Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bald Eagles in the Valley

Something we always look forward to in the late fall is the return of Bald Eagles to the Waterman Creek Valley here in NW Iowa. We are not the Eagle magnet like the Missouri or Mississippi River areas that bring them in by the dozens or hundreds, but we can usually count on a small number on any given day. The Prairie Heritage Center had over 50 eagles during their Eagle Watch last I grew up along the Des Moines River valley back in the 50's and 60's and my first Bald Eagle sighting there was around the time I was 15 years was quite a sight back then!

On Monday Georgie and I were at the Prairie Heritage Center south of here and watched 4 Bald Eagles (2 sub adults and 2 adults) settling into the eagle roosting area just off Waterman Creek and the Little Sioux River. This is a fun thing to see and it's heartening to have the eagles come back in this state and the lower 48 as a whole during the past 40 years! I believe there was an estimate of less that 600 Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states back in 1960!

I had posted ( ) on local Bald Eagles almost a year ago, but they are something we'll never grow complacent or bored with, and it's really neat to have them back again.

Wenasaga Bald Eagle - Oil on canvas
(private collection)

We used to have to go north to Georgie's folk's Ontario retreat along the Wenasaga River to see Bald Eagles and nests. I did an oil painting years back of the sight of an adult Bald Eagle catching a thermal high above the Wenasaga River, just upstream from the cabin Georgie and I honeymooned in 38 years ago.

It's a neat bird and it's a fortunate thing to still be able to hold a sight such as this so dearly in our hearts.

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