Friday, January 13, 2012

"Baseballs" Building Nests

This is a great time of year to go out looking for "baseballs". I don't mean the kind you hope to catch at Wrigley Field. I'm talking about our national symbol, the bald eagle. "Baseballs" are what some eagle watchers call these magnificent birds because that is what their white heads look like from a distance.

Eagles along Illinois waterways are building nests to get ready to lay their eggs. According to baldeagleinfo.com nests are five or more feet in diameter and are home for up to three eggs.

The Bald Eagle Watch Weekend on January 28-29 is just one opportunity to see and learn about eagles. The Illinois Audobon Society has many activities planned at the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center, across the river from nearby Starved Rock State Park.

Last year the famous Decorah eagles laid their first egg on February 23. The egg hatched on April 2, to the joy of thousands of observers who watched this eagle family through an internet webcam. If you want to watch them this year, you can find nest camera links at the Raptor Resource Project.

Of course, the library has some great print resources as well.

The Bald Eagle by Karen Latchana Kenney describes the bald eagle as an emblem of the United States.

A Bald Eagle's World by Caroline Arnold is great illustrated book for the youngest readers.

Exploring the World of Eagles by Tracy C. Read includes great photo illustrations.

Eagles by Tom Warhol and Chris Reiter goes more in depth for older readers.

I hope you have success if you go looking for bald eagles. Don't forget your binoculars!

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