Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Super Blue Blood Moon eclipses the birds

To some, our early morning walks in the local "Wounded Wetlands" might seem to be a dreadful waste of time. We usually start out on the three mile route about a half hour before sunrise. Mary Lou and I walk together briskly the first half mile. It is too dark to see any birds, but I usually can identify a handful by their calls and songs-- mockingbirds, cardinals, catbirds, jays and doves.

The sky lightens up and I fall behind as Mary Lou continues her pace. I may hear the song of a Carolina Wren...

Carolina Wren 03-20170427

...or the calls of an Eastern Towhee:

Eastern Towhee 3-20171019

However, on the morning of January 31, I covered the first half mile in quite a hurry, not wanting to repeat my experience only 2 moons ago on December 3, when I tarried and nearly missed the setting of the SuperMoon.

The night before, from our back yard, I had watched it rise over the lake:

Super Blue Blood Moon rising 20180130

The sky was dark but crystal clear. It was a perfect morning to see the third consecutive Super Moon and the second to appear in January-- a Blue Super Moon! But there is more-- it will also be in partial eclipse and its penumbra will turn red as it approaches the horizon-- a Blood Moon.

At 6:38 AM the deepening penumbra mostly involves  the upper left edge of the full Moon, and exhibits no color:

Super Blue Blood Moon 0638 AM

The Moon was scheduled to set at 7:06 AM, only one minute after sunrise. Half way to the lake, the sky was already lightening and the rays of the Moon were taking on a yellowish hue. My pace quickened:

 Super Blue Blood Moon 03-20180131

The view from the lake shore:

Super Blue Blood Moon 01-20180131

By 6:59 AM the penumbra covered the Moon and the umbra had progressed to about 20%:

Super Blue Blood Moon 0659 AM

Bt 7:02 AM over a third of the Moon's surface was in darkness:

Super Blue Blood Moon crop 0702 AM

Within two minutes it sunk out of sight as the sun rose:

Super Blue Blood Moon crop 0703 AM

Super Blue Blood Moon crop 0704 AM

Later that morning I checked on the local Bald Eagle nest. Their first egg presumably hatched on January 11, based upon ground observations that it had been laid 35 days previously, on or about December 7.

The adults were seen feeding one or more eaglets over the next two weeks, but the rim of the nest is very high and one chick did not become visible until January 28. I watched the nest from about 9:00 AM until 9:45. When I arrived the female (Jewel) was sitting rather deep in the nest:

Bald Eagle female 01-20180131

She never looked down to tend or feed any offspring. so I thought they had just been fed and were probably sleeping. After about 20 minutes I walked back to the car and was ready to attend to other chores. No sooner had I closed the car door when the male (Pride) flew in, carrying a large white bird (an adult White Ibis).

I reached for the camera but was too late to get a photo before he landed on the nest. Pride is on the right:

Bald Eagle male on right brings prey 02-20180131

Jewel promptly flew up to roost just above the nest:

Bald Eagle female flies up 04-20180131

Pride got right to work, tearing at and "butchering" the prey. Very soon a curious little fuzzy "Bobble-head" appeared...

Bald Eagle chick watches 07-20180131

...and waited patiently to be fed something which does not appear to be a tasty morsel:

Bald Eagle feeding 091-20180131

To date, the suspected second eaglet has not been seen, and I saw no evidence that another was being fed.

 = = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. That was an absolutely perfect morning. Stunning photos. Thank you!!!

  2. Exciting narrative and great images of the moon. The last one of the series is really cool...looks like the moon is peeking through the trees.

  3. Awesome pictures.
    The super moon is beautiful indeed!
    And so are the eagles!

  4. Wonderful how the moon picked up color as it got lower on the horizon! Beautiful photos.

  5. Wonderful post with so many fabulous images of birds and moon. What an adventure!

  6. Hello, great captures of the eagles. Love the moon photos. Great post and birds. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend!

  7. How lovely to see the eagle nest and track their progress.

  8. The moon photos are phenomenal! I think your early morning walks at nice to have a place to walk near your home. Love these eagles too. What a joy to see them! Enjoy your weekend!

  9. I really enjoyed your moon photos! Our morning was mostly cloudy and we have lots of trees so not great viewing. Cute little eaglet.

  10. Such stunning moon...and! Love that Carolina Wren!

  11. Congratulations on getting your moon shots! The eagle series is so wonderful and encouraging! They did it!

  12. Around here the total eclipse was so faint (nearly sunrise/daykight)...great series you shared. As always, your photos for the week are superb.

    For linking in at I'd Rather B Birding, all of us birders are very appreciative...thanks!

  13. Fantastic moon shots, so jealous. And those majestic eagles!

  14. Awesome, both the blue moon and blood moon - these miracles in the sky are difficult to comprehend!
    Oh, it must have made your day to be there at the right time for the eagles feeding their baby! Congrats, your patience was rewarded:):) Thanks for much for letting us at All Seasons experience this excitement with you!
    Have a great week!

  15. Nice shots - I missed the Super Moon - 2am is both too late and too early (although I suppose I could have got up, and then gone back to bed!)

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  16. Wow! Gorgeous shots of the moon and always love your bird photos

  17. These are great shots, especially of the eagles.
    Thanks for linking up at

  18. Excellent trip! The moon is beautiful, and love to see the eagles. Your opening line totally pulled me in -- a walk in any wetland at sunrise is my preferred way to start a day!


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