Monday, December 04, 2006


This week I'm scoping out the eagles and other critters at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Missouri. Based on my drives yesterday and today, I would guesstimate there are about 30 eagles flapping around, fewer than the peak of what I saw last year. There seem to be fewer geese but maybe it just seems that way because they have been quite far out in the pond. And there are lots of ducks. The waterfowl surely number in the tens of thousands.

Most of the eagles are transients, but there are some residents. Just based on what I've seen on this trip, I think the two adults and several juveniles which hang around the nests in the northwest part of the refuge are the full-time residents. Even though this isn't the season the nests are used, the birds are lurking around them and occasionally roosting on them. I don't think eagle pairs necessarily stay with each other year-round, but these two seem to. The active nest is in the same tree.

Eagle Pair

This photo was digiscoped, shot with a Canon G6 through a telescope. Using this combo provides more magnification than is possible with a DSLR and a 420mm lens, but it requires a stationary subject and a few minutes to set up and focus. I'm not 100% happy with this image, so hopefully when I have a chance to go through the rest of my attempts there will be some that are a bit sharper. And if all else fails I also have my DSLR shots, less magnified.

I'm here another day and a half, and in a week or so I'll be able to post some more (better) photos.

By the way, I also saw a line of 18 turkeys running across a field headed for a stand of corn. But they were along way away, and I have enough photos of turkeys.

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