Chasing Eagles

I drove over there for nothing today. I noticed all the eagles were gone before I even got to the parking lot. There was about 30 over at the point so I figured someone must have walked the river bank on the RF side and sure enough, there was tracks going all the way down river. They even broke through the ice in one spot. Then I saw the two ladies that were here, they walked out on the point of the park and scared every single eagle away. then they sat in the car and when 2 eagles came back they quick got out and walked to the point again.

An hour later I gave up, the eagles weren’t coming back. I drove through the park on my way home and there they were, parked in the road out chasing eagles out of every tree in the park. They moved out of my way and so I pulled along side and motioned for them to roll down there window and asked where they were from. One was from Sterling and the other from Oregon. I suggested that if they’d wait at the dam the eagles would come to them. I said there were no more eagles around but I doubt they knew what I was saying. Please people, go to the dam and watch eagles and give them a little space in the trees where they perch and watch for fish.

These women really scarred the area, all the pretty snow along the river bank where eagles feed sometimes, broken ice, and no eagles. I have a feeling this wasn’t their first eagle chasing trip and they are not the only ones, others do it too. Some even drive off-road it at the park with no concern for the Eagles or the park. If the eagles don’t have a place to perch to watch for fish in the open water, they will just leave the area entirely. Usually the eagle chasers just chase the eagles down river where they can get some peace, but this year the river is frozen except at the dam so if the eagles leave they will go to the Mississippi river and may never return. It is only a short flight to Lock & Dam 13. People are also coming from Dixon and Oregon and they love nothing better than to chase the eagles away from our area hoping they will come up by their towns. Or the figure they drive all that way they are gong to get some eagle photos regardless off the damage they cause.

I have been getting a lot of birders and photographers to come to sterling RF to see the Eagles, but these eagle chasers are killing any tourism by chasing the eagles away. One they are chased away they don’t come back for hours or even days. What needs to be is simple, give the eagles a small area to perch and feed at the dam. Put up a few signs across the point at lawrence park area saying “eagle sanctuary area closed January and February” and put up a sign on the RF side by the fence behind that lot where eagles perch.

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About Dave Tackett

Dave Tackett is from Sterling Illinois. An avid fisherman since childhood, he has fished all over the Midwest, mainly the Mississippi River pools 8-19. His home waters are pools 13 & 14. After fishing Bass tournaments for many years, he gave it up to fish for Walleye year round. He now guides and fishes for fun. He likes to take photos of the scenic places he visits on the river and likes to keep a video camera running to get footage for his Walleye DVDs. Photography is now where he most of his time working, using professional DSLR cameras and lens. These photos include landscape around the Mississippi River and the Rock River, river birds like eagles heron, egrets etc.
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