Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Nature Notes: Bald Eagles
Visit Michelle at the home of Nature Notes.
Saturday morning, I went for a walk at Red Rock Dam over near Pella and I let some eagles look at me. They were beautiful soaring overhead and ignoring me. At the end of the morning, we were all walking along (4 adults, a 3-year-old and a dog) when we spotted two eagles in a tree along the path. I went ahead alone and they stayed put. They were just up in the tree above my head.
Looking at me.
Like I was dinner.
They're strong, you know. Don't laugh.
I had just read a headline about starving eagles dropping from the sky in Canada. That stuff makes me sad. They should come to Iowa.
Their nests are huge. This is a zoomed shot, but it is on the other side of the river. You can spot their nests from quite a distance.
For information that is actually interesting and educational, check out the National Geographic website here.
It says, in part: The bald eagle, with its snowy-feathered (not bald) head and white tail, is the proud national bird symbol of the United States—yet the bird was nearly wiped out there. For many decades, bald eagles were hunted for sport and for the "protection" of fishing grounds. Pesticides like DDT also wreaked havoc on eagles and other birds. These chemicals collect in fish, which make up most of the eagle's diet. They weaken the bird's eggshells and severely limited their ability to reproduce. Since DDT use was heavily restricted in 1972, eagle numbers have rebounded significantly and have been aided by reintroduction programs. The result is a wildlife success story—the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has upgraded the birds from endangered to threatened.