Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

How about looking into the eyes of this guy?

ISO 400 300mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60
ISO 400 300mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

He is a Long-crested Eagle, a bird that is native to Africa.  This particular bird however has a permanent home at the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis Missouri.

The reason he is here perhaps explains the intense look in his eyes.  He was seized by the US Fish and Wildlife Service when someone cut off his crest, spray painted him, and attempted to sneak him into the US with the thought of selling him illegally.

When I took this photo, I was hoping to catch this intense gaze because I think it helps tell his story.  To get this image, I had rented a 70-300mm lens.  I was also using a tripod.  I settled on an f-stop of 5.6 because I thought it left a lot of detail in the bird and also blurred out the background in a slightly surreal way.  I was hoping that the odd background would also suggest that this bird really does not belong here in the US, he should really have been left in the wild but now has to stay here.

I took a bracketed exposure because I knew I wanted to create an HDR image.  I used Photomatix to create the HDR and then did my sharpening in Photoshop.  This bird is part of a series that I created.  Other birds I have blogged about include a Eurasian Eagle Owl and a Barn Owl.

A version of this images is available on Picfair.

What do you think of this bird? Pretty intense looking? Have you ever seen one? Have a comment just in general? feel free to leave it below.



31 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

Add yours

  1. I have never seen this bird and the illegal trade of birds is a sad story. He does have intense and beautiful eyes.


  2. Love the new look of your blog PJB and that shot is stunning indeed! What a pity that someone had to do that to him and I can just skin people like that alive for sure! Very glad the Wildlife services got to him in time and that you were able to share this beauty. 😀


    1. Yeah, I decided to switch things up a bit as far as the appearance of the blog, I’m glad you like it 🙂 It is a good thing that this bird was found as people were trying to smuggle him in to the country. I think he has a much nicer place to live at the sanctuary than in the home of someone who would have to keep him hidden.


      1. Well, you did a great job and I am just as glad this bird was found. It’s a pity that people still do that just to make money.


      2. Honestly, what I can’t wrap my brain around is the person who would purchase this bird. It is a rather large bird of prey, where are you going to keep it hidden since it is illegal to have it, and how are you going to keep it healthy and happy?


    1. Yes, people will do crazy things for money. What I don’t understand is why you would want to own something that you would have to keep hidden. Also, it is really hard to provide this bird with appropriate space and stimulation, so it is really selfish to think of owning one in my opinion.


  3. SO sad that someone would kidnap the bird PAINT IT??? and smuggle it out of it’s natural habitat. People stink sometimes. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photo and the story


  4. Excellent photo. I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of that intense stare. The illegal trade of wild animals needs to be exposed. I’m glad he was rescued and that you told his story.

    Thank you for following me.


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