eagle

No, this is not Izzy. Our resident Lake Morton eagle who so delighted us with photo-ops last year did not return this season.

Instead, there’s a new kid on the block.

eagle

He’s most likely a male, smaller & probably younger than Isabelle, less experienced as a hunter but every bit as determined. And, like Izzy, there’s just one thing on his mind…

Will, Ron, Debbie, Andrew and myself – “The Lakeland Photo-Gang,” as someone dubbed us – can usually be seen pacing the lake each morning, waiting for his arrival.

And make no mistake, this apex raptor with 7000 feathers and a wingspan of 6-7 feet ascends to his throne with all the pomp and majesty of the Sun King himself.

I Came…

eagleeagle

First order of business upon landing is to toot horns and bang on the kettle drum. This is HIS territory now: competitors keep your distance, plump maidens say your prayers!

eagleeagleWhen the coots and ring-necks and mallards have let lapse their vigilance and settled back into their pecking order routine, the eagle springs into action.

I Saw…

eagle

eagle

eagle

To witness the launch of this heat-seeking missile is a heart-thumping moment of mystical proportions tempered only by the knowledge that for the eagle to live, something has to die.

eagle

Somewhere across the lake a bird with an eagle-eyed laser beam targeted on his back is nibbling his last leafy tidbit, quacking one final retort to his buddies, wondering to no avail how to sneak that pretty lady off into the bushes.

… I Conquered.

eagleLake Morton is several hundred yards in diameter and the eagle, who can achieve speeds of 30-35 mph, will zoom across inches above the water in perhaps 10-12 seconds.

lake mortonSometimes he misses. A clever duck will dive underwater just in time.

eagleBut not to worry. A sharp 180 degree bank and he’ll swoop down and snatch the hapless creature just as he comes up for air.

eagleeagle

Yes, a majestic predator indeed, who gratuitously treats us almost daily to a splendid intrusion of the miraculous!

Le Roi Soleil

Did I let slip a reference to the ‘Sun King’ earlier? Maybe that’s it, his new name: Louis XIV.

After all, there is a slight resemblance, eh?

eagleLouis_XIV_of_France🙂 🙂 🙂

16 thoughts on “Veni Vidi Vici

  1. Now that’s how a real photographer does it! Wonderful. This afternoon I watched a golden eagle try and try and try to grab a duck from the Yellowstone and he was never successful: he didn’t seem to have learned the 180 degree turn trick!

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  2. Another fantastic flight with eagles, wowsa. I think Sun King is good, or Louis XIV. And he seems more showy this guy than Izzy who had a kind of quiet wisdom to her but no less glorious. Your opening,ruffled feather shot is spectacular on a dozen levels, real thriller. As the others, search and descent to the kill. I’m not sure it’s so noteworthy in other birds, and maybe it’s the added size and muscle, but your eagles seem to use every molecule in them with purpose, a kind of stunning self-awareness, a total connect.
    PS I like the new page set-up. Nice. Jumping colors.

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    • Not sure about a “new page” look, as I haven’t changed anything that I know of. But you’re so right about “purpose” written all over this guy. Makes me wonder, is there ever an eagle who doesn’t have a scowl on his face 🙂

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      • Maybe I just shifted my computer screen or had a moment of clarity with my eyeballs. Sorry to mistake that. And then I keep thinking to change this format.

        The Eye of The Eagles, too fabulous, I’m guessing they’re born with it period.

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  3. So incredible!! What photos and text!!
    Been itching for a blog/post from you today and voila!!!!!
    well, Well, WELL, worth the wait!!!
    Can’t say enough, so I’ll stop here.

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  4. Welcome back to Sunny Flori-duh … great shooting (with the camera) … Love the Latin and Lous XIV references … nothing like a phogtog who can make visual and verbal artistic statements. Had the chance to see a mom and younster from about 15 feet on an oak limb on our daily lake walk … they truly are awesome upcloseandpersonal … glad they don’t pick on human flesh! But, was not aware they would take fowl … thought they were sole-ly fish eaters … good tidbit to learn at my age … thanks

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    • Thanks, Richard-the-punster. Yes, the great thing about Florida is we get an abundance of ‘snowbirds’ every year, fascinating up close & personal. My eagle will indeed eat fish, but only if he can take it away from an osprey. He much prefers ducks or coots, will even take a seagull right out of the air sometimes. Love to see feathers flyin’ in the wind when he rips open a belly 🙂

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