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Louisa County’s Big Birds May 30, 2009

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Louisa County, Nature, Wapello.
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I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to see birds in Louisa County that I had never expected to see in the wild. How many of these have you got on your life-time list?  How many would you like to see again?

Osprey at Port LouisaOsprey.  Ospreys are very large birds that live exclusively on fish.  I still haven’t seen one myself but my friend MH got a picture of this one fishing at Port Louisa.

Eagles. When I was growing up Bald Eagles were almost extinct.   Today, I live in a county that has more than 80 nesting pairs.  I enjoy seeing them every winter and occasionally at other times of the year.  Golden Eagles have also been reported around Lake Odessa.

Great Blue Heron. I remember finding these large shore birds in my mom’s Field Guide and wanting to see one.  I see them often now in the wetlands north and east of Wapello.

Wild Turkeys. Shortly after I moved to Wapello, I spied the largest bird I had ever seen sitting in my neighbor’s tree.  It was a wild turkey.  These massive, dark birds were reintroduced to the county a few decades ago.  They have since become sufficiently numerous that there is a hunting season.  I see them on the golf course or by the road.  Several times I’ve seen young ones trailing after a hen.

Vultures. Another very large bird.  If anything they’re uglier in person than they are in pictures.

Owls. Several species of owls live in the county.  A barn owl is rumored to be roosting in one of the trees in the courthouse lawn.  A few years ago I got to see a Great Horned Owl as it glided across the road in front of me.  You’ll hear them more often than you see them.

Hawks. Red Tails and other hawks are frequently seen circling over the fields, but in the fall I get to see them up close.  That’s when they park on fence posts near the road.  They’re looking for mice that are escaping the combines and the gophers that burrow into the shoulders of the gravel roads.

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One of a Kind Eagle Picture

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