Our apartment sits above Interbay in Seattle -- what used to be a thriving salt marsh and tidal flat, replete with shellfish, marine life and waterfowl. It was a foraging ground for Native Americans of the Shilshole tribe, who made their home in present-day Ballard, just north of Interbay. At the turn of the century, the area's marshlands were filled with garbage and with soil from Seattle's regrade operations --- a sadly common affair throughout [...]
We barely saw this sub-adult Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), hunkered down and camouflaged, in a tree above the trail at Union Bay Natural Area. I shot a few frames right before the sun fell below Husky Stadium to the south. At full extension, the eagle was still quite small in the frame, and the aggressive cropping shows the limitations of my lens. Still, it was another one of my favorite periphery surprises, where I note [...]
I joke (but it's true) that my best eagle and osprey in moments in the Northwest happen in silhouette. There's the issue of light, and how low and flat it tends to be in the winter. There's also the issue of my luck -- where the light is perfect, I'm pointed in the right direction, but the bird has other plans for me, usually flying overhead and hovering mere meters away with a lightbox of [...]
There's no lack of courage among the black birds. (Exhibit B: the eagle/crow face off I photographed last October.) I joke that Bald Eagles in Seattle are never without a personal entourage, usually crows and gulls. In this particular altercation, a Red-winged Blackbird joined the squadron as the eagle flew over Union Bay Natural Area (Montlake Fill) in the U District. The mobbing was in response to the Bald Eagle's unsuccessful dive on ducks below. [...]
This is a huge bonus of living in Seattle: the urban and suburban wildlife includes a multitude of Bald Eagles. This morning, Hugh went into our friends' garden to fill up their bird feeder -- a chore we both kind of enjoy. A huge contingent of birds descends right when our boots leave the scene of the feeder. As he walked into the garden, seed in hand, he saw this [very] big bird, perched on [...]
. . . it's a Seattle thing. First alert -- a look overhead and warning calls: American Wigeon first responders leave lone Eurasian Wigeon to contemplate his next move: And he's off: Safety in numbers: The instigator comes into view: The juvenile Bald Eagle shows little interest in the ducks, catches the thermals, and whirls up over the trees. The wigeon [...]
We came upon this scene on a Seattle area beach . . . a small stretch of private community beach where we have a pass. Planted on the pebbles, way far away, too far for my 70-300mm lens, we watched as this Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) wrangled with a second eagle, a group of crows, and a vortex of gulls overhead, all looking for a freebie from the eagle's fish. The bird intruders annoyed the [...]
I was shooting in the fog -- the silhouettes of crows foraging at low tide -- when every bird on the beach suddenly flushed and flew into the mist ...