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.

 

www.nightowlphotography.com

 

 

Calendar Sale! 40% Off!!! 2011 Bald Eagle Calendar

Lulu Press is offering 40% off for my 2011 Quad Cities Bald Eagle Calendar!  That’s insane!!!  Take advantage of this before they realize their insanity!  

“This American Bald Eagle Calendar, is a collection of American Bald Eagle images photographed entirely in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois. I hope that my bald eagle calendar sets itself apart from other bald eagle calendars out there. I’ve spent a great deal of time in the design and composition of this calendar, for you to enjoy throughout the year. I encourage you to preview the calendar, and flip through the pages to see how my calendar is unique. I hope you like it.”

 Use code “CALENDARVIP305” during checkout.
 
http://www.lulu.com/product/calendar/quad-cities-bald-eagle-calendar-2011/13407056

 

Quad Cities Bald Eagle Photos

Last Thursday I took what will probably be my last trip to the Quad Cities for bald eagle photography this season. I actually tried to head down the night before, but got sacked by a pop-up blizzard here in Chicago. Lake effect snow is a pain in the butt! I couldn’t see 5 feet in front of my car due to white out conditions from the snow. So I ended up driving down Thursday morning to arrive around 11:30AM. My dad showed up around 1PM, and we stayed photographing eagles until about 4PM.

It was a picture perfect day for photographing bald eagles. The sun was out all day, the temp was about 30 degrees, and there were plenty of eagles. For the first couple of hours though, there was very little hunting by the eagles. They were mostly kettling high up into the sky on the air currents. Eventually they started to arrive to hunt though, and by about 3PM, there were so many hunting that it became difficult to decide which bird to focus track as they dove, because there were so many. I think the trees they perch in must have had about 30 birds in them by the end of the day. I got some of my best photos this trip, and I even got some good video too. (I’ll be posting that later.)

So at the end of the day, I went home with 650 images on my memory card. After many long hours of reviewing images, and waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting for Photoshop to do it’s thing, I whittled it down to 70 keeper images. Throwing out anything that wasn’t in focus, was a bad pose, had the eagle turned away from the camera, had bad lighting, or whatever. About half of those keepers are posted here on my website, and there are a couple of teasers for you to enjoy in this blog.

Please show your support with a comment on the images or the gallery if you like them. If you REALLY like them, you can buy them to hang on your wall!!! *wink*

Until next season . . . . .

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

calendar2010-june-blog 

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 Lulu.com, 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 Lulu.com at the following link:
http://www.lulu.com/content/lulustudio-calendar/quad-cities-eagles-calendar-2010/7674349

# # # 

Lulu.com 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 http://www.nightowlphotography.com/.

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!

 

http://www.lulu.com/content/lulustudio-calendar/quad-cities-eagles-calendar-2010/7674349

Bald Eagles – Lock and Dam 14 . . . Again

So Thursday of last week, on my day off, my friend Percy and I ventured off to Lock and Dam 14 in LeClaire, IA for some eagle viewing. The weather forecast wasn’t very promising when I went to bed on Wednesday night, but for once, the weather forecasters were wrong in our favor. It was an absolutely beautiful sunny day. Cold, but sunny.
We left my place around 10AM, and arrived at Lock and Dam 14 at or near 1PM. There were eagles in the trees behind us, and we were there all alone for a while. Sweet! So we put on our cold weather gear, get our camera bodies, lenses, and other assorted photographer junk <together, and start taking pictures. We had all kinds of equipment this day. I brought my D300 with my 70-200 2.8, and a 300 2.8 that I rented from Calumet Photographic, my employer (so I got a healthy discount on the rental). Percy brought a 1DMarkII, a 1DsMarkIII, a 300 2.8, and 2 different telescopes! Yes, Percy is an astronomer, and he uses telescopes to photograph nature. He runs the observatory at Harper College in Palatine. He even let me take a couple of photos with the thing. (see image to the right)
My cousin Jon showed up shortly after we arrived, and the 3 of us took photographs all afternoon. Some of the highlights of the day were:
  1. To finally get shots of an eagle having lunch up in a tree, with a blue sky background.
  2. Capturing images of 2 eagles fighting in mid air.
  3. Capturing images of a juvenille eagle trying to carry a fish that weighed more than he did.
  4. Being dive bombed by an adult American Bald Eagle. No kidding, the bird flew right over us, and dropped his fish almost on our heads.

After almost 4 hours of photographing eagles, we finally headed out for gas and food, and then made the drive back home to Chicago. We stopped at Village Inn in Bettendorf, and as we left the restaurant, Percy was trying to take pictures of the I74 bridge as the sun set against it. So I drove across the street, and down to the riverfront where we noticed a gorgeous sunset, complete with a couple of trees to frame it up. Percy got some great sunset shots, some great bridge shots, and even some shots of a barge as it went under the bridge. Then we noticed some snow geese, and they even walked up to the car to get their picture taken!