Eleven Mile and a 2x Converter

Had an opportunity to borrow a Canon 2.0x III teleconverter yesterday so I immediately thought of the eagles nest at Eleven Mile Canyon which has always been just out of reach for a good crop with my little 1.4x converter and 400mm lens. As I drove into the park area I didn’t see any eagles at the nest so I cruised on into the canyon in search of the osprey and blue heron and hopefully even the juvenile baldies.

Great Blue Heron at Eleven Mile Canyon

Didn’t see the osprey or the peregrines near the entrance so I motored upstream searching the banks of the river and nearby trees where I have seen the great birds many times. Eventually I spotted a blue heron in a tree, mostly just taking a nap, but looking up every once in while for possible threats. Unfortunately he was on the dark side of the river and with the 2x which introduces a two stop loss of light, my ISO values at a shutter speed of even just 1/800th of a second were up around 10k to even a less workable 12,800k. There was so much noise in the preview that I really couldn’t even tell if I had the image in focus. Oh, forgot to mention, with the 2x I’m limited to F11 and my Canon 90D won’t autofocus with a lens combination smaller than F8.

Osprey at Eleven Mile CanyonUnfortunately I didn’t get another opportunity to photograph until I had been all the way up the canyon and almost back out, when I finally spotted a large bird across the river resting in a dead tree. A quick glance through my long lens verified that the bird was an osprey so I rested my camera on the window frame of my truck and captured a few images. Eventually the beautiful hawk took flight and I was lucky to be ready, capturing a few images of him as he flew off with a fish in his sharp talons.

I quickly exchanged the 2x for the 1.4x which allows for only one stop of light loss and auto focused on his flight against the beautiful blue Colorado sky πŸ™‚ Later as I looked through my images it appears as though the tree the osprey was using to eat his breakfast could be a good candidate for a nest next spring. I hope she or he was taking good notes, it’s going to be a long winter down in the tropics before they return again to breed next spring!

Osprey at Eleven Mile CanyonHappy with my captures I departed the canyon, taking a quick look one more time for the peregrines on the cliffs of the canyon entrance. The eagles nest once again appeared to be empty, but I decided to put the 2x back on to do a magnification check against the 1.4x, just to see what it would be like to watch the nest a bit closer. As I peered through the lens and monkeyed with the focus ring I spotted one of the juvi’s in a tree a few yards behind the nest. I snapped a couple shots of him and decided to go down to the river bank for a closer look.

I grabbed my big tripod with the heavy duty Vanguard ball head and took a better look. Just as I got focused the third young bald eagle flew right in front of the other two and landed in the nest. Quick reactions resulted in a pretty amazing capture of all three of the offspring in one frame drawn in close with the 2x converter πŸ™‚

Juvenile Bald Eagles

So I have to say it was a pretty happy day in the canyon with good images of a great blue heron (taken with the 1.4x), the osprey and the young bald eagles!

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! I should mention at this time that this blog post is not sponsored by Canon or any other firm. All equipment used in the making of the blog and video have been purchased by me on my own volition.

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

Went out to check on the eaglets the other day, hadn’t been there in a while. As I pulled into the parking area at sunrise I caught a brief glimpse of on of the adults flying into the fog, leaving one juvi behind on the nest.

Heavy rains as of late have resulted in lush vegetation and a full flowing river. Unfortunately to go with it is a bumper crop of mosquitoes which I am still paying for days later with a number of itchy welts on my fingers from no more than five minutes on the river bank.

Kevin and I quickly retreated to higher ground and decided upon a drive up the canyon in hopes of locating the other two juvenile baldies.

Long story short, the baldies are doing fine and are happily flying about, exploring their newly discovered world πŸ™‚ We had several sightings and we’re able to capture quite a few nice images.

So two of the three eaglets are flying, which is pretty good. I imagine by the time I get out there again, all three will be airborne!

Major Change of Focus

Seems like forever since I have written a blog, other than making note of new videos I have created. Not that I haven’t been shooting… of course I’ve been blazing away as usual! It’s just that I have been concentrating on my Youtube Channel more than ever. I recently made a Facebook post and one of my longtime friends commented, “Where have you been all this time!”, and of course I’ve been happily posting away like there’s no tomorrow. The sad reality is that my main source of exposure has been a miserable failure. I have noticed that when I post I get a few likes from the same dozen or so people which could mean a couple of things… It could mean I have a dedicated core group of fans, or it could mean that Facebook has decided that this small group are the only individuals who are going to see my posts. The comment from my long time friend leads me to believe the latter.

Coyote Cold Stare

Hence the reason for my change of focus to my Youtube Channel. From my analytics data I can see a direct correlation between hard work and results. The more videos I create and the harder I work on creating quality content, the more views I get. Eventually views become income. I can see a return on investment. With my Facebook posting I am just beating my head against the wall, you know the old saying… Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

I have also begun work on a new social media platform, S.W. Krull Imaging is now up and running on Patreon, another platform that doesn’t actively squelch it’s own creators. I don’t really enjoy writing in great detail about the techniques and equipment that I employ in my photography and video but I do get a lot of questions about those details. I have decided to devote my Patreon posts to more detailed information for my customers that are truly interested in that and willing to commit to financially supporting my work. And the beauty of Patreon is their support of their own creators ability to reward followers. My followers there are rewarded with beautiful merchandise and monthly rewards for their support including digital and physical prints. Please visit my channel there and discover the details of this new exciting arrangement!

Of course my WordPress blog will continue to be my main hub of operations as well as home for the S.W. Krull Imaging domain! Visitors here will continue to have links to my newest and best creations including access to my main print and stock image portals. This beautiful coyote image is my latest creation and there is a whole story behind the creation of this image. I hope you will visit S.W. Krull Imaging on Patreon for this exclusive story!

Also learn how this juvenile bald eagle image was resurrected from the digital noise of a high ISO early morning shot!

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Watch “Colorado Wildlife Photography Eagles, Heron and Deer in the Fog” on YouTube

Come with me on a foggy video journey in Eleven Mile Canyon Colorado and enjoy a herd of deer crossing the river, a beautiful great blue heron, and a family of bald eagles in HD video!

Also be sure to visit and support my Patreon channel! Exclusive content and free gifts for subscribing, monthly benefits for supporting the channel include exclusive content and images!

Eaglet Watch

The eaglets at Eleven Mile Canyon are getting big! Spent a good amount of time the other day watching them and I created this video, especially for new members of the Eleven Mile Canyon Facebook Group from Standby Lake who have lost their nest.

Hope you enjoy the video!!!

Wildlife Photography in the Canyon Stunning News

I set out this morning for an ordinary wildlife photo shoot in Eleven Mile Canyon. As I entered the area I spotted both bald eagles on the nest but opted to continue on up the canyon in hopes of something new. There was no obvious action at the osprey nest as I cruised by, so I continued upstream in hopes of spotting an eagle or a great blue heron fishing along the headwaters of the South Platte River.

Osprey in the Canyon

Unfortunately I made it all the way to the big dam at Eleven Mile Reservoir without seeing a thing, took a short break and headed back downstream. As I neared the twin tunnels I thought I spotted a large bird on top of a tree high on the opposite bank.Β  This is a very narrow and high stretch of the dirt road so it was difficult to locate a spot wide enough to stop… but I finally found a place next to a clearing in the tall pines. Sure enough, a bird on a tree… closer inspection through the big lens showed it to be an osprey. Great, I thought! I have discovered where the osprey like to hang out and fish! Something I’ve been searching for without success for some time!

Osprey in the Canyon

I aimed my camera out the window and took a couple of still shots and then waited for the flight. Unfortunately, the flight came but I failed to properly focus and the shots were a bust. I watched the raptor fly downstream and I thought I spotted where he found a new tree. As I arrived at the new location I was surprised to observe a second osprey flying in. The first osprey upon spotting the second puffed out his chest and flapped his wings. My guess was this must be some kind of greeting or a show of happiness to alert the other one to his location.

I was surprised to see the second one because I am fairly convinced that the mother osprey is sitting on eggs and it would be highly unlikely for her to leave them unless there was already a failure to produce results. After a bit they both flew off and I continued my journey downstream. I saw one of them high on a tree on top of the opposite ridge but I didn’t stop as he was way out of range of my 400mm lens.

Osprey in the Canyon

Eventually I was back at the nest where there was no obvious action. I decided to climb to my vantage point anyway, hoping to see mother osprey still sitting on eggs. As I observed the nest I thought I could see a couple of black feathers sticking above the rim of the nest but I couldn’t be sure if they were moving or if the wind was just blowing them. Eventually I was happy to see the white head of the female moving around between the loose sticks on the top of the nest.

Then I heard a familiar screech… Father osprey was sitting on a dead tree about 50 yards downstream. Hmmm… I didn’t see any of the osprey flying downstream, could there be four osprey in the canyon? As I look over the pictures I’m inclined to think so, the ones that I photographed upstream have a young look about them. I know that yearlings aren’t supposed to return from down south for a couple more years, but could it be that last year’s pair have returned to the canyon? Or perhaps these two have raised chicks in other years that are finally ready to return. Perhaps they are a migrating pair looking for a suitable place to nest. Anyway, it is quite an exciting event to have more than one pair of osprey in the area!

Osprey in the Canyon

I was lucky to snap a couple of images of the male osprey flying up to check on his mate before he took up his normal post high above the nest where he can watch for predators. I would have stayed longer but there is another winter storm moving into Colorado and in the shade on that cold rock in the canyon I was starting to get pretty chilled so I decided to move downstream to check on the bald eagles.

Along the way I heard quite a chirping commotion from the rocks along the river so of course I had to pull over and investigate. Standing proudly on a boulder out in the middle of the stream was a cute little grey bird known to us in these parts as an American Dipper. They are amazing little birds that sit on the rocks or along the shore looking for small fish. Occasionally you will see them submerge in

American Dipper

the water and come up with a prize.Β  I’ve seen them swim underwater for several feet while chasing their prey. They are quite fun to photograph and one of these days when they are particularly active I am going to capture some video footage so everyone can see these sturdy little birds in action !

Both eagles were on the nest when I pulled in but while I was getting my camera ready the father eagle flew off.Β  Then to my consternation the mother was nowhere to be found either. I observed the nest for a bit as one of the little ones was stretching his stubby wings… flight is already on his mind πŸ™‚ Soon I spotted the second chick and then… there he was, a third eaglet. We have three growing eagle chicks in one nest! The turkey vultures overhead began to worry me a bit and then all of a sudden mama eagle Three Bald Eagletsflew in out of the trees. She was never far off after all and soon the vultures were circling the mountains from a much more comfortable distance. This was the best photograph I could get of the three little birds, catching them at all at a distance of probably 100 yards is a surprise to me! I watched for a while until I began to worry that one was going to get shoved out of the nest. I know it is unlikely that all three will survive to flight but I didn’t want to be the one to witness the inevitable unfortunate event 😦

So it was a stunning morning indeed. We may have another osprey nesting pair and hopefully three new eagles will be catching some air in about 10 weeks!

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! I should mention at this time that this blog post is not sponsored by Canon or any other firm. All equipment used in the making of the blog and video have been purchased by me on my own volition.

Bald Eagle and Eaglets

Β 

Exciting Bald Eagle Developments

So yesterday was a huge day, well obviously the huge day came a bit earlier but it was huge day for me! Eagle fans from all around the area have been eagerly awaiting news on the new eaglets in Eleven Mile Canyon. So yesterday I piled my gear in the old Dodge and headed for the canyon. The first place I went when I got there is my favorite eagle viewing area down on the banks of the South Platte River.

Bald Eagles with Eaglets

When I arrived both adult eagles were at the nest and I snapped a few pictures. Unfortunately I missed the father eagle’s flight out of the nest but I stayed to see what else may develop in the beautiful meadow across the river. Every once in a while I would aim my camera back at the mother eagle who seemed to be feeding the little tykes. Much to my surprise the little guy popped his head up over the rim of the nest in his quest for another bite from mama. Awesome… I was positive that there was going to be an eaglet to watch grow throughout the summer. Later on I heard a rumor that there were actually two eaglets and when I got my video clips home I was happily surprised to see that I had actually captured proof that there would be two babies this year!

Osprey Nesting Pair

From there I ventured over to the dam and then on to the osprey nest where I found mama osprey deep down in the nest… presumably busy hatching eggs. Last year she too hatched and raised two osprey chicks. I was a bit concerned because I hadn’t seen the father osprey in a few weeks so I climbed the opposite bank and sat on my favorite rock to observe. Much to my relief the father showed up after a few minutes to deliver a stick to the nest. He worked with the stick a bit and then took off again. This time I was ready for a picture so I was able to get a nice capture of him taking flight, now available on my website for purchase as wall art.

I rounded my day out with a few more minutes watching the eagles, which were both back at the nest when I returned. This time I was lucky enough to get some captures of the father eagle in flight as he soared overhead before heading downstream on another fishing trip.

Red-Winged Blackbird

I’m really happy with the results of this outing, several nice captures of the great raptors plus a couple of nice shots of the newly arrived red-winged blackbirds πŸ™‚ I also captured enough video footage to create a nice Youtube video of the action, including the sighing of both of the new eaglets πŸ™‚Β  So please be sure to visit my channel and leave a like and a subscribe if you enjoy the content!

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! I should mention at this time that this blog post is not sponsored by Canon or any other firm. All equipment used in the making of the blog and video have been purchased by me on my own volition.

Bald Eagles with Eaglets

Springtime in the Rockies Video

Check out my new video, Springtime in the Rockies! Includes some great footage of our osprey nesting pair, a juvenile bald eagle, a greatΒ  blue heron, red-winged blackbirds and more! Please don’t forget to click the thumbs up and subscribe buttons if you enjoy my content!

Osprey in Eleven Mile Canyon

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! I should mention at this time that this blog post is not sponsored by Canon or any other firm. All equipment used in the making of the blog and video have been purchased by me on my own volition.