Another sunrise over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

I've been wanting to shoot a sunrise at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge from this vantage point.  I wasn't expecting a band of dramatic clouds high overhead, but I'm very happy they were there.  Typically I like long exposures to smooth out the surface of the water.  Here I used a fast shutter speed to capture the birds flying in the shot and retain more of the fine detail in the clouds. Sunrise_On_Sunshine_Skyway_Bridge_Over_Tampa_Bay_Florida_IMG_20130919_82.jpg

$5 day at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa

I captured this Bald Eagle shot today at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, which had cut its admission price to $5, a discount it runs a few times a year.  I went once last year on a $5 day and really enjoyed it, so I thought I would take advantage again.  I am pretty happy with some of the photographs I made, despite the big crowds of people around me.  I will share my favorite shots in the coming days. To get this series started, here's a Bald Eagle coming right at me during the birds of prey show:


Bald Eagle lacks table manners!

This adult Bald Eagle returned to feed the family at its nest this morning in Holiday, FL.  The adult is taking a moment for himself to gulp down some fresh fish.  Pardon him chewing with his mouth beak open!  You can see how eager the juvenile Bald Eagle is to get more fish, even though he had already been served first! Bald_Eagle_Eats_Fresh_Fish_In_Its_Nest_As_Juvenile_Watches_In_Holiday_Florida_IMG_1748.jpg


Peacock feather details

This peacock lives down the street from me here in Tampa.  There are actually several of them.  People in the in the neighborhood say the peacocks have lived there for years.  Unfortunately, it seems as though they haven't been around much lately.  I'm not sure if they migrate.  I was thinking of the peacocks and wondering when they might come back.  Hopefully soon.  Here's a shot from my 2012 archives. Peacock_Feather_Details_From_A_Wild_Bird_In_Tampa_Florida_IMG_7265.jpg

Majestic Bald Eagle overlooks his kingdom

A Bald Eagle rests on a tree limb while he overlooks the vast open spaces around him.  You can see fresh bleeding from one of his toes.  I'm not sure what happened to him.  The eagle had been out fishing that morning, and maybe that's how he was injured.  Or it's possible he was cut while working to repair his nest, which is located in Holiday, FL, not far from Tampa.  So powerful and majestic, this eagle probably hasn't even noticed that he's cut. Bald_Eagle_Rests_On_A_Tree_Limb_Under_A_Sunny_Sky_In_Holiday_Florida_IMG_1242.jpg

Bald Eagle and Baby Eaglets nesting in tree

I had seen this Bald Eagle nest once before.  When I set out to take pictures of the mature Bald Eagles living there, I had no idea there were two baby Eaglets there too.  One of the adults had just returned from a fishing trip to feed the babies.  The little Eaglets acted as though they were so hungry and hadn't been fed for days!  But actually they had already been treated to breakfast -- two unlucky fish -- earlier that morning.  These Eaglets were difficult to photograph because they rarely raised their heads high enough out of the nest.  And their dark coloring contrasted against the bright sky, along with shadows from the tree, made getting the proper exposure tougher.  In the end, I was happy with this shot of this Bald Eagle family. Mature_Bald_Eagle_Nests_In_A_Tree_With_Two_Baby_Eaglets_Under_A_Sunny_Sky_In_Holiday_Florida_IMG_1524.jpg

Osprey takes flight

This Osprey takes flight after leaving his perch near the top of a tree.  I took this shot during the morning light in Holiday, Florida.  Ospreys are beautiful creatures in their own right, but they can get overshadowed by the bald eagles here. Ospreys are more common, but their plumage, large talons and grace in flight give them amazing characteristics as well. Osprey_Takes_Flight_Leaving_A_Branch_Under_A_Sunny_Sky_In_Florida_IMG_1223.jpg

Muskovy Duck selective coloring

Here's a picture of a Muskovy Duck featuring selective coloring.  The red wattles around their bills distinguishes these ducks.  I accentuated that trait using this post-processing technique, turning the rest of the photograph into black and white.  By the way, these ducks are common here in Tampa and other parts of Florida.  They often roam freely around yards and neighborhoods.  This is a picture of Larry, as the kids in our neighborhood call him. IMG_7805

Great Blue Heron glow

I like the way the sun glows through the beak of this Great Blue Heron.  The way his eye seems fixed on his beak makes you wonder if he's worried about why it's so bright.  More likely, though, he's worried about why I'm photographing him, even though I was a good distance away.  :)  I took a couple quick pictures and moved on to avoid disturbing him further. IMG_0679