The last couple of years, I’ve gone to Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri on the Monday before Thanksgiving to take images of bald eagles. It is a 7,350 acre refuge that was established in 1935. This time of the year, hundreds of thousands of geese and ducks stop to rest on their migration south. Monday’s count was over 203,000 geese and 90,000 ducks. A lot fewer than the 1,200,000 that I’ve seen there in the past. It just hasn’t been cold enough for most of them to migrate yet
Bald Eagles follow the migration to feed on the sick and injured. According to Refuge count on Monday the 21st, there was only 1 adult and 23 immature eagles but I saw 4 adults and 18 immature ones. Mature eagles heads and tails turn white around age 4 or 5. Below is an image of one of the 4 that I saw. There were 2 adults in the same tree but the sun was directly behind them! Because of that, there was no way to get a decent shot so I didn’t try to take it.
The first weekend in December the Refuge hosts Eagle Days. There may be as many as 150 to 300 eagles there at that time. I’ll be there with a group. Because of the crowd of people on Eagles Day, the eagles become nervous and fly away as you try to approach them. You can still see them but often at quite a distance. That’s the reason I like to go the Monday before Thanksgiving.
Oh, you will see many other raptors there as well. I took a number of pictures of them too. Most are red-tailed hawks. However, I did get lucky and saw what I thought to be a prairie falcon swoop down to get it’s prey. That was very cool!
Just before I left, I counted 30 deer all yarded up in the same field. There were so many that I couldn’t get them all in the viewfinder at one time but I did manage to get 18 of them in one image. Can you tell which one is the only buck in the herd?
He is the 4th one from the left. Be careful when you count. You may miss one. He’s the first one that is facing to the right.
I’ve added a new gallery for Squaw Creek above. The first 5 images were taken in the Spring. All the rest were taken this past Monday.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog and the images in the gallery. Thanks for coming. Comments are welcomed.