Post-Christmas eagle

Okay, teatime’s over: back on your heads! This photo of a bald eagle is by Stephen Barnard. His notes (click photo to enlarge):

These eagles are almost tame. They’ve been nesting successfully on my farm for many years, unmolested, and they’re pretty used to people.

RT9A4864 (1)

26 Comments

  1. Posted December 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Woah…judging from the the angle…you’re not that much farther away from the base of the tree as the eagle is up it. That’s pretty damned close!

    Sure must be nice to have such beautiful models so willing to graciously and elegantly pose for you. I’d suggest paying them a suitable fee, presumably in fresh fish…but that wouldn’t be so good for their long-term health and wellbeing, I suppose.

    Cheers,

    b&

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      I put a trout from the pond and a stillborn calf out for them last spring and they didn’t touch either one. I think they do pretty well fishing on their own.

      • Posted December 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Ah — picky gourmet eaters, then. I like that in wildlife — especially the apex predators!

        Cheers,

        b&

  2. robkraft
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I hope bald eagle lovers are aware of the bald eagle babies that just hatched in the last two days and are on a live camera at http://www.ustream.tv/SouthwestFloridaEagleCam

    • RFW
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      You don’t know me and I don’t know you, but may I ask you to do me a personal favor?

      Namely, stop using “baby” as a generic term for the young of all animals. “Baby” eagles are properly called eaglets or eagle chicks. Even hatchlings is better than “babies”.

      Join me in a movement to advocate using the bon mot instead of grabbing the first approximation that comes to mind.

      Thank you in advance for your kind help in this matter.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        That’s a lot to ask. What am I going to call baby grand pianos or baby carrots?

        • Marella
          Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          Pianolings and carrolets. 😉

          • Merilee
            Posted December 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

            LOL! Methinks RFW is asking a bit much…

      • Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, but you don’t run this site, and readers can call things what they want. You can also, if you want, note that the proper name is “X,” but you don’t seem able to be polite in such a request. So apologize for asking another reader to do you a favor, or go elsewhere.

        Let me instruct you in civility. Here is what you should have posted.

        “Biologists and birders call young eagles’eaglets’ or ‘eagle chicks’.”

        Is that beyond you?

      • D'oh
        Posted December 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Personally, I find it amusing that someone who presumes to lecture a fellow commentor on correct word usage apparently doesn’t know the meaning of “bon mot” and uses it incorrectly.

        • Diane G.
          Posted December 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          + 1

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Oops, I put this comment on the picture itself instead of here:

    Lovely & the eagle has such beautiful eyes!

    Nice joke too – I thought it was in reference to the saying “heads down, bums up” for doing work but it was much different!

  4. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the old ones … still aren’t particularly good. Wire brush and Dettol, anyone?

  5. SnowyOwl
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    “unmolested”…

    Another image of a bird kicked off a perch, just for a snapshot.
    http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html

    If your behavior changes their behavior… your it.

    Tom

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Are you saying Stephen acted unethically in taking this photograph (not a snap shot btw)? I don’t see evidence of the animal being bothered and it isn’t even looking at him. He has a very long lens, which means he isn’t very close to the animal.

      • SnowyOwl
        Posted December 26, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        D:

        Evidence?!

        It’s in the image above: the eagle is lifting off its perch due to the abrupt presence/disturbance of the photographer.

        Don’t you see that? (Dramatic images are heart/mind stopping, I know).

        “He has a very long lens”…

        You’re not saying size matters are you? (in this case)

        Yes, Stephen acted unethically. In this and several previous images posted here at whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com.

        Tom

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted December 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          How do you know that the eagle is flying off it’s perch “due to the abrupt presence/disturbance of the photographer”? That’s making a pretty big assumption since there is nothing in the photograph (the only evidence you have to go on) that shows this. We only know the eagle appears to be taking flight.

          Don’t you see that? (Dramatic images are heart/mind stopping, I know).

          Please do not make implications about my ability to empathize or think. That’s pure snark. And no, I don’t see that because the evidence isn’t there as I stated in the opening of this response.

          You’re not saying size matters are you? (in this case)

          I don’t get this, I assume based on your implications that I can’t think or feel emotions that this is more snark with some sort of sexual reference thrown in. Stephen has a 500 mm lens and a full frame camera. He could be standing 150 ft or more away.

  6. SnowyOwl
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    “These eagles are almost tame.”

    NO. They are not us, or pets. They are wild.

    “They’ve been nesting successfully on my farm for many years, unmolested, and they’re pretty used to people.”

    I don’t think so: your image shows flight feathers that are atypical for an adult Bald Eagle or other large raptor (look at the brown v. black row of feathers).

    In a healthy/unstressed adult Bald Eagle, I’d like to see three or four black feathers in a ‘set’ molted in a given year (i.e., in a row; contiguous).

    In this bird we see only two new feathers from this year… AT THE MOST, in a row.

    The brown feathers? Unmolted. That’s due to a lack of enough energy resources available… maybe due to too many snapshots by you.

    Maybe.

    Tom

  7. SnowyOwl
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Yes snark. That’s me, not you. Sorry.

    Again: the Bald Eagle, in the image above, is lifting off a resting perch. This is because of unethical disturbance.

    He wants a snapshot. Paparazzi. The eagle is famous, click, click.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paparazzi‎

    There is no lesson. No educational benefit.

    See: Spinoza, et al.

    Tom

    • Posted December 27, 2013 at 1:59 am | Permalink

      The image is taken with a pretty gigantic lens, it was at 700mm.

      The camera was pretty far away.

      As to lesson and educational benefit that would appear to be subjective, I learned plenty from the picture.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted December 27, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      The abundant wildlife on my ranch is protected by a conservation easement through the Nature Conservancy. Without the easement I could subdivide it or farm more of it, and it would be worth considerably more, so don’t lecture me about protecting wildlife.

      Regarding the eagles being accustomed to people, they nest in a stand of mature aspens right in the middle of the ranch (which also includes a large heron rookery). During the growing season field hands are near them every day. If you have any further doubt, look at this photo of an immature eagle taking a shower in one of my lawn sprinklers:

      P1020994

      I took the photo that Jerry posted from my truck before I was about to drive by the eagle. It was at 700mm.

      You owe me an apology, but I doubt that one will be forthcoming.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted December 27, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        +1 You’re even further away than I suggested! I thought you were using a 500mm – you must’ve had your tele-extender on!

        Anyway, I tried to explain but SnowyOwl has made up his mind about what he wants to believe so I stopped arguing.

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted December 27, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          I participate in photosharing groups devoted to wildlife in general and birds in particular. These groups have tens of thousands of dedicated nature lovers and birders and talented photographers.

          I never run into this bullshit there.

  8. Marta
    Posted December 27, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Still my favorite joke of all time, the punchline “back on your heads” has served me well over the years as a philosophical short-cut whenever I’ve looked at a do-list and seen I’ve put too many un-fun things on it.

    • Posted December 27, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      It’s one of my favorites, but I think the nod might have to go to this one: “If God is Love, and love is blind, and Ray Charles is blind, does that mean that Ray Charles is God?”

      Cheers,

      b&

  9. Hempenstein
    Posted December 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    An interesting piece on NBC News this morning on an eagle rescue in Utah / some unknown disease that has killed over a dozen of them out there. I liked the part about the eagle watching the game with them.


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