Readers’ wildlife photos

Don’t forget to send in your good wildlife photos; there’s always a need for more!

Reader Don McCrady sent a terrific series of eagle-in-action pictures, and topped it off with a star photo. His notes are indented:

I purchased a new Canon 6D camera a little while ago so I stuck my 400mm lens on it and went down to a local park on the edge of Lake Sammamish in Redmond, Washington.  I was hoping to find some red-tailed hawks, but when I got there the sky was devoid of any birds.  I was about to give up when this lone Bald Eagle started circling overhead.  I was hardly ready with the camera when she spotted a fish down below and started to dive.

I followed her as best I could during her descent and glide.

She then extended her talons and splashed in for the catch.

After floating for half a minute or so, she launched herself triumphantly out of the water with her catch.

She flew almost directly over my head toward a nearby tree.

She let me approach close enough to her tree to take this shot.

After a short while, she took off again and flew away with her prize, presumably to her nest.

For the astrophoto lagniappe, my first after a long dreary winter of endless rain and clouds, I offer a simple but spectacular globular cluster known unpoetically as M92, which lies about 26000 light years away in the constellation Hercules.  By the way, as nice as globular clusters can be in an astrophoto like this, they are one of the few deep-space objects that in my opinion look better through an eyepiece than through a camera.

M92 is a globular cluster lying 26000 light years away in the constellation Hercules.
The image was taken with an STL-4020M attached to a Stellarvue SVS130 telescope, with a total exposure time of 3 hours, one hour each for red, green, and blue. The final image was upsampled 2x.

21 Comments

  1. Blue
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Whoa, Mr McCrady ! Darling action sequence !

    Blue

  2. Stephen Barnard
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Well done!

  3. darrelle
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Very nice! It takes some real skill to be able to keep a moving subject like that in the frame looking through a 400 mm lens.

  4. Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Excellent! ‘Amazing’ bird – lovely plumage… remarkable that it can go from in the water to airborne – I had always assumed they only got their feet wet.

  5. claudia baker
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    That’s some great eagle action drama! For someone who was “hardly ready with the camera”, these are damn fine pictures.

  6. darrelle
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Something that I noticed (I can be slow sometimes) when I took some pics of a dust-up between a bald eagle and a osprey a while back, and which this series of pics demonstrates, is that most birds of prey seem to keep their legs raised behind them while in flight in a streamlined position and only lower them to land or strike. As the bald eagle shows here. But osprey don’t seem to do that. They often, very commonly it seems, fly around with their landing gear down.

    • Posted June 21, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      We have ospreys nesting about 300m from our home. I will keep my eyes peeled for this behavior!

      • darrelle
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        I’m definitely curious to know if this is common for osprey.

    • Posted June 21, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Not sure why. It might have to do with attaining a weight distribution so they can fly level with minimal effort. Perhaps ospreys vs eagles differ in their weight distribution.

  7. Posted June 21, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Well done! Nice shots of eagle and of cluster!

  8. Debbie Coplan
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Wow-that was really exciting post-

  9. rickflick
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The Eagle tells story. Nice.

  10. Posted June 21, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Very good! I see you definitely knew how to use your camera right out of the box.

  11. David Coxill
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Wow great photos .

  12. ploubere
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Nice sequence. And nice star cluster, those space photos are a lot of work.

  13. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic series of pics!

  14. Mark R.
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Awesome photo-story. I’s also nice when I know exactly where the photos were taken. I live in Snohomish, but have some friends who live walking distance from lake Sammamish.

    • Don McCrady
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      These were taken from Idylwood Park.

  15. Greg Mills
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Great photos. I imagine you’ll take the new set up to the Skagit River eagle preserve this winter? And then, back for the tulips in Spring?

  16. Posted June 21, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Top action shots.. great star cluster, thanks.


%d bloggers like this: