Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Road Trip!

It could not have been a nicer day for a road trip. This morning three friends picked me up, we turned on the Garmin and headed off for Wabasha, Minnesota and the National Eagle Center. Art and I had been there a few years ago when the Center was located in an old storefront but now they are in a beautiful new building right on the Mississippi River. We were greeted at the door by an super friendly employee with a great smile and endless tips and information about the Center and their eagles. She even walked us out of the building to direct us to a terrific Irish pub for lunch! I had a bowl of Irish stew and nearly licked the bowl clean.
Back to the Eagle Center. My first stop was a large airy room with big windows overlooking the river. The Center's eagles greeted the public here. I was thrilled to see the Golden Eagle. I had never seen a Golden Eagle before and he was gorgeous. We learned that during the Golden Eagle survey of the area surrounding Wabasha this winter there were 70+ Golden Eagles counted. They are not year around residents of Minnesota, but migrate down here for the winter. They are trying to capture two Goldens so they can attach radios to find out where they spend the rest of the year. Goldens are a bit smaller than Bald Eagles but their talons are nearly twice as long. We enjoyed a fabulous hour long program featuring one of the Center's eagles (Columbia I think.) I spent a fair amount of time (and $) in the gift shop helping to support the Center. I got two very cool shirts to take with me to the blogger Flock rendezvous at the
New River Birdng and Nature Festival at the end of April. It's fast approaching!
I'm incredibly tired tonight so if this post is a bit rambly or disjointed, I apologize.
G'nite.

22 comments:

Mary said...

Me, too, Linne. G'nite. I'm starting to dream about West Va. I hope I come back with all my teeth.

Kallen305 said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip and hooray for seeing the golden.

Love the bald eagle photo. Maybe it's because I just took a Benedryl but does anyone think that bald eagle looks sort of like Benjamin Franklin?

Susan Gets Native said...

EAGLES!

Squeeeee!

Leedra said...

Sounds like you had a good day. Any day spent with the eagles would be good.

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Linda in Erie said...

That's neat you have an Eagle Center nearby that you can visit. It sure sounds like you had a great time and the Irish stew would be a real bonus. We rarely get a Golden eagle around here.

KaHolly said...

Well, now, wasn't that a fun day? Sure to cure the wintertime blues. I love eagles and am quite entertained by them at my spring,summer,fall home on Cape Breton Island. Your post makes me miss them. Once I think I saw a Golden, but it was off too far off in the distance to make a positive i.d., and very rare for the area.
Hve fun at the birding festival!

Jayne said...

What a neat place to visit Lynne. So glad you all had such a good time.

troutbirder said...

The picture looks like my girlfriend Angel. She is a sweetie. I have yet to see a golden in the Mississippi Valley but maybe next time. Once though, flyfishing at high altitude in the Bitterroots of Montana, I counted over 25 flying and perched on fence post all around me.

Shellmo said...

I wish we had an eagle center by me! Sounds like a fun trip and that eagle photo makes me feel very patriotic.

ivars krafts said...

Thank you for the post, Lynne! You have encouraged me to return to Wabasha. I hope we will see some pictures from this trip.

Montanagirl said...

Wow, that's a beautiful Eagle photo. Did you take it? Post lots of pics when you get back.

Marsha said...

Isn't the Eagle Center a neat place to visit? Did you see wild eagles posting in the trees along the river right in town on the one way street going south of the center? They perched there twice while we were visiting. We also saw lots of eagles along the pull outs along Hwy 61, I hope you got a chance to see the wild ones as well.

Great photo! Did you have your photo taken with one too?

Eve said...

Sounds like a great time Lynne! Rest up girl!

Deb said...

Glad you had a great day. I need to visit my uncle in Winona sometime, and stop along the way. :) I just saw a bald eagle today, I think the first I'd seen since Sax Zim.

NatureWoman said...

Wow, what a cool sounding place! Hmmm, Golden Eagles, I could have sworn I saw one at Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, AZ at a RAPTOR show there. But if they normally live in the north, I'm confused. I'll have to go investigate.

Wren said...

Oooh, nice! There are reports of a pair of bald eagles near here, and I'm hoping they hang around through the weekend.

I'm glad I'm not the only one stocking up on cool shirts for west virginia. I'm getting so psyched already!

Q said...

Dear Lynne,
Sounds as if you had a wonderful day with the Eagles. How cool to have seen Golden Eagles.
Sherry

Tina said...

Your trip sounds like it was very interesting and captivating! I would love to see a golden eagle..and your description was great..didn't know about the talon size being so diff.
Neat! Glad you had some fun and spent time with your friends!!

Lynne said...

May- LOL!

Kim- She does look like Benjamin Franklin!

Susan- It was COOL!

Leedra- Friends and eagles are a good combo.

Linda- The stew was delish.

KaHolly- A golden in the wild would be amazing to see.

Jayne- I'd love to go back.

Troutbirder- The eagle in the picture is Columbia. We got to see Angel too.

Shelley- It was such a great photo-op with that neat back ground.

Ivars- Let's car pool!! I have a few more pix to post.

Mona- Yep! That's my picture! I was really happy with it.

Marsha- I didn't get my picture with an eagle, maybe next time. There were eagles along 61 but not as many as I'd seen a few years ago.

Eve- It was a blast.

Deb- The trip down there will be worth it.

Pam- Goldens are in the western US all and the way up north.

Wren- Two new shirts AND I bought some new hiking boots alst week just for West Virginia!

Sherry- It was a wondeful day!!

dAwN said...

Eagles...how cool..
I did not know that about the Talons..and the difference in what the Eagles eat.
We have been seeing scads of Eagles here in Florida lately.
Happy Birding...
Hope you get your Golden

Bird Girl said...

That picture is just so beautiful! With the flag and the wing of the other eagle - you should frame that!
I'm really surprised about the Golden eagle talons being almost twice as long - can you imagine one of them landing on your shoulder and squeezing? Yikes! Neat post, Lynne!

RuthieJ said...

Aw Lynne, that's so cool. I'm glad you finally got a chance to take a trip down to Wabasha and the eagles cooperated so you could share those great pictures with us.