space!

Okay, wings start flapping already!!

Oh! How do these Wings work again!

Oh, nearly there I can make it!  Talons ready, tail in position…wings open…

Okay there's a branch nearly there! Landing gear still down!

Ta Da!!! I made it, I made it! Where’s Mom? Now, how do I get back to the nest?

It's hot. How do I get back!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…

 

 

Advertisements

Tribute Day May 14, 2016

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Today is National Train Day in the States, and it’s also Global Big Day 2016 in the Birding World.  I thought I’d honor both here with a short post.

Back in 2012 myself and two friends Dali, and Phil were looking for a particular waterfall called Phantom Fall in Butte county. We hiked through a woodland forest, along railroad tracks, crossed creeks, and climbed grassy hills looking for it. While on a grassy hill taking a break I heard the rumble of a train, and the low train’s whistle and turned to find the train.

I waited for it to get around the curve hoping it was a long enough train to go around the whole curve. It was a wee bit short. 🙂 Still neat to see, and hear though.

We hiked, and drove a lot of miles that day looking for that elusive waterfall, but didn’t find it. Dali and I found it a year or so later, but I’m saving that story. Not enough time has passed yet. I need to be older and the tale a bit more aged before it comes out in public.

Amtrak train

Here’s a fun macro image I made of a toy Bachman’s Engine some of you may remember from a post I made last year.  This is from a train set we used to set up around the Christmas tree when my kids were little.

Toy train

To honor Global Big Day and my love of birds here’s an image of a Western Wood Peewee.

I took this image while looking for the Gray Flycatcher posted here  The Western Wood Peewee is a “lifer” for me! That was an exciting day of Birding with 2 “life” birds added to my list.

Western Wood Peewee

I hope you all have a wonderful week-end!

Nikon D700, & Nikon Df| Nikkor 70-300mm VR, 200-500mm VR, and LensBaby

More to come…

Lesser Goldfinch: Female

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This morning I went back to the reserve where I went a couple of weeks ago; where I saw my first Yellow Warbler hoping to see it again only closer, and longer. I was seeing lots of Sparrows, and Yellow Rumped Warblers, the pair California Towhee’s were present, and so too was the Blue Jay, and a Northern Flicker flew in, but he kept his back to me only giving me side looks. Stuck up bird! 🙂

40 minutes after I arrived a yellow blur caught my eye and there it was! I quickly swung my rig around and fired off 3 rapid bursts. Then the bird was gone.

My first shot caught him landing and was so blurry it was unusable, the middle shot the bird was there, and the 3rd frame…no bird in it at all. I wouldn’t know for sure if I had a keeper image or not until I saw it on my computer. Though it did look promising in playback.

I didn’t see the Yellow Warbler again, and I stayed in the area until well after 9AM when it began to get busy with runners, dog walkers, and Saturday morning strollers.

Yellow Warbler Male Winter

He’s a beauty. I’ll be heading back over there again soon hoping to see him, and that Northern Flickr again.

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4| SanDisk Extreme Pro Digital Film| CS6

More to come…

Addendum: It’s  been brought to my attention that this isn’t a Yellow Warbler after all; it’s a Lesser Goldfinch Female. Thank you https://myrsbytes.wordpress.com/ !

I’ll keep trying to capture that Yellow Warbler, but I’m glad I saw and was able to make an image of this little beauty especially since she didn’t hang around long!

The Surprise Visitors

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED!

This morning when I went out front I noticed a large flock of American Robins in the Ginko trees across the street, and there was a group of another bird I didn’t quite recognize, but knew it was something I’d want to photograph so, ran back in the house and grabbed my camera; hoping I had enough battery charge left to get an image or two!

I got a few shots then looked at them quickly in review mode, and saw that the birds were Cedar Waxwings! I’ve never seen them here before! Can you imagine my excitement? I was standing across the street from the tree which meant the images would need to be cropped in quite a bit so, I slowly advanced closer to the tree firing my shutter the whole time. I got too close, and all the birds scattered like leaves in a gust of wind. My only thought…COME B A C K!!!

Did I tell you that He-Man ruptured his Patella Tendon Nov. 10th?  Ruptured…the whole quadricep muscle came off his knee cap!  He had surgery on Nov. 12th and has been healing and in rehab since. His Surgeon told him he’d be “out” for the whole season and then some. He’s a cyclist, and a very active guy. This was the worst possible diagnosis. Yesterday he got the “okay” to start driving again. So, this afternoon he drove me in Pearl ( the Subaru Forester) to the post office which is 2 miles from our house.
It was like riding a bike. He was fabulous…moving from the brake to the gas pedal was no problem at all. When we got home he immediately got in Va-Va my 5 Speed Toyota Corolla Sport to take her for a spin, but I had spotted the Waxwings in the trees across the street again, and the light was nice. I begged for 5 minutes! As I was shooting he backed out, rolled down the window and said, “I’ll be fine. I’m just going around the block a few times.”  I said, ” WAIT I’ll come with!” He said, ” No need. I’ll be fine. Get the shots.”  He was back before I finished shooting. 🙂

5 Cedar Waxwings…

5 Cedar Waxwings

Mrs. American Robin with Mr. American Robin close by,

American Robin Female

Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings

Purple Finch

Purple Finch

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Fabulous birds in front of my house, and the only thing He-Man needs me to do now that he can’t do for himself is put on his socks, and tie his shoes. Life is good!

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 w?AF-S Nikkor 14eII TC| Hand-held| Lexar Professional Digital Film| Developed in CS6

More to come…