Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I try not to leave the house without my camera and I can't tell you how many times that has made ALL the difference in my day and here at Pure Florida.

Yesterday, after doing almost all of my Christmas shopping online, I was missing some of the hustle and bustle that used to drive me crazy ... before online shopping.
Maybe I should actually "GO" shopping.

So, with the pressure off, I cleaned up and set out for Gainesville to join the herds.

I didn't think there would be time to do any critter photography, but I brought the camera anyway.
As it turns out, Miss Sara N. Dippity was riding along with me as I pulled out of our driveway.
Not more than a half-mile from drive, three bald eagles were working on a dead hog.
It's common this time of year for hog and deer hunters to leave a stripped carcass along the wooded roadsides out here on the frontier.

As I approached, all but one of the eagles flew off.
I slowed, reminded myself that this one would fly too, ... probably as soon as I turned on my camera.

I turned it on anyway.
In the seat next to me, Sara smiled sweetly.
Was it pity?

I pulled over across and down from the eagle. Better a cropped, zoomed, through the windshield shot than nothing at all.

The eagle seemed much more concerned about his dead hog meal than me, so I unzipped the JEEP window and poked the lens out.

Still there.

I shot a bunch, then decided to move closer.
When the JEEP rumbled to life again, I just KNEW that eagle would take flight.

Still there.

Three times I moved the JEEP, ... each time, getting a little bit closer with a little bit better light angle.

The eagle kept an eye on me, but continued his pulled pork dinner.

I shot 124 photos, and a handful of video clips, including the one below.
Now, I'm not going to throw a hundred shots up here and run y'all off, so I think we'll save some of the close-up feeding action shots for another post.

I was pretty stoked after the encounter.


robin andrea said...

Wow! What a fantastic lucky encounter. Your Christmas present, and now mine too! Thanks for that.

Amy said...

Awesome encounter, but I sure hope that beauty is careful so close to the road! Eek. Can't wait to see more pics. :) Merry Christmas!

threecollie said...

Merry Christmas FC, fantastic video and photos. I have never been that close to an eagle.

Sayre said...

I love it when Sara rides shotgun!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Well, my Christmas present is sitting in the JEEP with you watching an eagle with her(? she looks huge and broad-shouldered to me) PIGGY PUDDING!! That got two cackles and three (count 'em) snorts from non-snake Zick. Three snorts: very rare.

Also quite endearing that you are shopping online on Dec. whatever...doubtless allowing Amazon to extort Expedited Shipping from you, but hey, I hear you. Christmas is like that for a lot of GUYS.

You just made a bird lady's day!

Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family.

Dina said...

What an amazing sighting. Loved the video. This should go on youtube as "Why you shouldn't shop on line. Go outside."

Mary said...

A gift, indeed! Merry Christmas and thanks for the hearty laughs!

Rockster said...

Wow! Those are amazing photos!!!
Good job FC!

Pablo said...

Great opportunity. Glad you shared it with us.

Thunder Dave said...

Sorry I'll have to go back and watch it again, I was captivated by the fact that it's warm enough that the flies were still buzzing around! ;-)

Doug Taron said...

What an amazing encounter! We now have a couple of bald eagles along the river near my house. I haven't seen one yet, but I keep hoping.

Mrs. Irizarry said...

Such fierce, glorious beauty!

lisa said...

Now that is just too awesome for words!! I could of watched the video over and over all day!

cinbad122 said...


Rose Petals Nursery said...

Mr. FC, you truly outdid yourself on this one!!! I don't blame you one bit for being sooo stoked, thank you so much for sharing! Loved it!!!!!!! :)

Miz S said...

Beautiful!!! I love it. Good thing you keep that camera charged and handy.

edifice rex said...

DANG!!! an eagle!!! dang...did I say dang?!! Wow!

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

Very cool! You and Sara are great together.

Merry Christmas to you and your whole gang.


PS You crack me up too..

Caroline said...

Pulled pork dinner never looked so good!
Sara and Santy Claus must have put you right at the top of their NICE list!

Floridacracker said...

Sorry I didn't gift wrap it ... too many talons. Glad you liked it.

I know, that's my concern also. I do see road killed vultures, even lost a windshield to one myself, but the eagles ... never. I hope it stays that way.

This is my closest too, unless you count one who soared over me at about ten feet while I was on the Kawasaki.

I am having the passenger seat embossed with her name.

Zick (mammalian Zick),
You know, I almost emailed you for gender input before I posted, but I figured you were on a gadabout or Christmas shopping, painting, etc.
3 snorts ... wow! The pressure is on now.
As for Christmas shopping and Amazon, 2 day free Prime shipping baby! I may still shop there today!
Thanks for the info and thanks a million for the two emails and facebookin'.

Thanks! I want you to know I do read your excellent bird blog, but when I try to comment, I get tossed all over the place. Super photos every day!

Glad you got a tickle! Merry Christmas!

Hey Rockster!
Thanks! And thanks for commenting here at PF! Newbie?

Thanks buddy. I hope you are not snowed in too badly.

Check out the flies on the eagle wings.

You'll have to look up, Bug Man.

Exactly. Intensity.

Thanks! I love our modern dual action cameras!

Well, thank you, thank you very much.

Miz S,
If I don't have 4 sets of AA batteries with me and the camera, I feel naked.
...Not naked maybe, but photographically insecure.

Hey! Yes, you did say dang.
LOL! Good to hear from you.

Thanks and Merry Christmas to you too!

My stocking will be empty except for a note, "Remember that eagle day".