Thanks, Glen for your timely response. New to this site, I was not familiar with your resume, and I will soon return to your website for more views of your wonderful photos and information.
Marlyn, thanks, too, for your comments. I understand now that it was the shallow DOF from f/5.6 that contributed to the background appearance. What does T-con refer to? Thanks for the Morris site link. I have learned a lot from reading books on photography. For birds, I have used a pocket-size book by British photographer, David Tipling, The Bird Photography Field Guide, Focal Press, 2011.
I had fun last summer trying to photograph shore birds, and learned of the challenges of capturing birds in flight. Along with the techniques of camera settings comes the methods to learn about getting close and into position to set up the shots.
I look forward to viewing images of Alaskan eagles and birds of prey from both of you!