Don’t Shoot Until You See the Yellow of Their Eyes

The Osprey have returned to Goggin’s Island off the shores of Wolf Neck State Park in Freeport.  How they manage to find their nesting spot year after year without using Google Maps is beyond me.

This pair of Osprey is particularly industrious.  Not only do they have a comfy nest, but they’ve added a 3’ x 3’ deck fabricated out of quality lumber to enhance their homestead.  Now don’t be fooled into thinking that these birds built this deck all by themselves.  No doubt they purchased it at Hammond Lumber Company and took advantage of the pre-assembly and “free delivery within striking distance” options offered by this Maine lumberyard.  What’s surprising is that the Freeport code enforcement officer didn’t require the birds to install a railing around the platform since it sits about 75 feet off the ground.

There’s a cardinal rule in bird photography (no pun intended) that the eye of the bird nearest to the camera must be sharp.  Not such a big deal when the birds are out relaxing on their deck but a YUGE challenge when the bird is flying.  Osprey can reach speeds of 30-40 mph and although their bright yellow eyes are impressive, they’re not so easy to follow with a high magnification lens.  My “keeper” rate for this shoot was extremely low.  Thankfully, pixels are free!

I plan to return to Wolf Neck again soon but first I think I’ll sharpen up my bird in flight tracking skills by practicing on seagulls.  They’re plentiful and make easy targets – especially when they’re clamming.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Shoot Until You See the Yellow of Their Eyes

  1. These are great Dan! I saw one flying onto the nest at Taste of Maine when we drove by. Seeing ur pics, much more impressive.

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