Monday, February 4, 2013

Eagle Days Are Here!

Yesterday as I was returning from St. Louis to my home in St. Charles County via the new Page Avenue extension I was treated to the sight of a Bald Eagle soaring overhead as I crossed over Creve Coeur Lake and then the Missouri River.

At this time of year those of us who live between the two main rivers that constitute the Mississippi flyway—the Missouri and the Mississippi—are fortunate to live right in the path of the Bald Eagle migration.  As the waters freeze up north the birds follow the open waters of these rivers, congregating at the locks and dams where open water and fish (the main staple of their diet) are plentiful.
 Patriot, one of our Bald Eagle ambassadors
I have lived my whole life in the St. Louis, Missouri, area and until the mid to late 1990’s had never even seen a Bald Eagle in the wild, much less one soaring over one of our local highways.  In recent years, however, this is becoming a more and more frequent sight—a testament to the hard work of organizations such as the World Bird Sanctuary and many others like ours throughout the country. 

Most of these organizations started out as rehabilitation facilities, caring for sick and injured birds—many of them victims of the pesticide DDT, habitat loss and other problems stemming from humans, such as gunshot wounds and tangled in fishing line.  Today, with the vast majority of hunters and fishermen being aware and responsible for the conservation of habitat and all animals, we see very few Bald Eagles with gunshot wounds, and we fully believe that this reduction is due to the laws that protect Bald Eagles and WBS’s focus on environmental education.  After all, who could shoot a Bald Eagle after they’ve been personally introduced to one?
 Join us for one of our Eagle Days presentations 
You’ve never been personally introduced?  Then we invite you to attend one of our Eagle Days programs where you will have that opportunity—or come visit them at the World Bird Sanctuary, open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.  To find a schedule of Eagle Days programs throughout the area go to our website and click on the Events tab to go to our Events Calendar.

In the meantime--look up occasionally.  That large bird soaring overhead may just be a Bald Eagle.

Submitted by Gay Schroer, World Bird Sanctuary Volunteer/Photographer

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