I talked to other wildlife photographers today during a meeting of the Dubuque Camera Club and everybody agreed, it wasn’t the best winter season to photograph the iconic Bald Eagle along the Mississippi River. The reasons may vary. December last year was very mild and they may have stayed up north but even during January and February we didn’t see very many, except for the ones who stay here all year long. However, last weekend, with the ice on the Mississippi breaking apart, it was no problem finding eagles along the river. This makes me believe that the birds who went further south just move back to Minnesota or Canada again, following the receding ice.
These two photos were made at the boat landing in Sabula, Iowa. Earlier, an hour before these pictures were taken, I drove over the bridge to Savannah, Illinois and saw a number of Bald Eagles feeding on the ice, or at least arguing about who owns the fish. The fish was long gone before I came back and aimed my lens at the one eagle who was still there. Two American Crows owned the spot now and ate what was left of the meal.
I used the DX mode on the Nikon D750 for the first picture and still cropped the image slightly to frame the scene closer. Not ideal, but I liked the storytelling in the photo and thought a closer crop would work better. The second pic was shot full frame (FX mode) but was cropped slightly for esthetic reasons.
All images: Nikon D750, Sigma 150-600mm / f5-6.3 DG OS HSM S