How many eagles at the North nest?
How many eagles did we count at the North nest this weekend? Juveniles, subadults, and adults stacked up: stalking one another, mantling, quarreling, and hanging out in the Valley of the Norths. Although we saw just six or seven at any given time, it felt like eleventy billion! Why are we seeing so many eagles here?
Eagles are leaving remote northern forests for more temperate regions. As cold as it seems to us, there is plenty of open water in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The North nest sits along a super flyway: a remote river valley that funnels wind south for miles. The valley has everything that an eagle could want: fish, perches, an awesome wind assist, and upland farms rich in carcasses. And bald eagles are pretty smart: it didn’t take very long for them to learn that this was an awesome route to the southern reaches of the river.
But also: we protected bald and golden eagles with special laws. This is what happens when we work together to protect a species. This is what happens when we preserve species and habitat. I think it is magnificent!