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Old Jul 18, 2010, 8:09 PM   #1
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Default Wrong Time & Place - Unusual Bald Eagle

I was on Credit Island (Davenport, IA in Mississippi River) taking photos of some refurbished statues when I looked up in the downriver direction. I saw a good sized bird flying upriver and then I caught the flash of white tail feathers. It glided toward my position, caught a thermal, circled in the thermal gaining altitude twice then broke out of the thermal continuing upriver. Of course I was completely unprepared for this event and had only my 14-42 mounted. None the less I fired off a few just so I could verify this sighting at home.

What is strange about this event is that it was yesterday, July 17th. This area along the Mississippi and Credit Island specifically are WINTER nesting areas for bald eagles because the Alcoa plant and the roller dam serves to keep areas of the Mississippi ice free throughout the winter and the trees for nesting are right at water's edge. But those birds migrate back upriver by mid-April. So, how far south had this bird gone and/or what delayed its northward migration until mid-July?

I have watched eagles migrate out of this area and their migration flight pattern is different from their hunting flight pattern, that is, circle, gain altitude, break out in the direction of migration, glide, catch another thermal and repeat. Just what this bird was doing.

A. C.
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Last edited by ac.smith; Jul 19, 2010 at 9:23 AM.
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Old Jul 18, 2010, 9:29 PM   #2
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I believe that we, and all other animals, are driven by instinct at different levels depending on our position on the "food chain". Even so, instinct is not 100% reliable, and the weaker animals/humans are killed off. Less so for humans because we take care of our weak.

Very good. sharp pictures for such a short focal length...
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