Finally, I got over to Rome, Georgia at the right time to see the bald eagle nest at Berry College! It didn’t look like this was going to happen at all. When I first arrived on the campus, there were two photographers standing around and looking up at the nest. They weren’t pointing camera, just looking. I asked one of them if there was any sign of the birds and he said no, he had been waiting since sunrise (it was after 11:00 when I got there) and had not seen any eagles.
I decided to drive out and see what things looked like at the Old Mill (actually, that was pretty nice – more on that later) and then came back to the nesting site. Apparently, the one eagle (I think this is the male) had just returned to the nest with a stick to continue the construction work. After a bit of housekeeping, he popped up out of the nest and perched on a branch in the pine tree to allow us to take portraits. He then flew to another tree across the parking lot from the nest and stayed there for quite a while.
It was quite a treat to see this magnificent bird in the wild. I discovered two things on this outing – First, I always wish for more focal length when shooting distant subjects. Secondly, I discovered that it is VERY hard to follow a moving subject with a 500mm lens zoomed all the way out. It’s also nearly impossible to use auto-focus when that subject is whizzing by. Probably need more practice!
Rome, Georgia, USA
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
[Pro]Master Professional Gimbal Head GH-10 #5111
Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
500mm @ f/11 – 1/1000 sec – ISO 800