Amazing in Wisconsin!!

My long winter stay in Wisconsin has paid off.  While out driving yesterday, I saw what amazed me to the max!  Check out the picture below and you will understand…

wisconsin-eagle

Low and behold…what should appear, but a huge Bald Eagle!!  Who knew??  Not me!  This beautiful specimen was shortly joined by a friend or mate, but alas, I did not get another photo.  What a majestic bird!

I simply had to go online and find out about eagles in Wisconsin.  It seems they are quite common here, although not so much in this area.  It must be because the ice has thawed off the lakes, and they are looking for good fishing spots.  I went back this morning to see if I could spot a nest, or eagles looking for breakfast, but no luck on that front…darn!

I’m going to include an article I found in case anyone would like to plan a visit sometime in the future (those who would be willing to brave the winter weather).

 

The American Bald Eagle

bald eagle

Wisconsin Status: Once endangered in Wisconsin, in 1997 the American bald eagle was taken off the list. Congratulations Wisconsin!
Federal Status: Removed from endangered species list 2007

Wingspan: 7 feet (Wow, that’s long)
Weight: 8-14 pounds
Length: Female 34-43 inches, Male 30-35 inches

We all know the bald eagle as a national symbol with its distinctive “bald” white head, tail, and dark brown body. These are adult bald eagles. They get their distinctive “bald” head and white tail when they are 4 or 5-years-old. The younger birds are dark brown with just a touch of white on the underwings and tail, making it hard to tell them apart from large hawks or golden eagles. Have you ever seen one up close? You’ll see that their powerful beak, legs, and eyes are yellow.

Females usually lay two, 3 inch-long white eggs in late March or early April. Both adults incubate the eggs. Within a month or so, the first egg will hatch with a fluffy white chick. Adults then feed the chicks bits of fish and protect them from severe weather and predators, like great horned owls, raccoons, and ravens. Active nests have been found both in inland nesting areas and along the major rivers in Wisconsin: the Chippewa, Lower Wisconsin, Wolf, and Mississippi. Eagles usually build their nests in tall trees, often a live white pine, with large sticks as shell and softer material as the lining. On average, the nests are about 4 feet in diameter and 3 feet deep, compare that to your height and you’ll see how large they really are! Sometimes an eagle pair may just “refurbish” an old nest with new materials instead of building a new one. Just like fixing up an old house instead of building a new one.

If you’re looking to see a bald eagle in Wisconsin, you’re in luck. Today, they can be found in the northern two-thirds of Wisconsin.[bald eagle photo] Each year since the passage of the Endangered Species Act and the ban of DDT bald eagle populations have been on the rise. DDT is a powerful insecticide which accidentally affected eagles and other birds by causing their eggs to have thin shells that broke. This kept the birds from hatching. In 1973 there were only 108 occupied eagle territories in Wisconsin. In 2010, there were 1,150 breeding pairs!

How do we know how many eagles and eagle nests there are? Well, the DNR and many partners, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, have been working hard to collect data about the eagles for the last 25 years. These groups conduct breeding surveys to find out how many nests are active by flying over eagle territory to find nests, then they go back and count the young in each nest. This information is mapped using a computer program called “GIS,” Geographical Information System. From this system, we can link all of the data to identify where breeding habitat can be found and predict where more eagles may nest. On the ground, volunteers also climb the nest trees and band eaglets with a metal leg band, take blood samples to check for disease or contamination, and collect vital information on eagles that have been injured or died.

Eagles were abundant throughout Wisconsin until 1800 when immigrants settled the state. Habitat disturbance, destruction, and shooting [eagle nest]caused their numbers to drop until laws were enacted like the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1916, the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940, the 1972 listing of eagles as endangered in Wisconsin, and the ban of DDT. Today, wildlife biologists, scientists, and volunteers continue to work to teach people about protecting eagles and their nesting sites. About half of the eagle population nests on land that people privately own. DNR staff have developed educational materials to help people learn about eagle nest protection. We work with loggers and builders to protect nests on properties where people want to build homes and businesses, or harvest trees. We also help trappers, farmers, power companies, hunters, school children learn more about eagles. It is hard work teaching everyone about the needs of eagles and keeping track of their nest sites and numbers. You can help the bald eagle in Wisconsin by Adopting an Eagle Nest, reporting active eagle nest sites to the Bureau of Endangered Resources at the DNR and learning more about eagles.

Keep your eyes open along Wisconsin’s inland riverways and lakes to see bald eagles soaring on thermals high in the air on a warm day. They can also be seen fishing with their powerful talons for suckers, northern pike, muskellunge and bullheads in the same areas. In the winter you’ll find them fishing in open waters near dams along the Mississippi and Lower Wisconsin rivers in Wisconsin. Some of the best viewing places hold special bald eagle watching events in January, check them out!

 

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Silent Love

Though love does not require a word

in many ways it’s voice is heard

in the silence hear it speak

the voice of love is never weak.

Love promotes faith and trust

for each human is a must

without love — an empty shell

to hear it speak, listen well.

Love conveyed without a word

sweeter sounds were never heard.

when there’s love, actions say

love grows stronger day by day.

no greater gift on the earth

no possession of it’s worth.

On love there can’t be put a price

can’t be won with roll of dice

do not love too freely give

too freely given, will not live.

With fleeting glance, or a touch

love can say so very much.

when there’s love between a pair,

silent thoughts they’re prone to share.

Love is as a flowing stream

forever endless does it seem

disappearing round a bend

love, like stream, knows no end

A stream will widen, and will grow

into a river winding slow.

love will widen and grow, too

cherish it when given you

Clutch love gently to your breast

of all gifts, it is the best.

 

 

 

A Native American Prayer-dedicated to each of those I hold dear

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“O Divine Parent and Gift-giver, let me not take those I love for granted, failing to remember that you  have only loaned them to me for a very short while.

Help me, this day, you who are absolute love, to love those you have loaned to me as if tomorrow you would call them home to you.

Let me not take them for granted or be blind to the marvel of their presence, to the sound of their voices, the joy of their companionship, or the beauty of their love

May their minor faults and failings, which often cause me discomfort, be seen as trivial transgressions compared to the marvel of this gift that you have loaned to me for only a short while.”