Eagle Hunt 2011 - 2/13/2011

An eagle sits at his nest at the base of the bluffs near Bellevue, IA.
Photo Album: Click each thumbnail for a larger image.

Two eagles we spotted relaxing on the Leaf River in central Illinois.

A close-up of the Leaf River eagles.

The ice pack broke away in the thaw from L&D#12 in Bellevue, IA.

Andrew with his "knockers" in Bellevue.

A lone eagle scrapes the tree tops along the Mississippi in Iowa.

Andrew told us this snowman needed a scarf.

Lock & Dam #12 in Bellevue is our usual first stop.

An eagle looking through the Mississippi cracks for fish.

The mini-snowman Andrew and Daddy built at the boat launch.

A big eagle nest we found along US-52 just south of Bellevue.

Looking up river at L&D#11 in Dubuque, IA.

Army Corp of Engineers crane at L&D#11 at Eagle Point.

See any eagles? No.

Andrew letting his "ya-ya's" out.


Dates: In February, 2011, after a few days of frigid sub-zero weather, there was a thaw to about 48. There was a record blizzard melting on the ice.


Areas Explored: Northwest IIllinois and the "Driftless Areas" of Iowa and Wisconsin.

Transportation: 2009 Grand Caravan

Eagle Count: Leaf River, IL: 2.; 4 miles S of Bellevue, IA: 1; Lock & Dam #12: 9; Lock & Dam #11: 0; for a total of 1 DOZEN. (This is a gain of 11 from last year.)


See last year's Eagle Hunt here.


Trip Diary:

The weather was perfect for another eagle hunting trip, so we packed up after church and headed west to see what we could find. Last year's trip was not so successful, so we had little hope for this year. Because of this, we were surprised to see eagles on the way to the Mississippi near Leaf River, IL. We took a new route, in reverse of our usual route west, and paralleled the frozen Rock River. Past Byron, we turned west toward the bridge at Savannah. When we got to our usual spot at Bellevue's Lock & Dam #12, we found several birds, but the ice had already broken too much and they seemed to have dispersed. A little time was left to check Lock & Dam #11 up river at Dubuque, but it was bird-less probably due to the presence of weekend ice fishermen on the river.


Ice cracking in the lock at Eagle Pt. in Dubuque, IA.


All photos copyright 2011 by J. Bezold All content copyright 2011 by S. Plencner