The Bald Eagle And The Bat Box

Most Farmington Bald Eagles are nervous and shy but this subadult didn’t get the message.

 

1/2000, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM @ 148mm, not baited, set up or called in

Yesterday morning it was perched on the bat box right next to the road at the “owl bridge” at Farmington Bay WMA. You have no choice but to pass within about 20′ of the bat box as you travel the road but this bird took the occasional vehicle in stride and stood its ground on the box as a few of them slowly passed.

I’m a fan of both bats and bat boxes but I’ve been unhappy about the placement of this box for years. The pole this box is on used to be a great perch to photograph raptors on (Bald Eagles and American Kestrels had a particular fondness for it) but a few years ago “they” hung this bat box at the top of the pole. When it was first placed there it was painted red and because of its bright color and large size the box ruined the “aesthetics” of the pole as a perch for bird photography.

All they had to do was hang the box about a foot lower on the pole and there wouldn’t have been a problem for photographers and it would have served the bats just as well.

Oh well, at least most of the paint has now weathered off so the color isn’t so garish…

 

 

1/640, f/7.1, ISO 800, Canon 7D, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

This is what the top of the pole looked like before the bat box was attached (image taken 12/26/09). Back then you could actually see an entire bird on top of the pole without the box blocking out so many body parts.

C’mon, Ron – get over it!

Ok, back to yesterday’s eagle.

 

 

1/2000, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM @ 400mm, not baited, set up or called in

I sat on this bird for 29 minutes hoping to get some flight shots as it took off but it was comfortable and eventually I had to leave to attend the memorial service for a dear friend and teaching colleague who had recently passed away (RIP Gerri Sorben) so…

 

 

1/2000, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM @ 255mm, not baited, set up or called in

as I slowly crept past the eagle in my pickup I kept my lens trained on it just in case. At least at this angle I was able to see more of the bird.

 

 

1/3200, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM @ 164mm, not baited, set up or called in

At one point I took a few verticals to include the setting moon at the top of the frame.

I’m not crazy about this composition but hey, it isn’t every day that I get a shot with a Bald Eagle and the moon in the same frame!

Ron

 

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