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So a few days ago, I’m standing in my kitchen, having a bowl a cereal, and I notice a large bird flying right outside my kitchen window, and I say, out loud (with nobody around but me), “Oh my gosh was that a bald Eagle???!!!!!”

I’ve lived in Florida my entire life, and I can tell you the only time I’ve ever seen an American Bald Eagle in person was in a zoo, and now there’s one in my backyard. Anyway, I keep looking out the window and he lands at the top of a tree right in my backyard. I am stunned. So, I grab my camera, put my new 200-400mm f/4 lens on, attach a monopod, and go running out the door.

Amazingly, he’s still there once I get back there with my gear, but I’m not 100% certain it’s really a bald Eagle (for the reasons listed above), until I zoom in on him, and son-of-a-gun; it is! Now, you’d figure that I would carefully, slowly, and deliberately find a hidden vantage point to shoot from, but I was so excited, I just plopped my monopod right on a walkway in the backyard and aimed up at the tree. You can guess what happened next.

Needless to say, I scared the eagle away, and he took off, but just as he did I was able to snap a few shots (shown above—click for a larger view). I totally know that these aren’t great eagle shots, and I know that it was silly to run out there and clunk down my monopod and start firing, but I was just so freaked out/amazed that there was a bald eagle in my backyard, that I’m lucky I got a shot off at all. Sadly, the Eagle hasn’t been back since. He must know that now I’m poised and ready. ;-)