Bald Eagle near Montana Highway 200

A Bald Eagle sits in a tree near Highway 200, close to Heron (Montana).

A Bald Eagle sits in a tree near Highway 200, close to Heron (Montana).

This Bald Eagles in the tree had been with other large birds on the remains of a deer by the side of Montana Highway 200 near Heron (Montana).  The time this photograph was taken at 1:28 p.m. on March 8, 2016.  As I passed the Bald Eagle we made eye contact for a few seconds.  I found a safe place a few miles down the highway to turn around and drove back. I then quietly parked the car, quietly exited and closed the door without moving to quickly.  The Bald Eagle flew up into the tree in the photograph here and remained there for about thirty minutes, allowing me to capture nine high quality photographs.  (The camera and lens settings for this photo: ISO 200, White Balance was cloudy, F4.5, 1/250 shutter, handheld, lens IS setting was turned ON.)

I had my 70-200mm F4 IS Canon L lens attached to my Rebel XS camera, which is often my main camera and lens combination most days.  I usually preset the following on my camera; 200 ISO, AV–( Aperature Priority), RAW photo mode, White Balance, make sure the battery has a full charge, and keep the memory card either half empty or able to record the maximum capacity based on the card and camera settings.  (I format the memory card often after transfer of photos to my computer.).  With the telephoto zoom I preset the IS to ON, the AF is set to ON, and Mode 2 is selected.   The key to capturing wildlife is to be scanning the sides of the highway as you drive, keep the camera near you, make sure you have the time, be careful and  safely find a place to stop and do the photography so you do not negatively impact the wildlife and traffic.

What wildlife do you enjoy photographing?  Do you have a favorite telephoto lens that is often attached to your camera? What items do you preset on your camera and lens?  What time of day do you often see and photograph the wildlife in your area?  Is your camera in your car beside you when you are driving to work or other places?


About Douglas Wilks Photography

I am an advanced photographer who lives in western Montana. I create a variety of strong images using a DSLR, computer, and digital software. I am available for hire for full time, part time, or projects. Most of my images are of landscapes, still life, and events. I am always looking to improve my skills, network of friends and professionals, and portfolio. I look forward to creating new friends, contacts, and others who are interested in photography.
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