Bald Eagles in Virginia

Started Mar 28, 2017 | Photos
tzolandz
tzolandz New Member • Posts: 9
Bald Eagles in Virginia
1

First post - looking for honest feedback (but please be kind

Finally took my camera out to the nearby bald eagle nest. The harsh overcast sky was a challenge and I was definitely pushing the limits of my 70-300VR. I was definitely please with how well the D750 held up to some pretty heavy crops.

The mom took me by surprise when she took off for a lap around the trees.

 tzolandz's gear list:tzolandz's gear list
Nikon D750 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED +2 more
Comment & critique:
Please provide me constructive critique and criticism.
Nikon D750
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olmail Senior Member • Posts: 1,492
Re: Bald Eagles in Virginia

well focused eagle shots. i'm happy to have a few that are not quite as good. you already noted the problems. what can you do about conditions?. I enjoyed looking. sure you are, as i am, hoping to get some a little better

 olmail's gear list:olmail's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM Canon EF 300mm f/4.0L IS USM Canon EF-S 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 USM +4 more
Ekill
Ekill Contributing Member • Posts: 558
Re: Bald Eagles in Virginia

All things considered, not bad. If you had had a 200-500 or 150-600, they would have been better, but for what you were working with, they're pretty good? Could you have gotten closer? If so, that would have helped, but when I've seen eagles, I have not been physically able to get close to them, generally because there's water in the way. Where were you in Virginia? I have a tough time finding eagles, much less getting shots.

 Ekill's gear list:Ekill's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D500 Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G +2 more
tzolandz
OP tzolandz New Member • Posts: 9
Re: Bald Eagles in Virginia

Thank you both for the comments.  it was a quick decision to go and shoot them.  i drove by the nest the with my sons and saw them and went home to grab my gear.

Some thing like a 200-500 or 150-600 is definitely on my wish list.

To answer your questions - I could have gotten "closer" but that would have put me at the base of the tree which would have made framing a challenge.  The aerie is actually very close to the edge of a parking lot.  I think my proximity is what made mom uneasy and fly off.  Its in Manassas, VA.  There was quite a bit of controversy as they built an office building adjacent to the birds.

 tzolandz's gear list:tzolandz's gear list
Nikon D750 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED +2 more
dzba Senior Member • Posts: 1,646
Re: Bald Eagles in Virginia

tzolandz wrote:

Thank you both for the comments. it was a quick decision to go and shoot them. i drove by the nest the with my sons and saw them and went home to grab my gear.

Some thing like a 200-500 or 150-600 is definitely on my wish list.

To answer your questions - I could have gotten "closer" but that would have put me at the base of the tree which would have made framing a challenge. The aerie is actually very close to the edge of a parking lot. I think my proximity is what made mom uneasy and fly off. Its in Manassas, VA. There was quite a bit of controversy as they built an office building adjacent to the birds.

There are differing views on how close is okay to approach a bald eagle's nest.  One nest in the area, someone has put out signs telling people to stay in their cars and not get out to view or photograph them.  Their nest is over 500 yds away, and there is an active cattle feedlot operation next to the tree their nest is located in.  
Feeding trucks drive past the nest tree and workers get out of their trucks to feed the cattle, multiple times a day.   I find those signs, in that situation, ridiculous.  I don't know what the current federal laws are , but their nesting areas were/are protected by law.

A far better plan would be to try and determine where they like to hunt for food and then set up and wait for them.  There is a pair of adults that I see often.  They have preferences to areas they hunt/fish in.  Use the same trees to loaf and eat their food in.

If you can figure out their habits you will likely get better chances and be closer to them, too.  Does take some effort, and time to do this.

Here's a link to a current thread on a Canon forum where you can see some of my results.

adult BIF shot using max 250 mm lens

good luck,

Mike

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please do not edit or repost any of my images without my permission

 dzba's gear list:dzba's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Canon EOS Rebel T4i Nikon D7500 Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM +2 more
dzba Senior Member • Posts: 1,646
Re: Bald Eagles in Virginia a link to viewing guidelines

though dated 2007, things may have changed some, but still valuable insights.

Us Fish and Wildlife eagle info

good luck in your pursuit of eagle images,

Mike

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please do not edit or repost any of my images without my permission

 dzba's gear list:dzba's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Canon EOS Rebel T4i Nikon D7500 Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM +2 more
tzolandz
OP tzolandz New Member • Posts: 9
Re: Bald Eagles in Virginia a link to viewing guidelines

dzba wrote:

though dated 2007, things may have changed some, but still valuable insights.

Us Fish and Wildlife eagle info

good luck in your pursuit of eagle images,

Mike

thanks Mike,

I appreciate the insight and suggestions.  this nest has quite a following here and there have been safe places designated for viewing/photography.  their barely 50ft from a new office building that was put up amid quite a bit of controversy.  They amazing managed to still have to hatchlings this year that appear to be growing well.

Tim

 tzolandz's gear list:tzolandz's gear list
Nikon D750 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED +2 more
Phocal
Phocal Veteran Member • Posts: 3,397
Re: Bald Eagles in Virginia a link to viewing guidelines

tzolandz wrote:

dzba wrote:

though dated 2007, things may have changed some, but still valuable insights.

Us Fish and Wildlife eagle info

good luck in your pursuit of eagle images,

Mike

thanks Mike,

I appreciate the insight and suggestions. this nest has quite a following here and there have been safe places designated for viewing/photography. their barely 50ft from a new office building that was put up amid quite a bit of controversy. They amazing managed to still have to hatchlings this year that appear to be growing well.

Tim

There is a nest near my house that was in a dead tree about to fall over on power lines that they did something pretty crazy with.  It took a few years to get approval but during the summer when the eagles were gone, they cut the top of the tree off with the nest then sunk a huge metal pole in the ground and mounted the nest on top of the pole.  I can't remember how long ago they did this but the pair came back and used their nest just like nothing every happen and continue to do so each year..................

 Phocal's gear list:Phocal's gear list
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake +6 more
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