Eagles and Hawks on Camera

My new battery charger arrived, so I’ve been playing with the DSLR and still seeing lots of raptors. The bus stop hawk was very cooperative on my first day carrying it around.

Red-shouldered hawk that likes to hang out by the school bus stop

Luckily I was able to get pretty close, since my current lens really isn’t up to the challenge of photographing birds from a distance. On Thursday a friend suggested a trip to the icy Hudson and of course I was game to show her some of the good spots for eagle watching. It was a beautiful, 9-degree day, and we caught some glimpses of bald eagles. As we returned home, we caught sight of something happening on the frozen reservoir. There was a group of vultures crowded around a carcass, with a bald eagle hanging out nearby, waiting his turn. My neighbor told me that coyotes will chase a deer out onto the ice when hunting, since their hooves can’t get traction and they are easy to take down. It looked like a big enough mess that it might have been a deer.

Vultures chowing down, while a bald eagle hovers nearby.

Yesterday, my husband and I were feeling the after-effects of the chili competition the night before, but we needed to get out of the house. I convinced him a drive back to the river was the perfect outing. We saw the nest by Croton Point, then went to George’s Island Park, a beautiful spot I’d never visited before this week. We saw three eagles soaring above the treeline. My husband brought along another camera, not as fancy but with a better built-in zoom for this shot:

The eagle is landing.

I caught a pair of juveniles that an onlooker suggested might be engaged in some kind of mating ritual.

Juvenile bald eagles in flight

Next weekend I’ll be volunteering at EagleFest, hopefully seeing lots more!

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