Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds

I had driven two hours to a spot that is known for being a winter habitat for bald eagles. I’ve been before but on Tuesday afternoon, the eagles were just not being cooperative and close up. I was about to go home when I stopped back by the location at which I had first stopped and within five minutes I was rewarded with the shot below.

Here are a few pics of another eagle, Ring-billed gull and American white pelican, that came as a reward for my patience.

This post is in response to WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

Almost three years to the date, I mentioned that I was on a photographic hunt for the bald eagle. By the next year, I had more opportunities to spot and capture them at a distance. Finally, last year I saw hundreds at Red Rock Lake and the Des Moines River near Pella, as well as a growing population in my part of Southwest Iowa. This year is beginning well with sightings locally and around Central Iowa. The view of these majestic birds is captivating as they gracefully fly and skillfully hunt. Here are a few shots of these graceful, gliding national birds.

These two are from 2016:


Two eagles soaring over the Des Moines River near Pella, IA


The eagles complete for fish among pelicans, geese, ducks and the ring-billed gulls pictured here on the Des Moines River at the Red Rock Lake Dam spillway.

The remaining have been taken this first month of 2017:


Three shot photo stitch of juvenile bald eagle over Red Rock Lake Dam, Pella IA

As gracefully as they are in flight, those flights often end in a kill. Below is one of those feasts and two captures in the last week.

See more “graceful” posts at WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion

I spent only thirty minutes watching an eagles’ nest adjacent to Gray’s Lake in Des Moines last Monday, but in that short time captured some of the domestic motions of these beautiful bald eagles. It was exciting to capture one parent’s return with some food for the couple’s two eaglets. Flying in, he’s bringing home the bacon, I mean the fish.

IMGP3345“Here’s dinner.”IMGP3346“Got to go back to work.” IMGP3434

One has to stay hydrated when working!

IMGP3530There’s always the need to remodel the nest…gathering up more nesting material.


I checked the nest on Thursday and they are still at work, caring for their brood.IMGP3695

For more examples of “motion,” click HERE.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward

Living in rural Iowa for the last twenty years, I’ve seen a lot of wild life, but it’s only been in the last three years that there has been a growing presence of bald eagles. While I have been able to capture a few at a distance, I am often traveling through the a local state park to “see what I can see.” Last week, I saw a large bird, flying solo among all the flocking Canadian geese, who winter at the lake. It wasn’t an eagle but a beautiful red-tail hawk.IMGP9816 Later, I found another hawk roosting in the deserted campground. However, it would fly to another tree every time I approached for a clear shot. Finally yesterday afternoon, I saw it flying toward the camp ground. As I slowly drove into the area, there it was, roosting 40 feet up in a tree no more than 20 feet from the road. I eased the car as close as I could and stepped out on the far side to allow me to stay obscured. Much to my delight, the hawk gave me the “reward” of a three-minute “drive-by” photo shoot.IMGP0223 Here are a few of my distant captures of mature and juvenile eagles feasting on some geese carcasses on a local lake.

You can find some more examples of “reward” HERE.