Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Out of the Blue

Ah, camera trapping. Always full of surprises.

You just never know who might stop by, or drop in.

Such as this handsome couple at one of my study sites on the San Mateo Coast.

golden eagles

Based on the larger size and thickness of drumstick, I'd say the one on the left is likely a female, and the one on the right a male.

But also note the white on their tails, suggesting younger, 2nd or 3rd year birds.

Young romance, perchance?

golden eagle

golden eagle

golden eagle

But why in the world did they land right there??

Because it's a hilltop and a windy day?

To check out the badgery-looking burrows the cam trap is watching?

Or, did they see a tasty snack in the scurry zone of the ecotone?

golden eagle

Whatever the reason, they're always welcome.




  1. Awesome shots! I imagine that's not a bird that meets a camera trap very often if there is no carcass in sight.

    1. Yep, as you top birders know, "the eagle has landed" is a rarely shouted saying unless a bloated, sun-cured cow is involved.

  2. With the fuss about the crested caracara visiting the San Mateo coast and after listening to Allan Savory talk last night at the POST Wallace Stegner lecture about predators causing livestock to 'mob graze', I'm wondering if we are seeing the start of gradual changes in our local ranches. The return of yet different adaptations of pumas, badgers, golden eagles, and so on. Could be interesting research over the next few decades. Glad you are documenting it.

  3. How fortunate to get two in one photo -- and a really nice photo it is.

  4. Nice pics of the goldens. What kind of camera? I am using Bushnell Trophy Cam HD cameras in the field and they take decent photos but I am always interested in better. The eagles in the photos are in their second year (i.e. last year's babies) based on the two new central tail feathers and the lighter upper wing coverts. I have some photos posted as well at my Facebook site Facebook.com/WildlifeConsultingAndPhotography. Cheers

  5. You got a couple in capture.It is very beautiful and rare one .The hill is so nice


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