Eagles make their way across eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eagles make their way across eastern Iowa


CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- It is the symbol of America and now the eagle is becoming a common sight in eastern Iowa. We've received pictures from a number of places including New Hartford, Parkersburg, and Fairbank just to name a few.

Chris Anderson, a Program Coordinator at Hartman Nature Reserves, says this is common sight as eagles make their way north.

"A lot of eagles that are wintering on the Mississippi River, cause that stays open more, and they are moving up the Cedar River as it's opening up so that's why you're seeing a lot of them around here. Also as the snow melts off the fields it uncovers food sources and they're moving out to feed on those as well," said Anderson.

While many people picture the eagle swooping down and taking a fish out of the water, that doesn't always happen. They also scavenge for food and pick-over carcasses left out on Iowa fields.

If you live in a heavily populated area and you're wondering why you're not seeing bald eagles, the answer is simple. It's the noise and they don't like it. At Hartman Nature Reserve they rarely see bald eagles and that's because of the noise caused by Highway 218, which is not far away.

If you would like to see these birds in person, Anderson says Iowa is the perfect place.

"Northeast Iowa is a great place. Extreme northeast Iowa along the Mississippi River is one of the best places to spot them. They have nesting habitats there and they also have the open water they like to get as a food source," said Anderson.

Anderson also has one tip for those bird watchers.

"If you are out observing eagles and you find a place where you think there could be a nest, keep your distance. It's okay to look around, but don't linger. That can make them really nervous and they'll abandon nests," said Anderson.

The eagle has seen a major resurgence over the past couple of decades. In 1978, it was put on the endangered species list but by 2007, the bird had thrived so much that it was taken off.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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