Monday, January 31, 2011

Bald Eagle at Hastings


We took a quick outing to open-water areas on the Mississippi at Prescott, Wis., and Hastings, Minn., yesterday. Common mergansers, a large (21-28", slightly larger than mallards), handsome diving duck with the typical long, narrow merganser bill, were present in groups of a dozen to several dozen. Among them we saw a small number of common goldeneyes, another diving duck, not as large (15.7-20"), and notable for its black head, round white cheek patch and, yes, golden eyes. At Prescott we saw no bald eagles, but several could be seen in the air and trees near the Hastings bridge. My son took the photo above (and cropped, below) from our viewing point under the Wisconsin side of the bridge.

3 comments:

Hilke Breder said...

It sounds like you had a very nice outing yesterday, Penny. I always find it a thrill to see Bald Eagles, still remembering when they were a real rarity.

OutdoorMama.com said...

I love watching bald eagles! Have you been to Wabasha? They swarm everywhere across the river, they are really neat creatures to watch!

Penelope said...

Hilke - I think it will be a sad day (though maybe a victorious one in terms of their numbers) if eagles ever become boring. We get one flying over the river in our town once in a while, and it's always a thrill.

OutdoorMama - Yes, we do like to go to Wabasha and Reads Landing to see eagles and visit the National Eagle Center. I hope we'll go before this winter is out.