Sunday, April 18, 2010

What Bald Eagles and Great Egrets Eat for Lunch

Have taken a few photographs in the past week. Here are a few.

Dirty Eagle with Fish Head Lunch

Better look at Lunch.
I wonder if this is what eaglets really want to eat?

I was riding down the road when I saw a Great Egret in a small roadside ditch.  I turned around and took these photos without even getting out of the car.

Just Caught Lunch

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Eagles have a Visitor

Posting one more of the YouTubes of the Eagles. Watch closely at 4:46 for the visitor.

Still learning about editing video. I am truly a greenhorn and am learning as I go, so I hope the best is yet to come.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hd Video of Eagle on Nest

Just posting a video of one of the Eagles just sitting on the nest. This is in 1080 HD. If your Internet is as slow as mine, the best thing to do is let this play and go get something to drink or eat. When you come back it might have loaded then you can watch it. It is pretty, but the bird does not do anything.

Put it in full screen to see in HD. The thumbnail for the blog does not give you an HD option unless you go full screen.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Finally broke down and joined YouTube.  It is not my favorite video site, but vimeo charges $60 bucks to upload 720p video.  Facebook converts the video to a lower resolution and restricts you too much.  Now I know how to link to a YouTube video, that is easy.  I just need to figure out how to put a link with the place to play it in my blog.  Might have to enter the player by HTML to include a view of the link on the site. I will research that later.  Well here is the video, however I link it.  Eudora 

 I have named the female Eagle Eudora.  Had to give her a name, and being located in Mississippi, Eudora seemed like a good name.  Even people in Europe would recognize the name from Eudora Welty.  Those who are knowledgeable about literature would know she lived and was born in this area.  Eudora the Eagle and her mate chose a nest site that is located within 10 miles of the  life long house of Eudora Welty, so the name is fitting.

Speaking of Eudora Welty, I did have a contact with her in the 80's that was too close for comfort.  As a youth, I had seen her shopping in the old Jitney Jungle on Fortification Street, and she seemed to be a genuinely nice lady.  One day when I was walking my dogs on State Street close to downtown in Jackson, Eudora came out of an office of a local politician running for a local race.  My dog Bandit, a black lab mix just went up to her before I could stop him and smelled her rear.  He was on a leash and not an aggressive dog so he would not be a threat to a person comfortable around dogs.  Eudora turned around ,smiled a gracious smile and just continued on her way.

This is my closest encounter to a well known person.  She is not the only well known person I have had contact with but I am sure everyone has their "I was at the convenience store and the guy in front of me with the very long beard was a member of ZZ top and I did not realize it until I found out they were in town for a show long afterwards" stories so I will not bore you with my more ordinary encounters with famous people.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Reward Winning Photograph of a Dog's Rear End? Not Likely.

When shooting photographs you get a lot of great photos that are just not right.  Here is one of Jannie, my friends dog.  Beautiful shot but who really wants a picture of a dogs rear end?

Unedited.  Don't really know if processing could improve it much.

Now for some older photographs that are a little more interesting.  Not dog rear ends anyway.

Photo from January when the eagles were building the nest.  This would be the size of what we call a switch here in Mississippi.

These hawks are really prettier than eagles.  They are very common in this area but usually they will not let you get this close to them.  I took this photograph riding down the road.  I just stopped and shot it out the window of my car.  The hawk just sat there and watched me.  Other hawks would have flown off as soon as I had stopped.  I believe it is a red tailed hawk, but there are several hawks very similar to them so I will not say for certain it is a red tailed hawk.

This is one of the hawks whose range covers much of the same area as the pair of eagles.  Early in the year, I saw two hawks, that were probably this one and its mate, do a maneuvers together that looks very much like the description of the mating ritual of eagles.  I have not read that these hawks mate in this way, but whatever these two were doing looked very much like the description of the mating flights of their larger brothers.  They flew together and kind of rolled.  I don't know if they locked talons, but it was possible that they did.  I failed to get a photograph of them.  I was not expecting it, and at the time my mobility was much more limited than it is today.  I was just not quick enough to get the shot.  Capturing any bird in flight can be quite challenging.  Often you are presented with a great shot but your camera tries to refocus and you lose the shot because the auto focus is constantly changing.  I don't know if I missed that shot for this reason, but it is very possible since I have done that many, many times.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I put my foot in my mouth.

If you ever need to apologize, feel free to use this photograph in your note to the offended party.

Even majestic birds have their frumpled look.

This weekend I got a 2x extender for my camera.  The lenses I have will not work with the Canon extender, so I purchased the one I believe is the best for my use.  The extender with a 70-300 lenses does so some weird things.  I knew the auto-focus would not work, but other things work odd also.  The exposure is weird, basically you set the amount of exposure by setting the speed, and the camera seems to use whatever exposure it wants to use.  Do the old fashion bracket the exposure until you get it right.  The image stabilizer works sometimes and sometimes works really weird.  The main thing is that at 600 mm total length  it is super sensitive.  If you put it on live view and hit the digital magnification to 10x the preview image jumps all over even locked on the tripod and using a remote control.  It does work more normally if you do not zoom all the way out, but I want all the magnification I can get for these photographs.

I am glad I got the extender for it took these photos in today's post and they could not have been taken without the extender.  I would love to be able to buy better equipment.  Canon's 2x extender, their EF800mm f5.6l IS USM and a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III to start would work.  How much would that cost?  $16,000 plus and probably $3,000 or $4,000 for all the other stuff to go with it.  Of course if you had that much invested you would also need a up to date computer with 2 or 3 terabyte hard drive, blue-ray burner and the professional version of Photoshop and Lightbox.  I really doubt many people on disability can afford to spend this type of money unless they were professionals or have the right person for a relative.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today I went to therapy.  In front of the place, where mobility impaired people are dropped off, was this unique bike.

I did not get to see who was using it but I would have liked to meet him, or her.  We have very few commuter cyclist in this area so I always find it interesting to see who rides bikes for transportation around here.

On the way to a friend's house saw a dove resting on a fence.  Not the best of photographs due to not being spot on with the focus.  When trying to adjust the lighting contrast I happened on this setting.  Highlights and contrast set darker.  Made it look like a painting without using the artistic effects functions.

Most of the good photographs of the eagles I take are shot from a small blackberry brier patch in the middle of a young stand of pine trees.  Today there were three pieces of what appeared to me to be white down in the brier patch.  Because of their location and the lack of other white birds in the area, these are likely from one of the eagles.  I would love to find a tail feather from one of the eagles.  The wing feathers would be all black and it would be hard to tell it apart from many other birds like a vulture, but a tail feather would be large and white.  I am not clear about the law on eagle feathers.  I know it is against the law to possess any parts from one, but does this include feathers you find on the ground?  I left the down where it was.  If I showed it off, anyone doubting its source would just think it was goose down anyway.