With the juvies gone, the E's get a few months vacation from parenting. We are very lucky they stay in the area and don't leave like a lot of eagles do in the off season.
A few days ago I followed Stein all the way to the dam. It’s about 8 miles to the East from the nest. He flew the entire way like he was on a mission, unlike his normal trips where he stops along the way and takes his time. I had to go 43 mph in the boat just to keep him in sight, so I didn’t have time to take any photos of him. I lost him in amongst all the turkey vultures that hang out at the dam.
I would say at any one time there are hundreds of them resting on all the power poles.
A close up of a turkey vulture (that I took thru the windshield of the truck) sitting about 100 yds from the nest. The E’s fly among them and don’t ever seem to be bothered by them.
Who knows if he stopped on the other side of the dam or how far he went on his trip. I sat out on the deck that evening waiting for him to return, but he never flew by or returned to the nest that night.
Last Edit: Oct 11, 2013 13:59:15 GMT -6 by baja252
On Wednesday morning I saw Elsie leave the nest on the web cam. As usual I went to the deck to see her fly by. Instead of coming down the shoreline she went straight to the other side of the cove.
All of the sudden she turned and dove straight down. I assumed she was going after a fish, but no she pulls up and I see Stein launch out of a tree! I didn't even know he was there. She dive bombed right at him to get him to fly! I’ve never seen Stein take off so fast, she was hot on his tail.
As they flew towards the main lake a tree blocked my view for a short time. When they popped out from the other side of the tree they were clearly playing with each other, diving, turning and trying to get in front of the other one. I very rarely even see them fly together, let alone this. In this photo they are about a quarter of a mile away and about to go out of sight, Elsie has taken the lead.
I went out in the boat to see if the show would continue, but they were gone. About a half hour later I found Elsie sitting in a tree.
I will be adding more photos as I get time so check back later are some good ones from this morning.
On Thursday morning Stein flew in around 11:00 am. I’ll be glad when the leaves fall he will be easier to spot.
About 10 minutes later he flew off towards the nest. My father would call this, “the South end of a North bound eagle”.
If I’m on the website I usually try to type “incoming” to let people know that an eagle is headed towards the nest. The problem is he never showed up on the cam. This was about the third time this has happen and I was curious to see where they were going. I went over to the cove by boat and looked around, but didn’t see anything. I went into the smaller cove at the bottom of the hill and I see that one of the trees that the juvies liked to sit in with Stein had fallen over.
I saw some deer.
I saw a bird, that I have no idea what it is.
But I didn’t see an eagle. Frustrated, I headed back home. When I get there here’s what I see.
Stein is back sitting in the tree! Can you see him? He’s in the very top, center. He just sat their looking at me. I swear he was laughing at me.
Friday morning Stein was sitting in the tree out front and Elsie was in the old nest, on the webcam. It was a beautiful sunny morning with not a cloud in the sky. You can tell the leaves are beginning to change color.
Stein took off for the nest and again I typed “incoming” in the chat. Surprise, surprise he was no show on the cams. Where is he going??? I didn’t want to repeat the hide and seek game from yesterday so I sat on the deck awhile to see if he would return. After about 10 minutes I checked the cams again and both E’s were in the old nest. From time to time they would fly off camera and then return a short time later. This disappearing act was a little unusual and no one really knew where they were going. Sometimes Stein would return with a stick for the old nest, something that everyone hopes is not an indication that they will use that nest this year. After a while my curiosity overcame me and I had to find out where they were going, so I decided to drive over to the nest in the truck and see what they were up to.
I drove past the nest and turned around so the nest would be on my side of the truck. I suspected that they were going to the North of the nest (an area that the cam can’t see) so I stopped under a large dead tree about 50 yards North from the nest. I turned the truck off and within 3 seconds Stein flew over to check me out. He was almost right above me. I put my window down about 4” and stuck my camera out the window.
I talked to him a little, but I didn’t open my door I figured that would scare him off. He sat there for a few minutes.
Elsie was in the old nest rearranging sticks.
Stein flew off and went down the hill. He returned a couple of minutes later to the old nest. I backed up and drove down the hill. Thru the trees I could see Stein flying around from time to time gathering sticks. I drove back up the hill and parked under the dead tree again. After a few minutes a small buck came out of the woods.
The morning sun coming thru the bushes makes a great backdrop.
After about 15 minutes of watching the deer I drove past Thumper’s house and found a spot that I could see the old nest from the road. Elsie and Stein were in the old nest tree.
People always ask me how they can get better wildlife photos. Besides the obvious things like knowing how your camera settings work and proper lighting, it takes a lot of work to get good photos. You must invest the time to get the right shot; I stood in the road and watched the E’s for about 30 minutes before I got this.
Stein moved up the limb, against Elsie. I figured he just wanted to move higher on the limb, but he stopped when he touched her and put his head down. She moved in and kind of took him under her shoulder. They were both alternating lifting their feet and rocking back and forth. They weren’t pushing each other at all; the best way to describe it was they were nuzzling each other. It was very cool to see.
Another important item in taking good wildlife photos is a good digital SLR camera. I get good action shots because my camera will take 6 photos per second. These next shots show a couple of interesting things, first Stein is super - fast and has amazing control and second Elsie is unbelievable cool and relaxed.
Shot #1 At rest.
Shot #2 In less than 1/20th of a second Stein has pushed off, turned and extended his wings. It has always amazed me how they don’t hit each other when they take off. Also, notice how Elsie doesn’t flinch at all.
Shot #3 ½ second from takeoff.
Shot #5 Stein is gone! All in less than one second and never even bumped her. Elsie never flinched or moved a hair……... amazing.
A few minutes later Stein returned to the nest with a stick.
I had been there so long that the sun was getting a little higher in the sky and I needed to move to a spot with better lighting. Sue was kind enough to invite me in the backyard this Spring to get some photos of the juvies, so I hoping that she and Thumper don’t mind that I walked to the edge of the hill to get some better light.
They sat there like statues for about 15 minutes before Stein flew off.
Elsie stayed for another 5 minutes before she headed off to the lake.
I took over 500 photos of the E’s, it was a great morning.
As majestic as Elsie and Einstein are, every photo-shoot has its outtakes. Here’s a couple of poses that aren’t their best.
Stein is the fat one on the left.
Elsie yawning??? Maybe working at coughing up something.
Nothing says macho like a bald eagle with drool on his beak.
Elsie perhaps working again on coughing up a pellet, but all she gets is yellow goo ..... very attractive.
Friday afternoon while I was going thru all the photos the crows outside went nuts. That usually means only one thing and sure enough seconds later Stein landed. You can see a crow harassing him and you see why I look forward to the leaves falling.
I walked around the house, down to the water and out on the neighbors dock. Stein was busy watching all the crows flying around him. The racket a dozen crows can make when an eagle is around is unreal.
After only a minute he’d had enough and took off right at me and flew over the dock.
The crows took off after him as I ran to the other side of the dock. As soon as I get there I see Stein turning back towards me with about 7 crows all around him. Instead of running to the other side of the dock, I should have gone back towards shore and stood on the ramp of the dock to take pictures. Too late now, the roof is blocking any shot I have so I go back to the other side and wait for him to fly over.
There were five other crows following this one, but unfortunately out of habit I zoomed in on Stein and didn’t get the shot of all the crows chasing him. They chased him half way to the nest before they broke off. Stein came back about 5 more times yesterday, the most he has ever been around in one day.
My son and his friend caught a 12lb catfish, I was tempted to put it under the tree to see if I could get Stein and Elsie over here for dinner.
As fun as that sounds, I know it’s not the right thing to do so the catfish went back into the lake.
The E's haven't been here all day today, so I'm done with the photos for today.
Last Edit: Oct 12, 2013 15:55:36 GMT -6 by baja252
Post by Puddinkitty on Oct 16, 2013 11:51:27 GMT -6
Baja !! I finally got to see your pics from Friday when we were on the website posting and saw your truck go by! They are sooooo great! Plus your writing makes me feel like i am right there with you. You definitely have a talent for this. Hope there will be lots more in the future and with new babies !
lostmarbles: HAPPY B'DAY SUE!
Feb 2, 2013 20:57:40 GMT -6
thumper59: I think i might like the new forum setup
Feb 3, 2013 4:45:57 GMT -6
thumper59: Looks as if just a 2 egg clutch this year,,,, good for the e's,, last year 3 was a real challenge
Feb 17, 2013 7:46:47 GMT -6
mimiw2: Baja Your pictures are amazing! How wonderful that you can see these eagles daily. I've only seen eagles in person once in my life and I'm in my 60s. What a thrill it must be to live near them! You should publish a book about these eagles.
Jun 22, 2013 9:16:50 GMT -6
mizrob: your pics are amazing, am so glad you're able to get out, take 'em, and share them with us. THANK YOU!!!! believe me they are appreciated on many levels...
Jul 12, 2013 4:29:27 GMT -6
iawatcher: I'm so glad someone like you lives right by E&E and like to follow them. Wonderful to see them and also the area around there. First I'd seen the dam. It's really something when turkey vultures roost together, I'd seen that one time, amazing.
Oct 12, 2013 10:26:52 GMT -6
iawatcher: Oh the bird you were't sure of, looks like a cormorant.
Oct 12, 2013 10:27:08 GMT -6
meallen013: Wonderful pictures Baja. I hope we meet sometime when I'm at the lake this summer.
Apr 21, 2014 17:32:11 GMT -6
iawatcher: Thank you again Baja! You got some of the most amazing shots, especially the ones of Stein's feather falling out, wow! The nests were interesting and pelicans were great.
Apr 22, 2014 0:45:46 GMT -6
iawatcher: Pure speculation, but if their eggs aren't going to hatch I wonder if that would make Elsie more tolerant of the other eagles. Just a wild guess and not asking.
Apr 22, 2014 0:46:20 GMT -6
rebrosa: Super pictures Baja
May 23, 2014 10:49:42 GMT -6