Welcome to my new blog!
Although I may feature some more winged animals, this blog is dedicated to documenting the eagles at Shiloh National Military park. I decided that, since I enjoyed sharing so many images from the 2009 eagle nesting season, I'd start a blog with that special purpose.
This way I can not only share images but information, exciting moments and interesting experiences as well.

If you visit the eagles, I would like to ask that you please respect the rules.
There are designated areas to park and PLEASE always be respectful.
Viewing these birds is a unique privilege...Please don't get that privilege taken away from everyone!!!

Two Turtles

Since I get asked often about the image of an adult eagle bringing two turtles to the nest, I have decided to post the link so that it can be easily found.
"Two Turtles"


some interesting facts:

Hiram and Julia (an American bald eagle pair named after General Grant and his wife) made their nest high in a pine tree beside a road in Shiloh National Military Park. They raised a pair of eaglets during the 2008 nesting season and then two more eaglets the following season. The pair have been photographed carrying fish, turtles and small rodents to their young.

*American bald eagles mate for life.
*The female American bald eagle is slightly bigger than the male.
*Females and males can be distinguished by the depth of their beak.
*The American bald eagle was taken off the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants list in June 2007.
However, the bald eagle is still a protected animal.
*Young eaglets do not have the white head and tail feathers of their parents. Their white feathers will grow in somewhere around five years of age.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Two Turtles!

March brought me no luck at all...but April brought me two turtles!

After several visits with no shooting opportunities, I was getting anxious for some shooting practice. I went to the tree earlier than usual in hopes of some better luck. For awhile it appeared as if my recent bad luck would continue. Then it happened!

I was mid-conversation when the eagle was spotted. It was coming into the tree at a bad angle for where I was standing and I had only a split second to respond. Raising my camera (which I already had set for flight shots), I fired away instinctively.As usual, I took a moment to enjoy the beauty of what I had just seen. Then I reviewed my images to find out what was being delivered. I saw a turtle grasp in the powerful talons being "one-hand delivered" as the eagle entered the nest tree.Then I noticed something unusual in the flight shot images...something in the other talons. It was a second turtle! I stared in disbelief at what I was seeing. The eagle had flown into the nest and was able to deliver two turtles...one in each set of talons.

It was several hours (about 4 hours this time) between incoming flights. This particular flight was made more interesting by the winds. The legs were lowered and the wings prepared much earlier in the incoming flight to apparently compensate for the winds.

"Landing Gear Down"
Flying in to the tree against the wind