Story by Barbara Steinberg
Wildlife photographer Randy Robbins spent a considerable amount of time chasing bald eagles in his kayak on Antelope Lake in the Plumas National Forest. This may seem unusual but turned it out to be the best way to get opportunities to photograph them. After observing the birds for several summers, he located their nest which contained two eaglets. More easily accessible by water, he returned to the location several times to photograph the eaglets' growth and first short flights. From the water, he observed favorite perches and fishing locations that the adult parents were frequenting to bring a constant supply of meals to the growing fledglings. Getting a photo of one of the adults catching a fish was a "bucket list" item for Randy. Determination and a lot of patience are represented in this image. He sums up the experience of obtaining this photo by saying "I was in the right place at the wrong time hundreds of times, and then in the right place at the right time once." After several hours on the water, when the moment presented itself, Randy didn't miss his opportunity to capture this winning photo proving once again that timing is everything!
On January 23, 2020, Randy joined Senator Brian Dahle (R-Shasta Cascade/Northern Sierra Nevada), on the floor of the State Senate, where he received a Senate Proclamation honoring his photograph. January 21-24, 2020, the top nine images from the 2019 contest were part of a week-long display at the State Capitol. The photographs included all of the year's top finishers and special honorable mentions selected by representatives from Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Out of This World Optics, and California Watchable Wildlife.
To learn more about the photo contest, visit: www.CAWatchableWildlife.org