Long-crested Eagle: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — The Long-crested Eagle is listed in the field guides with the Hawk-Eagles, but it is currently placed alone in its own genus…and may be closely related to the Spotted-eagles. Both of these birds were distant, one just before lunch in the northern sector of the park, and one late the next afternoon in the southern, Ishasha sector, so heat haze was an issue, especially in the second shot. Long-crested Eagles like to hunt from a perch and rarely soar, so both of these shots are typical of the species. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th and 1/640th. The shot against the sky was plus 1.3EV.
Black-chested Snake-Eagle: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — Not the most attractive of perches…but still…a Black-chested Snake-Eagle is a good bird at any time. (Any eagle for that matter!) On the power lines beside the highway where it runs trough Queen Elizabeth National Park. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th. Plus 1.7EV for the terrible lighting.
Martial Eagle: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — On our way out for our first game drive in Murchison Falls National Park, we spotted this Martial Eagle in the top of an Acacia Tree a hundred yards from the road, sitting up in the early sun. The Martial Eagle, according to my brief research this morning, is the largest Eagle in Africa…with a wingspan of over 6 feet and weight of almost 10 pounds (huge for a bird). It is reportedly capable of some impressive feats of strength. Some say it can knock a grown man off his feet. It is heavily persecuted throughout its declining range, by farmers who are convinced it takes livestock…and by game rangers who think they are protecting vulnerable mammal species. It is certainly a big, heavy eagle, with just enough crest to make it stand out. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 125 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Bald Eagle, Muskrat Pond, Medomak, Maine, USA — This American Bald Eagle was really too far away for photos…but what are you going to do? It was all the way across Muskrat Pond in Medomak, Maine, at least a quarter of a mile, when I visited with the Holbrook Travel group at Hog Island Audubon Camp last this week. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent…but cropped, upscaled, and recropped for maybe the equivalent of 2000mm. Lots of mist in the air too, and crummy light, which did not help either. Still, we do what we have to. 🙂 Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr, upscaled in Pixomatic Pro, finished in Apple Photos. ISO 250, 500, and 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Bald Eagle: York County, Maine, USA — I went to the spot where I check for Eagles regularly, mostly without success…and there was one there! A very stern bird! A very serious bird! A bird that could see right through me and knew I was up to no good! A bird that had me shaking in my boots. It was all I could do to keep from laughing right out loud. But then I always smile (or maybe even grin) to see an Eagle, more or less in my back yard. Not something I could do until these past few years, and I always feel blessed, and a bit light-hearted (light-headed?), on any day I see one. If I were a fish, on the other hand, I would not want to be the subject of that stare! Sony Rx10iv at 1200mm equivalent (600mm optical and 2x Clear Image Zoom). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
I am always excited to see the Bald Eagles return to the Roger’s Pond Park on the Mousam River in winter. They are, of course, around all year, but they are most easily seen during the colder months when they tend to hunt the slack water below the rapids at the Park. Their favorite perch is just beyond the comfortable range of my 600mm lens, so I am often using Clear Image Zoom on the Sony Rx10iv to fill more of the frame with the bird. Sony Rx10iv at 1200mm equivalent (2x Clear Image Zoom). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Bald Eagles, by the way, are among the most challenging birds when it comes to exposure. You want good detail in the dark feathers, but you do not want to overexpose the head and loose all detail in the white features. Very often you have adjust both shadows and highlights in post processing. All part of the fun!
There is perhaps no bird more emblematic of Africa than the African Fish Eagle. It ranges over the whole continent south of the Sahara, and is common wherever there is enough water for fish. I have seen and photographed it in Greater Kruger National Park along the Olifants River in South Africa, on snags in the rift valley lakes in Kenya, in the marshes along the shores of Lake Victoria and on the banks of the Nile River and Kazinga Channel in Uganda. It is not threatened, endangered, or even rare, but it is worth a look at every encounter. And it’s call is familiar from hundreds of African film soundtracks. These shots are from our small tour boat on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Take a look at the talons on this bird…fish hooks indeed! Sony Rx10iv at 1200mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
We really did see quite a few raptors during our #Epic_Uganda_Vacations birding and wildlife tour of Uganda. This is one that I really wanted a decent photograph of. I have seen it both in Kenya and South Africa, but never seen it well, and never had a good photo op. This was the best I could do in Uganda (Murchinson Falls National Park) for a mature bird…though we saw and photographed at least half a dozen immatures. Not the best shot, but still a memorable experience. The Bateleur is classed among the Hawk-Eagles. Sony RX10IV at 1200mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
This is another shot of the American Bald Eagle that posed so nicely for our digiscoping group during the Yellowstone Forever Institute ZEISS Digiscoping workshop in Yellowstone National Park. Taken with the ZEISS Harpia 85mm spotting scope and the Sony a6500 camera with the Sony E20mm f2.8 lens and the ZEISS Harpia M49 adapter. (It sounds harder than it is. Camera in Program mode, autofocus for final focus…touch to place the focus on the bird’s head.) Processed in Polarr.
Southern Portugal is rich in Eagles, compared to the Americas. There are 5 breeding in the region, and another that winters there…plus recent records of Steppe Eagle at least passing through (we saw one!). Of the possible breeding birds we saw all 5, plus the Steppe Eagle. Some were just little black dots soaring high on the thermals over the Castro Verde plains, but we got several closer views. These are immature (I believe), Booted Eagles from the banks of the Tagus where we took our boat trip. Two individuals sitting near each other, perhaps a potential pair. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.