Lock and Dam 14, Bettendorf, Iowa
This past weekend was GREAT for shooting Bald Eagles. I recommend shooting in Manual mode, with Shutter Speed 1/1600 sec or faster, Aperture @ f/5.6 and Auto ISO. This holds the two settings constant and lets the ISO float with the lighting conditions. You have to decide whether you need any exposure compensation. I recommend using a 300 mm lens or longer. You might get lucky with some shots working with a 200mm lens. I found that a 500 mm f/4.0 with a 1.4x tele-extender was too much lens most of the time.
Focusing can be a challenge to say the least! If your camera allows, set your focus point as a small cluster for a better chance of landing on the bird. Also, if your camera has focus tracking, set it to slow. I know it seems counter intuitive, but it helps avoid the focus catching extraneous stuff in the field of view. Sea gulls are good to practice on! GOOD LUCK!