February 25, 2007

SUBJECT: Bald Eagles Visit Dixon, Illinois

My wife Jo has an email list that she uses to send along bird photographs that I take. During the winter months, I am usually photographing bald eagles along the Mississippi River in either Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin or Illinois.

One of our friends (Bill) suggested that I take a trip to Dixon, Illinois to see the Bald Eagles that had been seen by him and his parents.

So on a whim one Sunday, I suggested that Jo and I go for a drive out to Dixon, Illinois. Dixon is not located along the Mississippi River but rather the Rock River. The Rock River is a much smaller river than the Mississippi and you would think that it would be uncommon to see bald eagles in the downtown area of a city alongside a river of this size. But it just so happens that in downtown Dixon there is a small hydro power plant / dam that keeps enough open water for these large birds to fish.

Upon arriving in Dixon, there wasn't too much activity along the river and I wondered if we were going to see any bald eagles. But shortly thereafter a few appeared swooping down towards the water in search of food. It was a cold but pleasant afternoon. We had fun chatting with some of the local residents and photographing these majestic birds. It really is a treat to see these birds moving inwards from the Mississippi and scouting out new territory. Maybe some will stay and raise a family soon.

It's not very often that you get a chance to photograph bald eagles in front of a "Golden-Arches" sign.



An interesting "twist" to our visit was that after I took these photographs, our friend Bill sent the photographs to his parents in Dixon, who got me in touch with the local paper: The Dixon Telegraph. A few days later, my photographs were on the front page of the paper. Now how cool is that?


—Alan Stankevitz

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All photographs © 2002-2007, Alan Stankevitz

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