Eagles in Puget sound

February 15, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

EagleEagle found on Fir Island road

The state of WA  has several locations in the north west where Eagles migrate in winter. When it becomes too cold in Canada, Eagles fly down to WA to hang around for three of four months starting end of November. Eagles come down to WA  during the Salmon migration and they hang out on the Skagit river valley.  Any place like Fir Island, Samish Island, Edison, Conway and Camano Island are good places to watch for Eagles. Any place near Skagit river is good for watching eagles . If you go east on Highway 20 from Burlington,  you can drive along the riverbank  and see eagles resting on trees nearby.  There are some tour companies doing float ride on the Skagit river for eagle watching. You can also see Eagle nest in the Skagit valley, in some places. This means they do not go back to Canada after winter, they live in the valley, it is fun to watch them in spring and early summer.

I used a 80-400 lens to photograph this Eagle in the picture. I spent some time to learn how to photograph birds in the last summer, and I found it interesting.  A long, fast lens and a camera with high ISO capability is a must in this case, because you need to have over 1/1000 second shutter speed to get a sharp picture of a bird in flight. I once did the float ride in Skagit river. The float is always moving, as you can imagine, and I saw over 300 eagles resting on the trees during a 2 mile long ride on the river. If the bird is in flight, you need to have high shutter speed even if you are stationery. If the bird is resting on a tree, then if the float is moving, the camera is not stationery. So the relative motion of camera with respect to the bird, requires high shutter speed again. I kept the shutter speed to over 1/1500 sec, it was a overcast day with enough light, so I was able to manage to have this shutter speed. Bird photography is one situation where the Image stabilization / Vibration reduction feature in the lens is really useful. If you plan to go and need some information like directions or additional information regarding photographing this place, you can post a message at the bottom of this page, or use the 'Contact' link on my website to send me an e-mail.  

 

Exposure : 400mm, ISO 640,  1/640 sec, F5.6

 

Link to the picture gallery : http://www.muraleephotos.com/p490982092

 

Freezing motion, high shutter speed.


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