Blackwater NWR Bald Eagle Fly By

A couple of Bald Eagle images from the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge Maryland in March of 2008. I was using a 400mm DO lens with a Canon 1D mkIII.

Bald Eagle FlyBy, Canon 400mm DO lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIII

Blackwater Bald Eagles

I am going through images from past trips to post here. These images were from a trip to Blackwater NWR in December of 2008. The featured image was taken with Canon 400mm DO lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIII. On this trip it was a good day for Bald Eagle flight images!

Bald Eagle in Flight, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, 560mm, Canon 1D mkIII, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter
Bald Eagle in Flight, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, 560mm, Canon 1D mkIII, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter

Blackwater NWR Bald Eagle Nest

We finally decided to do a day trip to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge Maryland. Once there we mainly photographed from the car on the Wildlife Drive. Most of the large flocks of Snow Geese, Tundra Swans & Canada Geese were quite far out from the Wildlife Drive so I concentrated on what I could photograph. Also large flocks of birds flying were also off in the distance. There were some smaller groups of birds so I also did some smaller multi-image landscapes of the scattered birds to fill the image so it was more interesting. We did see quite a few Bald Eagles but all were very far off either flying high or in distant trees. Even photographing @600mm I had to crop some the images significantly. But I also did get a lot of multi-image landscape panoramas with my iPhone since the cloud formations were amazing on this visit. This featured Bald Eagle nest was on the final leg of the Wildlife Drive near the exit across from Pool 5B. The nest image was a 3 image panorama @600mm, then slightly cropped to center the nest. I could have fit it in 2 images, but it seems to blend better with an extra image. The nest was a little further down from where I photographed the Bald Eagle below.

Bald Eagle near a nest along the end of the Wildlife Drive (150-600mm, @600mm, Canon R, severe crop of image)
Bald Eagle near a nest along the end of the Wildlife Drive (150-600mm, @600mm, Canon R, severe crop of image)

Blackwater Bald Eagles

On our photo trip to Blackwater NWR we were hoping to see a lot of Eagles. Winter is when they have the largest concentrations of Bald Eagles, so we were hoping for the best. We saw quite a few in the distance but not many close by. I saw one on the ground across from pool 3a, looking around with some feathers around so I assume it had a meal. This Eagle then flew into a nearby tree. Then, I believe the mate, joined him. This Eagle was on a snag in the water, on the other side of the Wildlife Drive. They were now a little closer, but I still needed to change my 1.4x teleconverter to a 2x to get even closer.  Then I got my tripod and stacked the 1.4x teleconverter with the 2x teleconverter to try to get even closer. I was using a Canon 1D MkIV with a 1.3x crop factor (from full frame DSLRs) so with this combination I had a field of view equivalent to 1120mm @ f/11 wide open, so I stopped down to f/16 & f /22 for a series of shots to see what I could get sharpness wise. Luckily my subjects cooperated and were fairly static movement wise. It was a somewhat dull day so I had to up my ISO more than I like to use. They cooperated for quite a while and they attracted quite a few other photographers, so we moved on.

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