Family and close friends all know that one of my biggest joys is seeing an American Bald Eagle, and fortunately, it has become easier to do. I live within blocks of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. The St. Croix River that divides Minnesota and Wisconsin is a mere 20-minute drive. Trees flanking a river are the best location to spot eagles, and one of my favorite day trips is driving south through Wisconsin along the St. Croix. In addition to being a great location for Bald Eagle watching, there are also sweet little towns along the way, like Maiden Rock and Stockholm, offering a number of options for lunch!
These two photos were taken near Wabasha, along the St. Croix, after crossing back into Minnesota from Wisconsin. Wabasha is home to the National Eagle Center, and is considered the best location in the area for viewing Bald Eagles during the winter months.
The photos taken with my zoom lens (of course) are a bit fuzzy; probably the result of a little too much coffee in one of the cafés along my route... But even so, I love the bottom photo. It didn't take long at all for the eagle to notice me standing many feet below him. And when he did, his piercing gaze persisted until I got back in the car and drove away. The first thing my husband said when I returned to the car was that he expected the eagle to swoop down and start attacking my head. Had I lingered much longer, that may have been the case.
Yesterday I drove by an eagle's nest on Spoon Lake in Maplewood, Minnesota, that I heard about in the news. Not only did I see the giant nest, but two bald eagles sitting on the branch next to it. I have never before seen two eagles together. I didn't have my camera along, but there would have been nowhere to safely pull over. I will just need to make numerous treks there this spring and keep an eye on it.
Does anyone else share my passion?