Christmas Weekend

I drove the Quad Cities on Thursday, with plans to photograph eagles. That morning, I set out and at about 11AM, I encountered a super thick ice fog. I could barely see to drive. Had the sun not been shining through the ice fog, I wouldn’t have been able to continue. So this lasted for about 45 minutes or so. At some points, traffic almost stopped due to lack of visibility. It was kinda weird. It was also annoying because the forecast said nothing about an ice fog, and it said the sun was suppose to be out. I arrived at the eagle site around 1PM, to find ZERO eagles. I was shocked. So I went to 2 other locations where I found 2. This was odd for late December. I set out again on Saturday, after the snow storm, and again found ZERO at the main site. This time I went to 3 other sites, and found a total of about 10. Again, very odd. Finally on Sunday I went to the main site, and found about 4 eagles there, but they weren’t moving. There were many eagles flying upriver, but they weren’t landing. Just circling high above. I was there for over an hour, and never saw an eagle dive for fish. I don’t know where they went, because I’ve seen photographs from other photographers from that site this year? I guess I’ll try again later. 🙂

I did encounter some new bird species today though. More to add to my life list. I saw a handful of Greater Scoups in breeding colors, and some Canvasbacks. One of my favorite waterfowl species is the Hooded Merganser, and there were a handful of them too.




American Art Glass Showroom

Today I made my first really substantial sale of a nature/wildlife print.  It was a bald eagle photograph.  I’ve had nature/wildlife prints in a couple of retail locations for some time, and today, at the American Art Glass Showroom in Naperville, IL, I sold the image below for $200.  My largest single sale to date!  The print was a 20×30 print, double matted and nicely framed in a simple oak frame at 24×36.  Special thanks to the American Art Glass Showroom for their efforts in making this sale happen.  To see more of Night Owl Photography’s work, visit them at 605 E. Odgen Avenue #2, Naperville, IL  60563



Illinois Birding Map

I’ve had this map for a few years now, and for all that time, it’s been a private map.  A couple years ago, I started working at a camera store, and started giving out the private URL to this map to some of my customers to help them find good places to photograph eagles and other birds.  I just recently realized that those customers must have been forwarding or posting this link on the internet because it’s been viewed thousands and thousands of times!  So I figured I’d post it here and make it truly public for everyone. 

This map has all of the locations I frequent for birding in northern Illinois and surrounding areas.  It includes example photographs taken at the locations marked on the map, and there are even a couple of videos included on some of the marked locations.  I update this map on a continuous basis, so if you want to bookmark it, you can always come back to it. 

If you find this useful, please let me know with a comment!

Press Release: American Bald Eagle Calendar 2010

For immediate release:

American Bald Eagle Calendar

Night Owl Photography Releases 2nd Annual
Quad Cities Eagles Calendar


Suburban Chicago, IL – 25 Sep 2009 – Midwest area photographer Richard Nagle of Night Owl Photography has published his highly anticipated second annual Quad Cities Eagles Calendar for 2010 on, the online market place for digital content. 

 Mr. Nagle spent many of the coldest winter days of 2009, in warm weather gear, photographing eagles, when everyone else was inside staying warm.  Through many hours of editing, composing, and writing, Mr. Nagle created next years high demand calendar in plenty of time to purchase for the holidays. 

 Sheila Johnson says “You know we have a house full of Eagle stuff!! So of course he had to have your calender!”

 Mr. Nagle’s Quad Cities Eagle Calendar is composed of photographs taken entirely in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois.  Mr. Nagle’s ability to capture moving eagles, and literally freeze them in time is stunning.  Magazine worthy images mark each page of his calendar.  The Quad Cities Eagles Calendar is not just a collection of images though.  Unlike most self published calendars, Mr. Nagle has added his own personal touch to each of the images, by including month titles and eagle facts on each months images.

 Mr. Nagle says “I’ve been photographing the American Bald Eagle on the Mississippi Riverway in the Quad Cities for many years now, and I’ve finally learned enough about eagles, photography, and light, to be able to get the images I want.  This calendar is my American Bald Eagle portfolio for your home, for a steal of a price.”

 Mr. Nagle’s calendar can be ordered at at the following link:

# # # is the premier marketplace for digital content on the
Internet, with over 300,000 recently published titles, and more than 4,000 new
titles added each week, created by people in 80 different countries. Lulu is
changing the world of publishing by enabling the creators of books, video,
periodicals, multimedia and other content to publish their work themselves with
complete editorial and copyright control. With Lulu offices in the US, Canada the
UK and Europe, Lulu customers can reach the globe.

Richard Nagle is sole proprietor and owner of Night Owl Photography.  Richard learned his craft from his father, and godfathers as a young teen.  Richard’s favorite tools of the trade are his Nikon D300, and his Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Lens.  Night Owl Photography can be located online at

Quad Cities Eagles Calendar for 2010

calendar2010-june-blogThis years Quad Cities Eagles Calendar is a collection of my American Bald Eagle images taken entirely in 2009, in the Quad Cities region of Iowa/Illinois.  If you’re someone who likes my eagle photography, this is the best way for you to get a collection of my best eagle images for 1 cheap price.  I try to make my calendars stand out from others that you see online, by adding eagle facts, trivia, and other information to the calendar pages.  I also name each image with it’s corresponding month, so that it’s easily noticable.  Some of the images in this calendar have never been seen in this form before, so you’ll be getting something really unique from me.  After you click the link below, you’ll be able to preview the calendar pages on the Lulu website.  I hope you like it. 

If you have friends, family, or know anyone who might like a copy of my calendar, please feel free to cross post the link to my blog, or the direct link to the calendar.  I’d really love your help in getting the word out for this years calendar, since I’ve gotten it done in plenty of time for Christmas, and the new year.  Thanks for your help everyone!

Earth Day Bald Eagle Report

I got up at 5AM today, Earth Day, before the sun, so I could be on the road by 6PM.  I made the 2 hour drive to the eagles nest site that I’ve been to each year for the last 3 years during nesting season.  Minutes after I arrived at about 8:30, one of the local regular eagle watchers arrived.  Ray, a guy I had met each of the last 2 years while watching eagles here.  He informed me of some sad news.  Ray said the locals believe that the baby eagles did not survive the heavy snow storm we had in the first days of April.  After that heavy storm, the parents abandoned the nest for a while.  After a little more than a week, they started hanging around the nest, and then started to add material to the nest again.  (This is referred to as “nesting”, and it’s the precursor to mating.)  He said they’ve been adding to the nest sporatically ever since, but that the eagles don’t stay at the nest for any length of time anymore.  They bring a branch, drop it off, and fly away.  Shortly after he told me this story, one of the eagles did exactly that.  I got a few photographs of his visit, but that’s all for the whole day.  The hope is that they eagles are “nesting” again, and may even mate again, producing more eggs.  Let’s hope.

Michael, Dad, and Me

Michael, Dad, and Me

Shortly after the eagles visit to the nest, my dad arrived and I helped him get his camera setup.  Then one of my customers from Calumet arrived too.  We sat around for a few hours and the eagle never came back, so my dad and I left to grab some lunch. 

On my way home, the weather was so nice that I didn’t want to go back to my apartment, so I stopped at a heron rookery in Joliet that I’ve been to before.  It’s mating season for many more species of bird including herons and egrets, which populate this rookery in the hundreds or thousands during mating season.  Well, it’s not quite at capacity I think, but there were quite a few herons, egrets, cormorants, ducks, griebs, geese, and a turtle.  I got my best photos yet of a great blue heron while I was there.  I had been sitting still on the edge of a small cliff in my camo and this great blue heron appeared from behind an island flying right towards me.  He landed on a branch not 20 feet away.  I don’t think he saw me until he heard my camera shutter, and then he flew away.  Camera manufactures need to make a SILENT SHUTTER!  🙂  There was a cute little turtle sunning himself that I got some pictures of too. 

So below is the link to todays photographs.  I hope you like them.  Now I have to prepare for tomorrows adventure.  Investigating a new coopers hawk nest in a tree across the street from my best friends house!!!  She said that today 2 coopers hawks were building a nest in this tree, and one of them did a low fly by not 10 feet from her, and at eye level.  Cool!



Photography Training – Photographing An Eagle’s Nest

Today was my day off this week, and the weather appeared to be co-operating, so I made the 2.5 hour trip south to photograph my favorite eagle’s nest.  I arrived about 10AM, which I realized was pretty late.  I’ve never made the trip prior to DST kicking in, so the sun was high in the sky when I got there instead of just peeking over the trees on the hill behind me.  The best light at this site is in the morning as the sun comes over the hill behind you when you’re sitting at the eagle blind. 

So there was 1 eagle, I presume it was the female, in the nest when I got there, but you could barely see the top of her head.  I believe she is incubating eggs at this point.  Anyway, I got all setup, took a seat for a while, and watched through my binoculars.  Nothing was happening, so I decided to work on a project that I’ve been considering for some time now.  I got out my video camera, and began filming myself for a tips and tricks video.  You can view it in this blog entry.  I welcome your comments on this video.  It’s a new thing for me, and I was sort of nervous at first.  I hope it is helpful to some of you. 


A couple of people stopped by for a short time, but still nothing was happening.  At one point, we saw the male approach the nest, perhaps to say “honey I’m home”, but when he got near, the female replied with a “get lost” screech and he flew away never to return during my stay. 

I was there for a total of about 4.5 hours, and saw no real activity.  I think that while the eggs are incubating, the nest will be quiet of activity.  Once the babies hatch, the adults will be hunting quite frequently to feed them, so my next trip will probably be towards the end of March.