An Eagle Story

  By MikeDrew

There was a cloud of crows, magpies and ravens swirling around in the falling snow.

Below them was the carcass of a deer. Likely it had been hit by a car. But, maybe, given that it was a ways from the road, it had been taken down by a predator. At any rate, it had already been thoroughly scavenged, and now the corvids were taking their share.

What really caught my eye, was the bald eagle perched on a nearby fence post. Crows and magpies are nice. But, I wanted a picture of that eagle. I set up for my approach.

Normally when I see an eagle perched on a fence post, I roll down the window, take my foot off the gas, pre-set the focus for the distance. I typically think I’ll be away from the bird, then try to ease my way close enough for a picture. I never get out of the vehicle. Birds and animals will almost always flee when they see a person but vehicles don’t spook them nearly as much. Easing closer in a vehicle works well enough that I get the occasional shot.

But, almost always, the eagle has a glance my direction, lifts its tail to let out a streak of white to lighten the load and takes off. I might get a picture. Usually I don’t.

This guy was different. He just looked over his shoulder, seemed to shrug, then ignored me. I took a couple of shots, and then decided to edge closer. That worked so I edged closer again. And, then suddenly I was right across the road from him, so close that I didn’t need the full power of my Sigma 150-600 C zoom to get a picture. He barely acknowledged my presence.

It doesn’t always work out this well – almost never, in fact – but this time the combination of truck, Canon EOS M5, Sigma 150-600 C lens and blind luck worked out pretty well.

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