Watching People Watching Eagles

I took a drive today from Yorkville to Montgomery along the Fox River and wound up watching people watching eagles.

Before the rains came and a bit of a thaw and the river came up, I took this same drive earlier in the week by chance due to a closed road. The river was pretty well frozen over and in one stretch where warmer water enters the river I saw eagles. I stopped counting them when I got to 30. I called Larry Granat to give him this information knowing that he wouldn’t sit on it. I knew he would have to get out and go look. He wound up counting 52 of them.

I guess I should mention they were all in a stretch less than a mile long.

Today I saw more people out watching the eagles then I saw eagles.

I almost stopped to take a picture of the people taking pictures of the eagles. Some were taking this quite seriously with their tripods and cameras with long lenses. Definitely needed the long lenses, almost all of the eagles were on the opposite side of the river.

I almost stopped to tell the photographers… you know, there’s a way to the other side of the river.

But I decided against that. Give the eagles a break and my way to those areas on the other side of the river aren’t really all that safe for the not so sure footed. Lord knows I’ve damn near killed myself enough times over there.

Best to leave well enough alone, even though, I have a feeling I’m going to get a phone call from Larry.

I did see 15 eagles. Far fewer then the other day, but the river had opened up with much more flowing water and less ice.

I was wondering about this. Where do the eagles go when the river opens up again? How many eagles are there in the Fox Valley? How does the Fox Valley compare to the usual eagle watching hot spots in Illinois?

Like reading my mind, Larry Granat, who also runs The Kendall County Bird Page on Facebook, put this up today:

Bald Eagles’ Numbers Soaring in Illinois

As much as I’ve despised this cold winter and the intense cold spells we’ve been having, I guess I could put up with one more cold spell as long as it locks up the river again with ice.

I want to see that concentration of eagles again in that one mile stretch.

Photo of the eagle at the top of this page courtesy of Larry Granat.

13 thoughts on “Watching People Watching Eagles

  1. Jim McClellan

    The eagles are reaching critical mass to launch a Hitchcock-style attack. Make sure you don’t piss them off.

    1. Ken G Post author

      Some friends and I had a thread about that on Facebook Jim. It was pretty funny. Not sure my friend Bob will be coming out here to see them, he’s the target.

      1. Jim McClellan

        Tell Bob that this is how heroes are made . . . and that you’ll remember him in story and verse.

  2. Larry Granat

    I noticed that the amount of people viewing and sharing posts about the Eagles from the Kendall bird page has skyrocketed. So I’m thinking a lot of those people are out looking.

    1. Ken G Post author

      They should be out looking Larry, those aren’t geese were seeing after all. Having your great shots of them doesn’t hurt. Thanks for letting me use them.

      I should start writing about bird watching. All this wonderful stuff I put up about fishing and hunting and wandering and I’m lucky to get 80 views.

      87 looked at the one about my cats. 161 viewed the one with the dead deer on a truck bumper on the highway.

      I’ll have to figure out a way to work your birdwatching stuff into my fishing and wandering. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  3. walt

    It would be interesting to know some of the points from which these eagles congregate on the river. Sounds like the open water is like a good restaurant/hotel on a Friday night in a area of 30 square miles without another restaurant to consider.

    1. Ken G Post author

      The Fox River starts up in Wisconsin outside of the far northwest corner of Milwaukee. Makes you wonder if it’s just another highway for them. With a winter like we’re having, even the rivers freeze up pretty good. Down my way where they’re congregating, it’s a treatment plant discharge that flows at 55 degrees during the winter. I know for a fact it’s loaded with gizzard shad. That would be a sushi restaurant then.

    1. Ken G Post author

      I know someone that kayaks this time of year from the mouth of Big Rock to Millington and back. He says he sees them down there. Access is extremely limited and I think my one connection to a remote spot moved.

  4. nat lawrence

    I went out on sunday in the morning. I finally saw an eagle capture a fish. These birds are majestic.

    1. Ken G Post author

      They really are Nat. For all the ones I see, I have yet see one get a fish. I’ve seen them steal fish from other birds.

Comments are closed.