Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Eagles Revisited

As you may know I’m big on several subjects these days, two of them being trout fishing and birding. On a fishing outing, I recently reported an encounter with a pair of nesting eagles. They had settled in on a stretch of one of my favorite spots - the South Branch of the Root River, near Forestville State Park. Here is the report in case you missed it.
Early this week I returned to the scene of the first encounter. Although I’m mostly a "catch and release guy", on this occasion Mrs T. had requested the fixings for a trout dinner. I’m always ready to take that request in hand. The Root is especially great fishing for larger brown trout now that the DNR has implemented a "slot" regimen for the stream. This means any trout caught between 12 & 16 inches must be released. That policy encourages the growth of trout larger than sixteen inches, of whom only one can be kept, of a limit of five fish. That day though, I caught only one trout under 12 inches and the rest were in the prohibited range.
I finally gave up and headed back to my truck, stopping to rest on the bank of the river, near the site of the eagles nest. Looking up I couldn't see the nest anywhere, although the leaves of the cottonwood may have obscured it. What I did see was an eagle perched at the very top of a dead tree nearby.
"How was the fishing for you today Eagle,?" I asked tentatively.
Eagle softly: "Squawk, squawk, cluck, cluck, peep."
"Whoa. I didn’t know Eagles sounded like that! I don’t mean to cut in on your territory but I’m sure there are plenty of trout to go around. Had two biggies on today and couldn’t bring them in."
Eagle: Screech Screech Screech.
Ok Ok Relax. I’m on my way home. Maybe you didn’t have good luck today either?
Eagle: "peep peep"
"Hey I know the feeling. Oh well we’ll get em next time. By the way where’s the Misses?".
There was no response to that one, so I started heading back, to stop briefly underneath the big cottonwood. I couldn’t find the nest anywhere in the tree nor on the ground. There had been a big storm in mid May, with heavy winds and a subsequent flood. As I put my gear in the truck, I took as final look back across the cornfield toward my friend. Now, there were two eagles perched together on the dead tree. No young eagles in sight though. Still a smile crossed my face as I thought ... maybe next year we’ll all have better luck


  1. Neat that you saw this eagle again while on a trout fish! If the nest was successful - I'm sure the young eaglets are getting ready to fledge if they haven't already! NICE shot!

  2. Good shot of the Eagle. I like your narrative on this post. Hope they nested successfully.

  3. You are a true birder and a true fisherman. Your last statement says it all.

  4. Sorry the fishing didn't quite pan out (pardon the pun!) I think the eagles made up for it, though. Very cool!

  5. Sounds like a fine day fishing - even if not for "keeping" :)

  6. Kia ora TB,
    A day spent fishing and watching is never empty. Man, the photos of the eagles can bring a lump to my throat. For so many reasons.

  7. Sorry your didn't see any youngsters with the adults. I see my resident red tail frequently but so far have not seen any young ones.

  8. Oh my goodness! How beautiful.

  9. What a wonderful picture of the eagle. I hope both you and they have better luck next year.

  10. Well, there used to be lots of fish there... Hope they did make a nest & raise eaglets. Would take a heck of a windstorm to tear an eagle nest apart.

  11. TB,

    That is so darn sweet...I wonder, you klutzy man- if your heart just filled clean up with Mrs. T when you saw those two baldies up above?! I have missed the reading loss.