Yes, it’s January. Nonetheless, it’s a good time to get out and walk, especially if you live by the river, like we do.
Yesterday, January 6th, we saw 15 eagles on a two-mile stretch of the Des Moines River.
Beginning at the Euclid Avenue bridge east of River Place, and going south along the Trestle to Trestle Trail, we saw only two eagles. However, once we walked over the Inter-Urban Trail Trestle, less than a quarter of a mile down river, we began to see an eagle almost every 300 feet. We did not see the same eagle twice.
We met a man on the trail coming from down river and were excited to tell him that we had seen eight eagles at that time. He mentioned that on the day before [Monday] there were approximately 20 eagles behind a shed on 6th Avenue above the river bridge. Not too long after we stopped to chat with him, we saw our remaining seven eagles.
On Monday, Stephanie walked the 3-mile round trip from River Place, 2309 Euclid Ave., under the General Marcellus Crocker Memorial Bridge on the west side of the river, south along the Trestle to Trestle Trail, across the Inter-Urban Trail Bridge, around the bend and south again on the Neal Smith Trail until it connects with an unnamed trail heading north toward McRae Park. At that point, Stephanie saw 5 eagles – 3 adults and 2 juveniles – sitting in a tree (photo above) along the west side of a man-made pond adjacent to the location where Riverside Park once sat, and is again being turned into an amusement park. On Tuesday, we saw two, but there were several across the river from us on the south shore.
I wish the photos were better. The pictures were taken by an iPhone and an Android. Obviously, the best way to see these majestic birds is to follow our footsteps. Noon is the best time of day, and the weather should be great for the rest of the week for viewing.
You can actually get right underneath them. However, that’s not a great location. If you’ve ever seen eagle whitewash, you would understand. You will notice some on the trail if you go. For those of you who live too far from Des Moines or the Des Moines River, trust us, this is an amazing sight to see.