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Old May 10, 2011, 8:35 PM   #1
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Default Bass Lake Birds & a bird question

Sunday morning we woke up to light rain, but that didn't stop me from going out just after the blue hour for some early morning pictures before we left to go back home. I don't know when the sun might have come up since it was so overcast and dark. My pictures for the most part were dreadful, but I did get a couple that were OK, and a series of a couple that brought up a question about certain birds.

While I was trying to shoot a couple of mallards, I spotted some movement on the shore just below me. It took me a second to spot this kildeer:



While I was shooting some atmosphere shots with the 50-135 a flash of white at a distance caught my eye. I tried to shoot it flying at 135 (forget it), changed to the DA*300 and shot this picture, wondering if it might be a bald eagle:



What I saw was a dark bird with possible two spots of white flying against the tree, then the bird flying off. I thought it might be a Bald Eagle, always something exciting for me.



It took me a couple of minutes and a couple more shots before I realized that the bird didn't have any sign of white, making me wonder if I had been wrong in my thought the bird was a bald eagle. It wasn't until I reviewed the pictures, scrolling in far enough to see both birds that I realized what had happened.

A couple of pictures of the bird soaring:





It landed along the lake-side, then took off again. After a few minutes of trying to find where it went, I looked back to the lake-side and there it was again (there were actually two, but I hadn't realized it until I looked at all the pictures). I loved the face-off between the eagle and the geese.



I assume that the two birds without the white are both immature Bald Eagles. So my question is do immature eagles hang out with adults for a couple of years? It looked like the adult Bald Eagle pictured in the first two pictures was somehow connected with the juveniles, they all disappeared eventually around the same corner of the lake. I always think of baby birds leaving their parents and striking out on their own right away, and I don't think of eagles as being birds that hang out in a flock. So when do they go out on their own?

As I started to walk back to where I was staying, a large grey bird flew by and landed on a stream/water way not far from me. I took this shot because this isn't exactly how you expect to see a GBH:



He was very skittish. I tried walking parallel/slightly away so I could get a clear shot of him, and managed 3 shots before he took off - unfortunately, the camera chose to focus on the grass behind him (sigh!), so no other pictures of him. Not the greatest set of pictures, I wish now that I had used a faster shutter speed and let the camera change to a faster ISO.
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Old May 10, 2011, 9:15 PM   #2
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Interesting pics. I've only had the good fortune of seeing bale eagles in the wild about a half dozen times, but in those few instances, I have never seen adults and immature bald eagles together. I'm sure others on this forum know more about this than I do.
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Old May 11, 2011, 2:03 AM   #3
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Love those eagle shots !
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Old May 11, 2011, 8:08 AM   #4
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I can't help you with eagle behavior I have only seen them several times, never caught one flying, nice job. I didn't realize how lucky I was in Florida with birds able to full frame several. Back here in Michigan birds are seem skittish, if they see you coming they start flying.

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Old May 11, 2011, 8:23 AM   #5
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Looks to me like you captured an adult and immature Bald Eagle together. I have been following a nest near me for three years. According to others following the nest it has been in use five to six years. After the young fledge the adults and young tend to hang around the nest for another five to six weeks before leaving the nest area. Attached photo is of juvinile after fledging.

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Old May 11, 2011, 2:04 PM   #6
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I know my pictures aren't the greatest, the first two are especially dreadful, but they were the only two I got of the adult. I don't know enough about birds to know these birds would stay together beyond the autumn or early winter at the latest. Hope Penolta or someone else who understands these big birds can answer my question, I really would like to know more about their behavior.
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