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Update: I moved this post back to the top after reading this story about wind turbines on the Altamount Pass between the Central Valley and the Bay Area killing Golden Eagles. “Scores of the protected birds have been dying each year after colliding with the blades of about 5,000 wind turbines.” A harsh price to pay for renewable energy.
This image was made across the valley from the Altamount Pass near Ione, CA.
Sometimes wildlife does cooperate, though usually with a wary eye and a ready escape plan. This Golden Eagle seemed to pose for me as I rolled my car slowly to a stop. I managed to get about seven shots out the driver side window before the eagle took advantage of a car passing between us to make an escape. He’ll be back. Next time perhaps I can get a shot of him in flight.
Canon 30D with a 75-300mm zoom @ 300mm, 1/320 sec. @ f5.6; ISO 100.
While I was waiting for traffic to pass I took this shot of a Swainson’s Hawk through the windshield of my car. Processing it to black and white reduces the distortion caused by the extra glass and the windshield tinting. Once the traffic did pass I was able to get out and attempt a shot, but the hawk didn’t like that idea and took off before I had the chance, even though I tried as best I could to use the car as a blind. They aren’t stupid birds and they have eyes like – well – hawks.
Recently, I started using 500.px as a photo gallery/portfolio. This image of a Western Meadowlark is one of my first offerings there. It was taken the other day on my drive home from work along Ione-Michigan Bar Road where there are always a lot of Meadowlarks and Kingbirds. I like to drive the 10-mile long road with my windows down in the spring and summer listening to the songs of these birds. When the road is clear I’ll stop and make an image. Usually, the birds take off before I can get a decent shot.
Camera: Canon EOS 30D, Lens: EF 100-300 @ 300mm, Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec., Aperture: f/13, ISO: 400.
Let me know what you think about this shot in the comments below. Thanks.