We drove down to Marion Reservoir this afternoon and hit the bald eagle jackpot! We saw at least 3 different males and perhaps more, plus one likely female. I love the fact that the bald eagle is making a comeback in this area; we even saw one sitting on the ice earlier this week when we drove over Kanopolis Dam.

Wildlife populations as a whole have increased dramatically since I was a child. One never saw wild turkeys or bald eagles back then, and I recall with clarity the one time I saw a deer down by the river in Lindsborg one morning while I was delivering newspapers.

Now, there’s a large flock of turkeys that live south of Smolan, often visible from Burma Road, and while driving around Kanopolis earlier this week we saw 4 dozen(!) deer between Venango and Horsethief Canyon. Well, that was a large number, we often see a 1/2 dozen or so deer in that area.

I try to take photos of bald eagles every chance I get, but given that they are usually pretty far from where I’m located it’s a challenge. I did OK this time, but had to severely crop the images in order to see any detail in the birds. I included a couple of the uncropped images for reference.

Equipment used was a Canon 40D with a Canon 100-400 lens with a 1.4x extender (effective focal length of 560mm and that’s before the 1.6 sensor crop), all mounted on my Bogen tripod with a Really Right Stuff head. Focus is difficult at these high zoom levels, plus it was bit windy. Still, these are the best I’ve ever taken, so I’ll keep trying.

bald eagle

bald eagle

bald eagle

bald eagle

bald eagle

bald eagle

bald eagle