Sure, everyone is sick of the winter weather. Here in Central Illinois, it has been cold and there has been a lot of snow. One good thing about the cold is that it has made for good eagle watching at Lake Springfield. The extreme cold has most waterways locked up in ice and eagles tend to congregate near areas of open water under such conditions. Lake Springfield is a cooling lake that discharges warm water into the main body of the lake, which keeps at least half of the lake free of ice. Just recently, I was able to watch 16 bald eagles from one point while I was out.
The eagles like to sit in trees near the open water or scavenge the edges of the ice. Occasionally, they can be seen harassing waterfowl on the lake or actively fishing.
This juvenile eagle managed to catch a squirrel in the yard of one of the local clubs on the lake. The poor squirrel got caught on the ground out in the open and paid for it.
I’m not sure how common this behavior is for eagles, but it was cool to watch. More often the eagles can be seen fishing the open water, making a catch, and then flying to a nearby tree to enjoy their meal.
Many times the eagles are pestered by crows that want to steal their fish or feed on any scraps that fall to the ground. Sometimes the crows just seem to want to harass the eagles and take turns dive bombing or mobbing them.
If you are lucky enough to find any open water, keep your eyes open. You might just be rewarded with an opportunity to view these majestic birds up close.