Readers’ wildlife photos

December 30, 2020 • 8:15 am

Please send in your wildlife photos!

Today’s contributor is Tom Collins, who sent some photos of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Tom’s captions are indented, and he also provided info about the photographic exposures. Click photos to enlarge them.

The first five images were taken on December 26 and 28, 2020 below the dam at Saylorville Lake—a reservoir of the Des Moines River located just north of Des Moines. I picked up photography when I retired in 2016, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. My camera is a Sony a7iii with a Sony 200-600mm G OSS lens and a 1.4 tele.
ISO 800  669mm  f/10  1/2000s:

ISO 1600  840mm  f/9  1/2000s:

ISO 500  575mm  f/10  1/2000s:

ISO 640  596mm  f/10  1/2000s:

Just one of the trees lining the Des Moines River at Saylorville where eagles hang out. That’s a juvie in the lower right. ISO 1000  840mm  f/9  1/2000s:


This photo was taken October 18, 2020 down the hill from my house along the Des Moines River with too slow of a shutter speed (1/1000s), ISO 500, 840mm, f/9. I think this is a male about to take off with a female to his right. The female seemed to have a deeper beak than the male although you can’t tell it in this photo, and appeared larger in size.

10 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. Yes, very nice photos. Being from Iowa, the southwest part, I can tell you the Eagles are everywhere. Especially if you live around the water you might see them daily. Not sure why so many in that part of the country.

    1. Not sure how far back you are going but I believe the removal of DDT had a lot to do with the comeback of the Eagles. When I was a kid 50/60 years ago there were very few eagles. But now they are everywhere.

  1. That crowd of eagles in the tree reminded me that, according to an article I read a decade ago, bald eagles are so numerous in Alaskan towns that they’ve apparently taken up the ecological niche of pigeons, scrounging from trash and human detritus. It’s kind of amazing that a top predator could alter its behavior so much and still be very successful. I wonder if they are evolving quickly and, perhaps in a thousand years, they’ll just be large pigeon-like birds. Of course, they may evolve to be smaller.

  2. Love the second and last take-off photos. And the group photos; eagles are mostly seen (in the media) as solitary symbols, but they apparently hang out, just like many other birds.

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