Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Iowa Eagles

     Every year during the winter, Bald Eagles migrate to the Mississippi river to find open water to fish.  While they also go to other rivers, the greatest concentrations, at least in the Mid-West, are along the Mississippi.
     Last year we went, and we saw many hundreds of them sitting in trees and fishing in the open water near the locks.

     A week and a half ago, we went and there were far fewer Eagles around the locks.  Make no mistake, we saw more than we would have than if we would have stayed home.  Nonetheless, the bird population was on the orders of 10's, rather then the hundreds we expected.
     There was some speculation about this, the main reason being the winter west of the Mississippi was mild, and the birds had no trouble finding food at home.

     The weather was also warm for the early part of February.  It was in the mid 40's the weekend we were there.  The warmer it is, the less the birds have to hunt, since they do not not need to expend as much energy.

     We saw other birds to photograph, including a flock of about 20 White Pelicans and various Sea Gulls.  That along with the usual landscape stuff and the chance to get away and concentrate on the camera for a weekend, made it a very pleasant time.

     Talking about next year, we will probably go in January.  I'm looking forward to it.


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