Osprey, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

osprey soaring, Wrangell St. Elias national Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

It’s been an fun week so far .. the birds are back in the north country, and that means lots of time wondering how I can sneak my way close enough for a photo of one of them. Ever try to sneak up on a bird? It’s a tough gig. They have ‘eyes like eagles’ funnily enough, and always know exactly where you are – and how close they let you approach seems to correlate precisely with how well they fit in the frame of your camera – as they get more than half the viewfinder, they fly away – regardless if you’re shooting an enormous bald eagle or a sneaky little robin. But it’s fun, and it’s so great to have them back in the north. The woods literally come alive every morning with the various songs and calls of the migratory birds, all getting their groove on and nesting and breeding before summer. I hadn’t realized how much I dig their many sounds until they returned.

Here’s an osprey photo. I was set up in my blind trying to get some duck photos – with no luck. This osprey appeared and I tried to get some images of him/her. It was ridiculously hard, as I was sitting on the ground, kneeling in fact, with my tripod about 1 foot off the ground. I had the 500mm and a teleconverter mounted on it, and this osprey appears, flying around looking for something to eat. So I’m literally flopping about on the ground, on my back shooting up at this osprey, swinging my camera and lens around like a militiaman and his gattling gun. I didn’t get much in the way of sharp images, but it was pretty cool – especially what happened about 10 seconds later.

osprey and Goshawk, Wrangell St. Elias national Park, Alaska.

I was sitting on my blind waiting on some ducks to approach (they never did – ducks are among the sneakiest of all birds) and this osprey started flying overhead. All of a sudden out of the woods comes this Goshawk on the attack .. it was all over pretty quickly. The osprey, far larger, had it’s butt kicked all too soon, and took off from where it came. The Goshawk disappeared back into the woods once the osprey was gone. They must have a nest I there somewhere, but I never saw it.



3 thoughts on “Osprey, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

  1. Carl Donohue

    hey Folks,

    Just checking in from the road – I’ve now seen 2 grizzlies this summer, and managed to get photos of the 2nd. Also a cow moose with a tiny little calf that couldn’t have been more than a day old, but no pictures were to be had, unfortunately.

  2. Beth Lunsford

    I like these bird shots more than I thought I would. I bet it was pretty wicked watching those birds fight like that. Those moments happen when you least expect them, I guess. So how far away were the grizzlies? Bet that gets your adrenalene going! Stay safe!!

  3. Carl Donohue

    Hey Beth

    Yeah, I’m not a big bird photographer. Some of my friends are, and they get some amazing images. They’re pretty fanatical about it. I tend to take photos of birds (a) when there’s nothing else to photograph, and (b) when they let me get close enough without too much effort.

    But yes, this all happened so quick. And I was completely not set up to shoot this angle, almost directly overhead. I had the tripod low to the ground, so I was having a hard time aiming it skyward and getting low enough to see through the camera. 🙂

    Oh, keep your eye out here for something about the grizzly. 🙂



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