Eagles, Loons and Owls

     We’re seeing quite a few eagles on the shore of Lake Superior and a few on the Gunflint Trail. According to the News Herald ten years ago a record was set for the number of bald eagles seen migrating on one day, 588!  At Hawk Ridge in Duluth on March 24-25th in 2003, 1000 bald eagles migrated past. What an amazing sight that would be to see.  

     I saw the elusive owl on the Gunflint the other day and Josh even got a picture of it.

Gunflint Trail owl

     What about loons? Without any open water we haven’t seen or heard any loons yet and I’m guessing it will be a week or two before we do.  You can check out this website to see where loons have been spotted so far this spring.

     And what about the robin that tells us spring is here? Can’t say I have seen one yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

Nature Matters: Bald Eagle Migration Season Here

April 9, 2013 Updated Apr 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)
Liberty the bald eagle lives at the Lake Superior zoo year round because of a wing injury.
He gets to watch from a tree when his feathered friends wing back from a winter in the south.
Migrating, though, is not necessarily mandatory on a bald eagle’s agenda.
Many choose to stay right here through the snow and cold.

"Some bald eagles can find food here all year round so they might be able to find food in open water with Lake Superior right here." said Jessamy Schwartz of the zoo.

"Even though this appears to be the winter that can’t stop coming, the raptor experts at the Lake Superior Zoo says this snow isn’t really hampering the eagle migration." said reporter Dave Anderson.

"It won’t stop them from coming. You’ll still be able to see bald eagles. It just might be a little later than usual." said Schwartz.

Back in 1972, bald eagles were near extinction due to pesticides.
Now, Minnesota and Wisconsin have the second and third highest bald eagle populations in the continental United States.
Only Florida has more.
The naturalists at the zoo want to do their part to keep those numbers up.

"Here at the zoo, we know that along with wildlife conservation comes natural resource conservation." said Sarah Wilcox of the zoo.

The crew at the zoo says the best way to protect, preserve and conserve eagles is to avoid using lead shot while hunting and lead sinkers while fishing.
Lead poisoning rather than pesticides is the species’ greatest threat right now.
However, the zoo’s naturalists are pleased by the birds’ recent rebound.

"Yeah, that’s a fantastic trend in that we’re seeing bald eagles more than we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes." said Schwartz.To watch bald eagles migrating home this spring, the best viewing places are Skyline Drive and Hawk Ridge in Duluth.

Highway 61 along the North Shore is good, too.
Look at the tops of tall trees to spot the majestic birds surveying their domain.