White-tailed Eagle of Romania, Danube Delta


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chngpe01

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The White-tail eagles Haliaeetus albicilla, are near-threaten in Europe, however, they are slowing recovering especially in the Great Britain. In Romania, the very small population of white-tailed eagle can be found in the Danube Delta on the eastern shore of Romania.

The adult white-tailed eagle's huge size, relatively large pale buff coloured head, huge bill and short, wedge-shaped and pure white tail are very distinctive. Newly fledged young are much darker, gradually gaining adult plumage over 5 - 6 years.

Compared to smaller and shorter-lived birds, white-tailed eagles have a low reproductive rate, which has contributed to the slow growth in the population. White-tailed eagles normally breed at 5 - 6 years of age. They spend the winter in courtship and nest building, and eggs are laid in March. Females normally lay 1 - 2 eggs, which are incubated for about 38 days.

Young birds remain in the nest for 10 - 13 weeks before fledging. Although they are capable of taking care of themselves about 30 days after leaving the nest, they will continue to beg for food from the adults for several months. The young eagle will then spend about 5 years in non-breeding areas, often in the company of other non-breeders. In birds of prey generally, up to 60 - 70% of all young that leave the nests will not survive their first winter. This figure is probably significantly lower for large raptors such as the white-tailed eagle, but a young eagle still faces a life or death struggle through its first winter. After surviving that first year, a young eagle may well then live for more than 20 years.

Fish, sea birds and ducks are among the most important items in the white-tailed eagles' diet. When hunting for fish, the white-tailed eagles prefer to watch from a suitable perch then swoop and pluck the fish from the surface of the water without getting wet. The eagles also scavenge, scouring the shoreline for washed-up fish and often stealing food from other birds, such as osprey and animals, such as otter.

White-tailed eagles have no natural predators in Romania. The only threat to the bird's continued to be from human activity, by poisoning or stealing eggs, and from degradation of habitat and food resources.

Here are the only 2 pictures of this majestic raptor which I managed to capture in my 2 weeks at the Danube Delta.

Comments are most welcome

Cheers

PE

 

Red-I

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Another solid post PE. You have truly raised the standard of this forum. Cheers.
 

John Tan

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Thanks for sharing valuable info...
 

chngpe01

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Thanks John, zcf, raptor84 and Red-I for viewing and comments.



Harlequin said:
Good write up ! Pity the whites were abit hot.
Hi Philip, thanks for the comments.

I actually do not find it a pity that the whites in the 2nd pic is hot nor abit hot for the first pic.

The reason being, it was a decision as to have more details of the shadow area ie. the eyes and side face of the eagle and the underwings or to have the white tail controlled and the face, eyes and underwing be dark and cannot be seen clearly. The verdict is clear and is present.

That is the challenge of nature photography where one have to see thru the view finder read the data, make decision and adjust using the finger and release the shutter within split seconds.

I know that one can shoot first and adjust the dark area using shadow and highlight in PS, well that is not my preference as shadow and highlights have a price to pay and that is noise.

Anyway thanks for the comments and giving me the opportunity to clarify.

Cheers
 

wheels

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chngpe01 said:
Thanks John, zcf, raptor84 and Red-I for viewing and comments.

Hi Philip, thanks for the comments.

I actually do not find it a pity that the whites in the 2nd pic is hot nor abit hot for the first pic.

The reason being, it was a decision as to have more details of the shadow area ie. the eyes and side face of the eagle and the underwings or to have the white tail controlled and the face, eyes and underwing be dark and cannot be seen clearly. The verdict is clear and is present.

That is the challenge of nature photography where one have to see thru the view finder read the data, make decision and adjust using the finger and release the shutter within split seconds.

I know that one can shoot first and adjust the dark area using shadow and highlight in PS, well that is not my preference as shadow and highlights have a price to pay and that is noise.

Anyway thanks for the comments and giving me the opportunity to clarify.

Cheers
PE, I quite like the first shot you took. The head caught my eyes first instead of the tail ... so I would still say, good one! Well like you said before, how often can you get that perfect pic, prefect weather, perfect lighting, perfect pose, etc.. (perhaps 10 of 365 perhaps? :bsmilie: )

Cheers
 

mervin

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now thats an exotic one !;)
 

cartgate

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Great captures, Peng Eik! Well done - I have no nits seeing these on my monitor.
 

willyfoo

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Another wonderful shot by the master :)
Truly raised the standards so high I don't dare to post nature anymore .. haha..

Congrats!!
 

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