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Positively the Heartland: Good conditions to spot bald eagles proves that spring and birding go 'wing-in-wing'

Spring is associated with the sandhill crane migration, but its a good time to spot bald eagles too
Posted at 7:49 AM, Mar 11, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — In the late 20th century, bald eagles were on the brink of extinction in the United States, and on the list of endangered species until 1995.

Through conservation efforts, our national bird has not been considered threatened since 2007.

And though it's more common to see bald eagles today, what an Omaha-area woman captured on camera last month was a sight to behold: three bald eagles on one branch.

Claudia Taylor was driving to an appointment when she first spotted the birds near NP Dodge Park in Omaha.

"It just seemed so magical when that third one flew in and then flew out," she recalled. "It was just awe-inspiring, it really was. Just amazing."

Denise Lewis, a raptor expert and program director at Fontenelle Forest, visited the site.

After looking at Taylor's video, Lewis believes the three bald eagles are at least five years old. Their white heads and white tails indicate maturity. She also noted the open water — near the Missouri River — and food supply that would provide, as well as the tall trees near the river.

Lewis also explained why the timing of the sighting is not coincidental.

"They're following the spring migration right now — the goose migrations. Eagles are infamous for, wherever there's food, that's where they're going to be," she said.

Bald eagles are also easier to see this time of year as their coloring stands out in a backdrop of bare trees.

Taylor, who described the moment as "magical," said she was thankful she was present enough to have the experience.

"Traffic was going by, and I thought, 'nobody is ... I mean, they see me here with my camera in the window, and nobody's looking up.' "

To learn more about the history of bald eagles in Nebraska, you can visit the Nebraska Game and Parks page on bald eagles here. To connect with raptor recovery at Fontenelle Forest, visit this page.

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