Saturday, May 9, 2009

Camera Critters #57

One of the most popular spots in central Oregon, is Smith Rock State Park, located about 10 miles north of Redmond. It's a favored spot for hikers and rock climbers, along with wildlife watchers.

I've gone to the park more times than I can remember. During the Spring, I have a special reason for going to there. I go to the park for what is on Monument Rock.

If you click on the image below (it may take a while to load on some connections) and look close, you'll see a Golden Eagle's nest on the wall. Draw a line to the right, from the spot where the sky meets the land on the left side. Near the center part of the rocks, you'll see the nest.

The best view of the nest is on the rimrock along the opposite side of the canyon from the nest. The nest is about a quarter mile away. When I visited the nest area Tuesday, I found a single adult on the nest. I waited around for the other to show, but it didn't while I was there.

Then Friday, I stopped by the area again, and this time I found an empty nest. Knowing the adults would not leave the nest for too long, I sat down on a basalt rock pillar and waited. Every once in a while, a Turkey Vulture or two would drift by and give me hopes of the eagles showing until I recognized what species I was looking at. Then, about 15 minutes after I sat down, I was opening my snack when from low below the nest, one of the adults swooped up and landed on the left side. I grabbed my camera and was in time to catch the second adult heading to the nest.

The eagle approaches the edge of the nest.

And lands with stretched wings.

Then both eagles stood on the nest. By this time, I had lowered my camera and was watching the nest with binoculars in an attempt to see what was going on. As I watched, the eagle on the left dropped into the nest and at the same time, the other dropped off the side of the nest and flew along the canyon walls for a short distance before gaining altitude and disappearing over the top on the opposite side.

I've been to the park many times to see the eagles coming and going. This was the first time I was actually able to see both birds go to the nest.

If you would like to see more Camera Critters, just drop by the website here run by Misty Dawn and then join in the fun with an entry of your own.


Juliana RW said...

wow...nice shots. Lucky you found them.

My entry this week: in HERE. I hope that you can stop by as well. Thanks

Karen said...

Those are amazing shots !!!

Must have been incredible sitting there and watching them.

Misty Dawn said...

As you already know - I thinks this is SO awesome, and I'm really glad you got the opportunity to get these photos!

Martha (FL) said...

Very cool. I hope one day to have the chance to just sit and watch nature unfold in front of my camera!

My Camera Criiters.

Snap said...

How exciting!

Ladynred said...

Wow! that's neat nest in the rocks. I bet you enjoyed watching the EAGLES.

Tammy said...

Wow, those are awesome! Very cool!

b13 said...

A lot of birdies this week :) Great captures!

Cecelia---Sis---Mom said...

WOW, what an awesome experience. Beautiful shots.


Janie said...

Your photos are way cool. We saw a nest we assumed was a golden eagle's this s pring, but it wasn't inhabited that we could tell. The location was a lot like in your photos, though -- inaccessible except by bird, skilled climber with ropes, or maybe helicopter!

Mattyboy said...

Wow, that is so cool, you must have a great camera to get shots like that

Tulip said...

what a fantastic view of their love nest. happy weekend.