Friday, July 27, 2012

The Eagle Has Landed

On three separate occasions this spring I spotted what I believed to be a Bald Eagle by the cabin. Each time the bird was too high or too fast for me to photograph and confirm my suspicion. The size, appearance, and behavior of the bird made me 99.9% sure that I was seeing a Bald Eagle.

Illinois is one of the best states in the lower 48 for Eagle watching. In the winter thousands of them hunt the Mississippi and Illinois River. These birds come down from Wisconsin and Minnesota to enjoy the milder climate over the winter.
Here on the eastern edge of Central Illinois the Bald Eagle is much more rare. In fact by 1890 it had pretty much been completely driven out of the Wabash River watershed. The Salt Fork of the Vermillion River, where the cabin is located, is part of the Wabash River watershed.

In 1985 the Indiana Department of natural Resources began a program to reintroduce Bald Eagles to Indiana. By 2002 there were 26 successful nests with 45 young fledged. Ten years later these Hoosier Eagles are crossing over into Illinois!

This blog confirms a nest 3 miles from the House of Fallen Timbers!