Golden Eagle In Overhead Flight

This is a perspective on a Golden Eagle that’s new to my blog.

Over the years I’ve posted a fair number of Golden Eagle photos where the bird is either perched or has recently taken off. But this may be the first time I’ve included images of them flying high overhead.

 

1/2500, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

I photographed this juvenile three days ago in Box Elder County. These shots were taken late in the morning and overhead shots of raptors taken that time of day generally don’t appeal to me because their underside is deeply shaded with little detail. But on this day I had a little better detail there than usual so I thought these images were worth posting.

 

 

1/1250, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

This photo clearly shows the distinctive white wing patches and tail base of the juvenile. Those “bulging secondaries” are also unique to the first year bird. The wingspan of this species can be up to 7.5′ and that incredible length combined with the bulging secondaries must give juvenile Golden Eagles an absolutely amazing total wing surface area – one reason they can soar effortlessly for hours.

I took 136 photos of this bird and it had its beak open in nearly every one of them. I’m not sure why it was open in the beginning of the session but later on it may have been its reaction to an intruder.

 

 

1/3200, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

This Common Raven (and a second one to a lesser degree) persistently harassed the eagle and the larger bird wasn’t happy about it. I never heard the eagle screaming but perhaps the open beak was a threat. Eventually the eagle was driven off.

Perhaps one day I’ll get frame filling shots of a Golden Eagle in flight in the early morning so there’s better light under the wings. The chances for that are low however because the thermals they soar on don’t build up until later in the day when it warms up.

Ron

 

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