Eagle in Flight with a Fish

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Since in my last post I shared an Osprey in flight with a fish, I thought it befitting to follow with a post of a Bald Eagle also in flight with a fish.  🙂

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Bald Eagle

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Whether heading back to the nest or off to perch for personal enjoyment, lickity-split the Eagle was gone!

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Osprey in Flight with a Fish

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Heading back to our dock, we had to pass relatively close to one of our creek’s Osprey who was eating a fish on one of the pilings.  I prepared for the presumed take-off.

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Osprey

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Preparing for that take-off!

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With fish in tow, of course!

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What a beauty in flight!

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Osprey vs Canada Geese

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In my last post I shared two photos of Canada Geese taking stances with Osprey because the geese had already taken possession of some of the returning Osprey’s homes.

Here’s another one of those instances, in a series of photos.

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Canada Geese nesting on last year’s Osprey nest

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Mama Goose is incubating eggs

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Over on the nearby shoreline resting in a tree was a male Osprey taking a break.  When rested, he’d do another 3-4 swooping attacks at the geese.

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Canada Geese verbally upset with the Osprey after several attacks

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Hair on their neck is standing and feathers are ruffled too!

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Osprey begins another round of swoops

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That swoop got Mama Goose up and really angry now

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 Whoa…..the Osprey swooped again

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Even though the Osprey was relentless in the constant swoops, I noted in my photos that the Osprey always kept its talons curled closed.  No intention of injury, more of a scare tactic.  One that cannot work in this instance with a family already started.

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Canada Geese up and watching the Osprey who flew to the shoreline for another tree break

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The Osprey’s lady returned from a flight and perched alongside him in the tree.  There was no nest around them to begin their season’s family.

I couldn’t help but feel bad for the Canada Geese as well, with them already having the established nest and eggs.

With the female Osprey back, the male Osprey stopped the attacks.

Mr. & Mrs. Goose were able to go back to resting.

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Mr. & Mrs. Canada Goose

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Time for a well-deserved nap until the next round(s)

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This is another interesting nesting situation to return to see the status.

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Birding By Boat

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Photography and birding by boat is pretty awesome, getting to observe sightings and perspectives not seen from land.  It is also a whole different challenge when you have a boat rocking under your feet.  What fun!

Let’s see what caught my eye while cruising around two days this past week in some of our local Eastern Shore Maryland tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.

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Buffeheads in flight

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Ruddy Ducks in flight

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View of Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge from Chester River

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Osprey drying off

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Canada Goose occupying an Osprey nest platform, possibly on eggs

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Green Herons, one in hot pursuit of the other

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Great Blue Heron

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Great Blue Heron close-up

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Osprey showing off his catch

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Now off to its favorite perch to eat or possibly take to his lady back at the nest

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Fallen tree art

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Osprey pair relaxing on a hunting blind

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Bald Eagle

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Great Blue Heron laughing at my joke

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Osprey in flight

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Caspian Terns beach chillin’

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Caspian in flight

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Bald Eagles flying together

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Canada Goose and Double-crested Cormorants

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Piling Reflection

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Osprey

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Bald Eagle chasing an Osprey to steal its fish

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Unsuccessful and exhausted, the Bald Eagle retreated to a tree to recuperate

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Hunter’s Duck Blind with Osprey pair & nest on left, Canada Geese pair & nest on right
(this ought to be interesting season)

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An Osprey’s beautiful wing

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Common Loon (non-breeding adult or immature)

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Osprey having lunch

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Bonaparte’s Gull in flight

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Farm buildings and Osprey nest platform

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“Chesapeake Bay alligator”

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Osprey “Oopsy Poopsy”

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“Sorry about that!”

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Great Blue Heron

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Osprey fly-by

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Osprey fly-by

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Osprey fly-by

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Osprey checking me out

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Whew, that was a lot, thanks for making it to the end!  I’ve got two more series’ posts (much shorter!) to share from these two boating days.

A quick share about our boat name I think you’ll find pretty cool and fun.  My husband and grandson #1 (10 yo) have been working on naming our new boat since December.  Grandson #1 is a diehard fisherman, has been for several years; he cannot get enough of it.  As you know, I’m the diehard birder.  Same deal, cannot get enough of it either.  🙂

Husband wanted the name to share both our passions and use one of my bird photos to create a logo that worked.  Soooo….they came up with the name, Kingfisher, with the grandson being our “King” fisherman, and the bird name for me.  I searched my Belted Kingfisher photos and used this next original shot for my bird selection to enlarge 10-12″ in my logo creation.

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Belted Kingfisher

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While I was teaching myself how to ‘clip out’ the Belted Kingfisher from this photo, Reed at PhotoArtFlight just happen to post on how to gain more resolution to enlarge a photo in PhotoShop.  I have an older version and couldn’t follow his steps. We spoke, I emailed him my photo, he enhanced my resolution his way, and emailed it back. Thank you again, Reed, for your assistance!

I then took that image and intricately reclipped my bird out, found a shutterstock fishing rod to purchase, and created the following logo I had printed by a local printshop.  Whatcha think?

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Our boat aptly named  😁

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Shore Birds at the Refuge

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All of these birds are of the coastal variety, hanging around Eastern Neck NWR’s causeway at low tide.  The causeway flows between the Chesapeake Bay and the Chester River.

Shorelines aren’t the same without a few gulls.

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Ring-billed Gull

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Bonaparte’s Gull

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Laughing Gull

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The terns are returning from their southern winter grounds as this next one is announcing!

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Caspian Tern making an announcement

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You tell ’em!

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Forster’s Terns and Caspian Tern

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Forster’s Tern in flight

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Forster’s Tern in flight

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Caspian Tern in flight

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Caspian Tern in flight

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I found the single Greater Yellowlegs hanging here in past weeks was now joined with four more.  Only four cooperated to be in a single shot.

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Greater Yellowlegs

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That’s it for the birds in this post.  Newsy stuff next if you’re interested.

Have you heard about the 1,095-foot, fully-loaded cargo ship stuck in the Chesapeake Bay?  Ever Forward ran aground four weeks ago in 23 feet of water.  We can see if from the refuge.

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Ever Forward aground in the Chesapeake Bay

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A third attempt began yesterday to dislodge it by removing several hundred of the 5,000 cargo containers aboard to attempt buoyancy.  With the changing tides, there is serious danger involved trying to maintain the ship’s balance; it could take up to a week.

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Ever Forward stuck in the Chesapeake Bay

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Ever Forward belongs to Evergreen Marine Corp., the same company that owns the cargo ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal in March 2021 for six days.  Remember that one causing havoc with boat traffic jams?

Fortunately, Ever Forward is not in Baltimore’s shipping channel.

However, the refloating situation of Ever Forward has gone so bad that Evergreen Marine notified this past week those with a container on board will need to share in the cost of freeing the ship under the law of general average, a principal of maritime law dating back to 1890.  😲

“Evergreen Line urges all cargo interests involved, and joint venture slot users to provide security bonds and necessary documents according to the adjusting rules that govern GA in order to take delivery of cargo after the vessel is freed and arrives at its future ports of discharge,” the company said in a statement released this past week.

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A Killdeer and Horned Larks

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I was looking for Horned Larks further out in a corn field, not knowing there was a Killdeer right in front of me.  Silly bird, it had to call out.

Not the prettiest setting, but I thought the purple flowers might help the scene work.  Of course, the Killdeer turned away.

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Killdeer in a corn field

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Then the Killdeer went into flight.  And that became my two lucky shots.

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Killdeer in flight

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Killdeer in flight

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The Horned Larks?  I did find them in a different farm field close by.  Here’s a couple photos of them.

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Horned Lark (immature)

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Horned Lark (male)

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Here’s my best shot of a pair in flight at the same field several weeks ago.

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Horned Larks in flight

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Yesterday, I had ten minutes and returned to the same field and spotted six Horned Larks foraging after a light rainfall.  I was able to get a shot of one looking adorably cute and wet.  😊

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Horned Lark showing off one of his little head feather ‘horns’

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1-2-3 Cute As Can Be – #14

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Here’s another addition to my series of three smaller bird species with the cuteness factor going on.  😊

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Dark-eyed Junco
Length 5.5-6.3 inches (14-16 cm)
Weight 0.6-1.1 oz (18-30 g)
Wingspan 7.1-9.8 inches (18-25 cm)

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Carolina Wren
Length 4.7-5.5 inches (12-14 cm)
Weight 0.6-0.8 oz (18-22 g)
Wingspan 11.4 inches (29 cm)

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Song Sparrow
Length 4.7-6.7 inches (12-17 cm)
Weight 0.4-1.9 oz (12-53 g)
Wingspan 7.1-9.4 inches (18-24 cm)

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(All photos taken mid-March, 2022; Junco in my backyard, Carolina Wren & Song Sparrow at Eastern Neck NWR)

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Encountering Eagles Along The Road

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I had a crazy-cool encounter occur while driving through Eastern Neck NWR a few days ago.  Directly in front of me, two Eagles were in hot pursuit of a third Eagle with a fish.

While reaching for my camera, I watched the fish fall from the sky down alongside the telephone pole.  My two windshield shots!  😉

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Bald Eagle landing to get the fish dropped
(Tubby Cove Boardwalk parking lot entrance to left)

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The other two Eagles landed in the trees above us to watch.

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Bald Eagle contemplating its next move

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As I jumped out of my car, the Eagle took flight with the fish.

My first two shots were blurry but I got lucky with my final shot as the Eagle flew directly at me and whooshed over my head!

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Bald Eagle with fish

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The Eagle continued down the road behind me and then took a sharp left turn into the woods.

Up in the trees, here’s the two Eagles who missed their chance.

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Bald Eagle (immature)

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Bald Eagle (adult)

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Wonder what they were thinking…..  😉

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Close-ups of a Red-tailed Hawk

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After posting my Osprey close-ups, I remembered another recent close encounter with a different raptor I’d not shared.

Early March I came up on this Red-tailed Hawk perched alongside the country back road I was traveling, looking gorgeous.  I was already going slow, and easily angled my car to photograph it from my car window.

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Red-tailed Hawk

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By the looks I was receiving, I knew I was not invited for a photo shoot and could see the hawk positioning to take flight.

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Red-tailed Hawk

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Red-tailed Hawk re-positioning those sharp talons

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Red-tailed Hawk take-off

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The hawk flew to a tree further back from the road and landed.  I apologized out loud (I really do this lol) and continued in my travels.  I came back past this spot over an hour later and the hawk was still in the distant tree, which made me feel better for some reason.  🙂

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Close-ups of an Osprey

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This handsome fella was keeping a watchful eye (and a deaf ear) on the surroundings near his nest platform where his mate was loudly demanding attention for more nesting materials.

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Osprey (male) on watch

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Osprey Close-up

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Osprey Talons

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All raptors have four long talons, three in the front and one in the back.

But only the Osprey has specialized talons.  When it plunges to seize a fish, the Osprey’s outer front talon rotates to the rear, giving the Osprey two grasping talons front and back.  Each talon is also lined with tiny spines on the bottom to help the Osprey hang on to their slippery prey.

A truly skilled fisherman!

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