Eagle Expo

A bald eagle swoops down to pick up some food.

The Eagle Expo concluded yesterday and as usual more bald eagles were seen than the previous year.  I spent three days in the Morgan City area and got some of the best shots yet, before and during my Bald Eagle Photography Workshop.  It was cold, but sunny on all my swamp and marsh outings except Thursday afternoon.  The blue skies behind the brilliant white head and golden beak of the adult bald eagle made for great images.

One of the twenty-two alligators we saw catching rays.

In my lecture we talked about digital workflow using Adobe Lightroom and the basis for a good digital natural history photograph, particularly those of eagles. I tell my students there are four parts to a great photograph. Perhaps the most important is being there.  And we were here by the largest concentrations of bald eagles iLouisiana so everybody had a chance to shoot.  Luckily we got one beautiful adult bird swooping down to water level very near the boat.  Other wildlife seen were egretsheronsibisowls, hawks, nutria and alligator.  Even though it was cold, the sun brought numerous three to six foot gators out to warm themselves on logs.

One nest we visited had two large eaglets that will probably be testing their flying skills in about 10 days. We got good shots. A behavior highlight, yet too far out for good pictures, was an immature eagle chasing an osprey carrying a fish. After a few minutes of aerial acrobatics the osprey drops its fish. The eagle caught it in mid air and was soon being chased itself by an adult eagle, who eventually got the fish. Life is tough in the great outdoors.

A bald eagle nest with eagle and eaglet.