Eagle Snaps

001Somehow my little red camera and I finally got closer to the Eagle traffic flying across the bridge at Napoleon, Ohio!

My subject looks to be an older juvenile, judging from the mottling still present on his magnificent wings and the spotting on his head. Eagles can live as long as 30 years, and they don’t acquire their full coloring until after the age of four.

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Birds In the Air

The Great Blue Heron (BELOW) is a shadow in the sky above the bridge in Napoleon, Ohio. Notice how his long, long neck is pulled into an “S” as he flies high. The heron’s equally long legs and stick feet fly straight out behind him as he glides along.

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(BELOW): When he lifts off, the Great Blue Heron displays beautiful, incredibly huge wings of purple-blue edging and relatively small, fan-like tail feathers.

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(BELOW): Pigeons that live under the bridge give their own impression of shades against the sky. They regularly give a fly-by show around and under the bridge as a troupe.

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(BELOW): The Great Egret shares fishing space with the Great Blue Heron. They rarely argue on territorial water rights.

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(BELOW): Notice the Great Blue Heron’s head is straight up, and that’s because he/she just watched the Great Egret fly over his/her head and land in front of him/her.

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Turkey Vultures, or “buzzards”, as the ones (BELOW) are easily recognized on the ground for their red, bare-skinned heads. But in high flight, they display silver-gray outer flight feathers and black feathers in front, while their white, short beaks are more visible than their red heads. Highly predatory, Turkey Vultures flap and soar in circles above prospective ground prey.

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(BELOW): Geese fly above the Maumee River at Napoleon, Ohio.

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Best of A Cold Morning

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Gulls come in flocks and singles around the bend in the Maumee River to the direct East of our apartment building. Such was the case this morning.

I’m on an endless quest to get close-up flying photos of these beautiful white, long-winged birds. They appear to be Herring Gulls, which, according to and as pictured in my “Smithsonian Birds of North America” (2001), are very prevalent in our Ohio area near the Great Lakes.

It’s also interesting to catch these birds cruising along the tree-lined riverbank.

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It’s easy to see the gulls coming down river crossing the East bend along Winter’s bare tree-line in long swoops that bring them closer to the South side, or in tighter angles that take them along the North edge of the water.

Wingspans of these gulls can be nearly five feet, and their pure whiteness is highlighted by black wingtips.

This morning, against a cold, blue Winter sky (brrr… ! ), they photographed quite well with my Canon Powershot ELPH 135:

The fun is catching their wings in different stages of flap and float and soar.

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Any way you look at it, these gulls are like low- and high-flying aircraft. And sometimes they depart from their plane-like behavior to dip low enough to the ground to inspect prospects for lunch.

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Winter Wonderland…Before Thanksgiving

Winter Wonderful has made Winter Wonderlands of a good part of the nation in the last week, and The Weather Channel says it’s just getting started. Oh, my!

Here’s a look from Northwest Ohio:

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Whoa! Is that a big ol’ snowplow truck slithering around the corner?!

Blue skies emerged at last, but the next storm is on its way!

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Really…Lake Effect Snow Already?

Oh, my! Snowflakes and plows and double-takes! Oh, my… it’s the season’s first Winter snow — but it’s still FALL!

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It started last night,
hinted at morning’s plight.

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This morning’s blowing,
quickly got us knowing
It wouldn’t stop soon,
not even by noon!

It brought us to attention,
early Winter’s gloomy mention.

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The bridge was fine,
but sitting was undermined.

Trees bent very low
and branches were so.

Birds said emphatically “no”;
headed off to otherwise know
a place of sunset’s glow.