I’m going to spend this week featuring some of my personal favorites in various categories that I shot or processed in 2021 and we’ll begin the week with eagles and other raptors … winged predators including bald eagles which are apex predators and other hawks and falcons. The two featured photos are of juvi bald eagles that I shot at Lake Pleasant this year, bald eagles do not get the white heads and tail feathers until they are about five years old … links will take you to other photos of eagles, hawks and falcons that I shot this year and consider them worthy of hanging in my house … oh that I had any wall space left … with 73 windows in the house, internal wall space is a little limited.
The top bald eagle is a juvi that is just leaving his perch on top of a rocky ridge overlooking the lake. This shot was taken just as his talons were leaving the perch and he is reaching for a very powerful second wing beat as he enters flight.
The lower shot shows another view of a juvi leaving a similar perch three months after the first shot and in this shot he is just midway through his first wing beat and leap … talons are ready to lift off and all the flight feathers there to behold … might be the same eagle, do not know as there were three juveniles that we saw during the year.
I love these shots because they clearly show the alula feathers on the wings. The alula is a small group of feathers on the leading edge of the wing at the wrist of the wing. It is thought that this grouping of feathers has a purpose similar to leading edge slats on wings or help insure a laminar type flow of air over the wing.
For sailplanes we used a zigzag tape placed on the upper surface of the wing just ahead of the air flow separation point to lift and re-adhere the airflow to the wing and achieved increased performance as a result. To find the separation point we would spread oil on the wing, go fly and after landing you could see where the airflow separated from the wing and then place the zigzag/turbulator tape just in front of that … I only did that a couple of times because it is pretty messy. The article is quite fascinating and I hope you will take the time to give it a quick read.
Here are a few more raptors that you may remember and are among my favorites for the year.
Harris’s Hawk – Coopers Hawk – Peregrine Falcon – Osprey – Red-tailed Hawk –American Kestrel – Black Hawk – Great Horned Owl
I hope that your day was beautiful … tomorrow will be devoted to replying to the many emails I have received, but not yet answered … I do try and your patience is appreciated. Also time to fix a small leak I have picked up in Knot Yacht … something about unexpected rocky sand bars just inches below the surface. The propeller looks like it has been through a war zone … such is the result of using it to drive through mere inches of water before you realize you have run out of water.
Smile, we are still here and life is a joy … the friendship of humans and critters and all of nature.
Whatever else you do or forbear
impose upon yourself the task of happiness;
and now and then abandon yourself
to the joy of laughter.
excerpt from whatever else You Do by Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: email@example.com
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
More about Ted Grussing …