Sunday, May 24, 2009



Ah, Bald eagle!

It is said Ben Franklin wanted the turkey as the national bird. During that era of time, Eagles nested about every 100 miles along the eastern coast and numbers were plentiful. Perhaps turkeys were too, but turkey's do not soar high in circles high above the lake looking for food, then diving to pick up not live fish, but those floating on the top of the water.

I have yet to get a really great eagle picture but Tom knows I am trying. I want to be close enough to see their yellow eyes, just like my wish had been to get close enough to loons to get the red eye. Perhaps this is the summer of the eagle, perhaps.

I had seen eagles in a zoo, the first was at Como Park in St. Paul. When the kids were little we took them to the same zoo. I am wondering if they were the same eagles. Let's think about it. If eagles live in captivity to the age of forty, yes, it is possible. If I was 10 in 1954 and Rachel was 10 in 1976, the eagle would have been about 22.

Someone emailed me a slide show about eagles going to some high mountain and breaking their beak off and eating little during the while it to grow back. According to, "Eagles extend their lifespans by removing their beaks, talons, and feathers in order to grow new ones. ... Eagles would not typically "lose" their beak or talons, unless it was the result of a traumatic injury." The article goes on to say that only the tip of it grows back, not the bone itself. In zoos the tip of the beak may be trimmed to keep it from over growth.

The big thing to do in Lawrence, KS after the Mall on the River was built, was to the Mall and watch the eagles through the glass. It was a marvelous sight, still gives me chills to be so close.

At Leech Lake there are several nests. One is by a place everyone calls the glass house. In the spring before everything is leafed out, you can see the nest of sticks high in the yoke of a tree and the parents on the branches or in the nest. I am hopeful we will be able to get on the big lake this weekend and check it out on the way to the bass beds!

In the 20+ lakes we have fished over the last few years, everyone of them has had an eagle soaring. We have seen little birds chasing the eagle. We have seen them dip into the water to pick up fish. There is one place where a broken stump is the eagle's resting place, it was there every morning we were out last summer. It is skittish, when we try to get close, it turns away from us and flies and Old Trunks uses sailor words.

May you soar


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