Word around the museum is that, if you're lucky and looking out the Mississippi River Gallery's big windows (Level 5) at the right time, you might see one of two bald eagles that have been hanging out along our stretch of the river.

Once an endangered species, bald eagles have made a spectacular comeback since the pesticide DDT was banned in the United States in 1972. In our area, eagles are becoming common sightings. Each year, the Mississippi River Valley becomes a "highway" for eagles traveling from the northern summer homes to their southern winter homes. But many eagles spend all year here in Minnesota. In fact, Minnesota and Wisconsin are home to the largest nesting population of bald eagles in the United States outside of Alaska.

Mornings and evenings, you might see eagles soaring on thermals or diving for fish, their primary food. During the day, you're likely to see them perched in large trees near the river's edge.

How can you identify a bald eagle? Well, they're big, with wingspans of up to 7 1/2 feet. You'll often see them soaring or gliding with flat wings. When they do flap, wingbeats are slow and powerful. You usually see them near open water. And adult eagles have brown bodies with white heads and tails. For more tips, Visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Where to see eagles during the winter

Where to see eagles in Red Wing

Where to see eagles in Wabasha

Find out about where you can see eagles during the summer, complete with map.

A cool site with lots of questions and answers about bald eagles.

The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota provides medical care for sick and injured birds of prey, including eagles.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

anyone's picture
anyone says:

That's great that they are coming back.

posted on Fri, 03/25/2005 - 4:36pm
Kalia's picture
Kalia says:

Hi. That's awesome that we have bald eagles in the city. Just a few months ago I was jogging early in the morning at Lake Phalen and I saw a bald eagle soaring above me and then it landed on top of a tree. I'm glad that Minnesota is one of the homes to bald eagles. \r\n

posted on Mon, 04/04/2005 - 3:06pm
Laurie's picture
Laurie says:

At least one of the eagles is still around. I saw it yesterday over the river just south of the museum!

posted on Tue, 04/05/2005 - 11:48am
Alie Romero's picture
Alie Romero says:

The Bald Eagle That I saw was so cool because yeah it was bald but at the same time it was so awsome. Im not really a bird watcher but once in a while I'll see an awsome bird, I see alot of birds when I walk to my bus stop. I love to see birds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 04/16/2005 - 4:34pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Xcel Energy's Fort St. Vrain Station in Platteville, Colorado, is home to a nesting pair of eagles and an eagle cam.

To find out more about the eagle nesting program, click here.

You can also see pictures from the last 24 hours in the eagles' lives.

posted on Wed, 04/06/2005 - 12:22pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported on Tuesday that the number of nesting pairs of bald eagles in the state is up 28% since 2000, when they last surveyed the birds. Eagle watchers found 872 nesting eagle pairs last spring, 191 more than they found last time.

But a new method of estimating the number of nests suggests that there may actually be as many as 1,400 nesting pairs. If that's so, Minnesota is home to more bald eagles than any state except Alaska.

Side note: A Minneapolis man is suing the federal government over the bald eagles' continued listing as a federal endangered species. He says that a nest on his property in Morrison County makes it impossible for him to build on the land. (Bald eagles are not listed as endangered or threatened on the Minnesota endangered/threatened species lists.)

What do you think? Should bald eagles in Minnesota continue to receive special consideration as a federal endangered species?

posted on Wed, 11/02/2005 - 10:53pm

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