Monday, March 30, 2009

#055-365 Closely Cropped

This is partly in a fashion trying to make amends to Terri (top5cats) for some of the (Funny Comments) I made on her last post of a magnificent shot of two gorgeous Bald Eagles, which because of the close cropping, to show the birds at a decent size, had the appearance that they were tightly enclosed. Happily they weren't, they had flying difficulty but a large area to enjoy. As does this guy (I admit I stole Terri's idea - so sue me) I called this shot Closely Cropped for two reasons, yes it it as close as I could get the subject and still have it identifiable. The second is that as a small fledgling this beautiful bird suffered a mishap involving a rat trap and would not survive in the wild.

The bird is a White Breasted Sea Eagle which in a way makes it closely related to the American Bald Eagle, primarily a Fish Eagle too. The poor bird lost half of one of its talons in the rat trap and thereby would not survive in the wild as they need both talons to grasp the fish they catch and eat. This particular bird has a large cage too, but has the added benefit of being part of the Free Flying display, staged twice a day by the curators at Taronga Park Zoo. The main handler said that this bird had been a part of the show for so long he thought he ran the show. And boy did he show a ton of attitude, not wanting to co-operate and seemingly luxuriating in the freedom of the outdoors. Which drew no complaints for us watching as it was obvious that he loved being out of the cage, but made absolutely no break for freedom, he knew where his next meal was coming from.

This is not uncommon, I have made past reference to my involvement with Corporal Courage, the Mascot of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps 2nd Cavalry Regiment. She made many a dash for freedom from her "Barrack Area" mostly foiled by a trailing ankle chain and loosely strung telephone wires connecting the Troop Headquarters, but on one occasion the chain separated near the ankle (I don't know if birds have ankles-but you know what I mean) and she was FREE. She wasn't wild though and had never hunted and about three and a half weeks later she walked back into camp and I spotted her just as I was going on sentry duty, I got a relief and we took her to a vet, who stated that she was starving but other than being dirty and tick infested, she would recover well.

This led to the most embarrassing incident in my entire Military career (I wonder if the Army thinks of it as a Military Career or just a period of administrative liability?). They decided to Court Martial her for desertion and I had to carry her, through the proceedings. The Squadron Sergeant Major, kept calling for me to lower my hand from my eyes, while he tried to control his mirth, but my goodness the channel 7 Television Cameras were rolling and, I didn't want to be a part of this Military farce, they found her guilty and demoted her back to Trooper Courage. When she passed away she had been reinstated and in fact had been promoted to Sergeant, but by then, I had moved on to Military Intelligence (The penultimate Oxymoron). The point of this is to relate, that, from that point on we didn't need the ankle chain she would never have left again..

Have a look at Terris blog though it is a great shot.

19 comments:

barbs said...

Really nice picture Ron. And as usual I loved reading your story. This one made me laugh so hard I had to read it to my husband.

Clara said...

Cropping this picture very closely worked very well. Once again, enjoyed the image and the story.

Iona said...

What a beauty! The handlers must have a real thrill by having this bird to work with, and then to be able to watch him with his "attitude" must be something! Great shot. I like the expression you've managed to capture. Good job!

shadowsandhighlights said...

Ok, a couple of things...YOU had to carry her to and from the court martial proceedings? LOL There's something wrong with that picture! Are you sure SHE was getting court martialed? Second thing, I love this photo...the detail, the colors, the cropping and the bokeh, fabulous shot!

Chesney said...

Ooooh, I'm gonna tell, you copy cat! LOL! Even though you copied the idea, you got a brilliant picture of a majestic bird1 Nice!

~Val said...

What a beautiful bird! Nice subject to crop closely...we really get to see it up close. Well done!

Edmund said...

Great close up shot Ron. Remember your promise .... Behave.

klsbear said...

Your endless escapades never cease to amaze me - bird handler at a court martial - what next? A very nice shot of this proud fella.

Glenn's 365 Photoblog said...

Beautiful bird you've taken for this theme Ron. Well done and I like the story that goes with it ! Cheers for your continued comments as well.

Kathy said...

Sea Eagle? Wow looks majestic compared to our Seagulls we have here. This guy would scare the bird poop out of our Sea birds! lol

mitt vattenhål said...

Amazed of all the information one gets for every picture!
Keep it up :-)

EstherF said...

Wow, I am so glad you have such an opportunity to work with those creatures who cannot take care of themselves in the wild anymore. We have a rescue service here who takes those who need help and release them when they are ready. Recently, they released a snake and he came back! He liked a regular meal.

jo said...

Nice shot of the bird.
Funny story as usual.

lijola said...

Great bird photo. Great story. Thank you for sharing.

veejayr said...

Was this bird as scary as it looks? I like your cropping - it works well for this shot!

Debra said...

It's a wonderful shot of a very beautiful bird. And oh my, why am I not surprised that you would be the one to have to carry the bird. Way too funny.

thedailyshoot said...

Nice photo, but I must admit I truly love the stories that go along with all of your pots. A real slice of life from a place I'll never see. Thanks.

Bo

Rachel said...

Great detail of the feathers. Beautiful bird.

Kim said...

This is really lovely!