Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Every winter in our little town, hundreds of people come from far and near to watch the American Bald Eagles.
Our town, Clarksville,Mo,. is on the river, and the eagles come to fish. We have counted as many as 600 in a weekend. They especially come when the rivers up North are frozen. Clarksville ,Lock and Dam number 24, usually keeps the water from freezing and the eagles can fish. There are beautiful to watch and we welcome everyone.
The Bald Eagle was officially declared the National Emblem of the United States in 1782. The American Bald Eagles scientific name is, Haliocetus Leucophalus,which literally means, "white headed sea eagle."
These majestic birds are the largest bird of prey found in North America. Females are slightly larger than males, reaching 15 pounds, standing 3 feet tall and spreading up to 8 feet in wingspan.The females lay 1 to 3 egss in March or April. A mated pair of eagles will return to the same nest and defend a territory around that next each spring. Both eagles take turns incubating the eggs for 34 to 40 days.
Several eagles soaring together are called, "kettles." They are able to fly up to an altitude of 10,000 feet. Males and females have the same adult plumage with white heads and tales. The juveniles are solid black/brown in color.Sometimes living 30 years, a pair mates for life, taking another partner only if one dies.
The bald eagle has excellant vision and on a clear day, they can see a fish from nearly 2 miles away. Once spotted, they use there razor sharp talons to catch their prey.
Before 1995-the bald eagle was considered endangered, Now there are around 4,500 pairs and 20,000 total birds in the lower 48 states. The eagles usually come to our area in late November and can stay as long as March. The number of eagles we have and the length of there stay, depends on the weather. If it is cold and there is ice, there will be eagles.
I love to set on my front porch and watch them. They fly, dive, fish and play. It is something to see one catch a fish and another comes and takes it out of there feet. They are excellent hunters and catch a fish before you have time to blind.
On the last weekend of January we have Eagle Days.This two day event draws large crowds. Fires are build in the city park so people can warm themselves. Local churches and clubs sell and serve food. ham and beans are a favorite as well as fish sandwiches. It is a great time in our little town. It is always fun and exciting to welcome so many to our little part of the world. A lot of our visitors come from St.Louis, but we have had people as far away as Russia.
I hope you could come for a visit during eagle days. I would be thrilled to give you a tour of the town and open, My Old Historic House, for a tour. I will leave the lights on, have hot coffee and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a kiss. Happy Eagle Watching, where ever you are.