30 December 2011

Eagle Extravaganza!!

Wednesday I witness a birding sight unlike anything before.  On a tip from Nicole and WHO-TV, we headed out to Fisher Lake in Johnston.  It really is a very shallow pond but it is near the Des Moines River and Saylorville Lake and that may be what has drawn this flock of bald eagles to the trees around it.  I wasn't even sure if we'd be able to find the place, yet the dozen or so cars pulled off the side of the road and people with massive telephoto lenses made it pretty easy to know that we had found the right spot.  There were eagles in the air, eagles in the shallow water, and eagles in the trees.  I counted 17 in one tree.  I estimated ~25 total eagles while we were there.  (I think there are 19 in this picture)  Some juvenile (they don't get their white heads and tails until ~5 years old) and some adult (male & female have the same plumage but the females are ~25% larger).  It was such a nice day out too, we used my binoculars and tried to snap a few photos (what I would give for a better zoom!) and spent about a half hour just watching them swoop around, switch spots, and go from tree to lake, take a lap in the air and come back to roost.  I don't know if they are here to nest or just passing through but if you have some free time I suggest heading out there to check it out.


  1. that was a great find. how cool. your pics are good--never easy to snap birds. Great job

  2. went back this morning for another viewing and there were still 25 or more there. and most of them were in the air this time. its very windy here today and they were all riding the currents. fun to watch. then i went over to saylorville visitor center and saw a cardinal, a goldfinch and a downy woodpecker!

  3. Even someone who is generally afraid of birds can appreciate this - very cool sight to see.