In honor of Eagle Watching Days this past weekend hosted in the area by 1000 Islands Environmental Center in Kaukauna, I thought I'd post a of couple of images taken on Christmas Eve morning of some eagles. It was a cloudy, dark morning but I did find an Adult and an Immature hanging out on the same tree just long enough to do some fishing. The Adult had no trouble getting a fish on its very first attempt.
After this I didn't see it as it took its lunch and went off to eat in private. The Immature on the other hand was having a little trouble finding its mark. He flew down once,
then twice but kept returning denied from having an early morning breakfast.
Several minutes later it went down for a third try and was able to catch a fish behind one of the pillars that lay along the river.
The Immature was not as shy about eating publicly and flew back to the same spot on his tree to enjoy a nice sized meal. And all that in less than 15 minutes from the time I pulled up to the time I left. Which is good cause it was a Holiday and I had a lot to do that day!
Yesterday while waiting for an Immature Bald Eagle to take to flight, I was being amused by some male Common Goldeneyes that were amusing themselves by riding the rapids on the Fox River. I'd like to think they were fishing, but they never dove under water to actually fish. Instead they would ride the white water north (trivia question: what other well known river runs south to north?) for about 100 feet then fly back to the start of it and repeat. This went on for the entire time I was watching the eagles, which was over an hour, and still going on when I left. Here are a couple of images of them in flight returning to the start of the fun.
The day started a little slow and a little cloudy. After spending several hours trying to photograph some smaller stuff at Heckrodt Reserve in Menasha, I decided to look for some of the eagles I know reside along the Fox River. It turned out to be a good move as I came upon a tree that had three Immatures on it. I didn't take an image, two of the birds were on the backside and it wasn't very picturesque. But I did get a couple of images of this guy while I watched some Common Goldeneyes playing in the rapids (images of those will be for another day).
After about an hour of him not moving from his perch I decided to go looking for some adults. And as I walked away (backwards, with my eyes firmly planted on any movement from him), he flew away to one of the nearby bridges and then, a few seconds later, came back to a lower branch.
After about another ten minutes, he dove down into the water, and behind a concrete barrier caught a fish and headed to the other side of the river to enjoy his lunch. Being too far away to capture the carnage, I headed out in search of some adults, and in very short order, the clouds went away and I found these two hanging out.
So overall, it was a pretty good day for shooting!
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Fritz. Where do I begin to describe Fritz and my relationship with him and his parents? Perhaps I should first state that Fritz is a Loon. A Common Loon I first saw early in the summer of 2014. I had set out in the boat at 5am to make my way toward a cove filled with water lilies, passing a mother Loon and her baby following close behind. As I went by the couple, the mother let out a long, painful wail, and seconds later, her mate flitted across the water to get to her side. When I got to the cove, the early morning light wasn't as dramatic as I had hoped, so I took an image or two and decided to head back home. Of course, that meant passing the family of Loons. So as I got closer I captured a couple of images.
Of course, at the time I didn't yet have names for them, they were just the baby and the Mom. Based on the young chicks size I estimated he was about 3 weeks old here.
After a while, the Mom began diving for food to feed the chick until eventually, he climbed aboard his mom's back and floated off.