I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s a wealth of opportunity waiting for you and your camera at the National Zoo should you be up for the challenge. Granted, going to the zoo can be a little depressing when you start to think about how Mr. & Mrs. Lion would rather be gutting their prey in the Serengeti, but hey, at least they know what time dinner is coming to them every day. I feel really bad for the primates since they’re supposedly intelligent and most likely have a better grasp on just how much their lives suck.

But I digress. This shot of an American Eagle by Flickrite Tiger Empress is (like the bird) a thing of beauty. This is about as sharp as you can get, thanks to her trusty 400mm lens and Nikon D70. You feel like you could reach out and slice your finger open on that beak. My only criticism is that the background is a little distracting, and I would prefer a little more contrast and color saturation, but overall I think this shot is amazing.

If you have a point and shoot camera, you probably won’t be getting up close and personal with the animals, and by all means, leave your camera phones at home. But unless you have a worldwide animal photography trip planned, a trip to the zoo is as good as it gets.

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