Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pecking Orders

Bald Eagle
Wiggins Pass, Naples, Florida

May 2009

"“But of course, what the eagle does not realize is that it is participating in a very crude form of natural selection. One day a tortoise will learn how to fly.”"
~Terry Pratchett

It's been a winter season full of hard work, wonderful fruits of my art venue labors and now, a late spring of delicious rewards. The longer days have afforded me kayak luxuries once again and the sweet gods of travel have blessed me with a few trips here and there, visiting birds and some of my old haunts to the north and in the Keys.

The camera, much too long in the architectural photography "saddle", has been nearly as joyful as I have been to be back in the kayak. Summer approaches and it sure feels good.

I found this eagle at Wiggins Pass early one morning about a week ago. It was sitting atop a mangrove tree, looking for food in the falling tide. I floated in the kayak just off the mangroves, photographing it with pure joy until I noticed it flinch. Through the viewfinder of the camera, I couldn't see that an osprey had tried to dive-bomb it!

As the osprey made a second pass, the eagle flew off with the osprey hot on it's trail. I was just about to photograph their chase, but a power boat came by and I had to stow the camera gear. These two carried on in the air, swooping and flying, engaged in a mid-air battle. It was quite a mesmerizing sight! They locked talons in mid-air - and the osprey seemed to have the upper hand. Annoyed and undoubtedly humiliated, the eagle shook himself free and flew off . The osprey took over the roost atop the mangroves and gloated.

I guess there is a territorial pecking order to every place.

Nikon D100, Nikkor 80-400 VR

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