Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
Click on Mark Twain to jump to Troutbirders book review blog

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

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

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Oh my goodness! How beautiful.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.