Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bald Eagles at Starved Rock

Oh Boy! The last few days I decided to get some R&R at the Starved Rock Lodge in Utica, IL. Man was it f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c! It was just what the doctor ordered too. Starved Rock is one of Illinois' seven wonders. I'm not sure what the other six are, I haven't looked that up yet.
Starved Rock is 75 miles from Chicago and has 18 canyons, several waterfalls, lookout points, 13 miles of trails, and is located along the beautiful Illinois River.
The name "Starved Rock" comes from a story about the Illiniwek Indians who were trapped on top of the big rock seeking safety from the Potawatomi Indians, waiting for them at the base. The Illiniwek Indians starved to death on top of the rock waiting for a safe time to make it down. This story was never written down nor verified, so it remains just a story....but a neat one anyway!

I am standing on top of Starved Rock when I took this picture....

This is a picture of Leopold Island #1 and where the beautiful bald eagles like to hang out. They are there right now, can't you see them? Nope. Me either.

Let's zoom in. THERE THEY ARE! 1...2...3 There they are! I've never in my life had the opportunity to see our country's bird. I was sooooo excited. On this island of the Illinois River I spotted about 6 of them at one time. Bald eagles are huge! They're wing span measures between 6-7 feet! Holy Shmoly!

Isn't this just beautiful? He's searching for fish by the surface of the river. In the hopeful event that he can spot one, he'll dive down and grab it with his talons. Unfortunately, I did not see any of them get fish while I was watching.

Another soaring eagle! It was really impressive to watch them fly, so graceful. It's hard to describe, but I like when the tips of their wing feathers flip up as they're flapping down.

This is what the eagles are all excited about, the Illinois Waterway Lock and Dam. The dam somehow agitates the water to prevent freezing and in doing so, the fish come to the top. There were many other types of seagulls, but today we only care about the bald eagle. I felt bad for the little guys because they use up so much energy seeking food and I didn't see them get anything. Hopefully they had better luck when I left!