Bald Eagles Making Their Presence Known In Mid-Michigan
Bald Eagles are appearing seemingly everywhere across the state, including right here in our own backyard. The raptor has been removed from the Endangered Species list since August of 2007. Though the decision came with some resistance from enthusiasts, there is no denying the population increase, especially here in Michigan.
The first time I saw a bald eagle in Michigan was in 1987 at Eagles Nest Overlook, just west of Oscoda along the banks of the Au Sable River. That same year, I witnessed my first flight show of eagles over the backwaters of Loud Dam Pond. These sightings became more common as years went by. But, seeing the bald eagle in Mid-Michigan was unheard of.
In 2011, I witnessed a bald eagle resting on a stump along the banks of the Maple River in Gratiot County, at the US-127 pass. Of course, I was unable to get a picture to prove the naysayers wrong...and there were many naysayers. Two years later, stories surfaced out of Clinton County of a bald eagle found shot dead near Highland Hills Golf Course outside of DeWitt. It didn't necessarily prove me right, but certainly led support to my sighting.
Then, in the summer of 2013, I witnessed another bald eagle, right here in Lansing, at our station transmitter site on Pine Tree Rd. This time I was able to obtain a witness. With naysayers a bit quieter, more stories have surfaced in recent months.
Last fall, an injured raptor was rescued in Livingston County along Coon Lake Road south of Fowlerville. Experts suspect this bird, too, was shot by a human.
Just last week, a photographer from the Lansing State Journal was able to obtain snapshots of bald eagles along the Red Cedar River right here in Lansing, near Potter Park. (no tragedies, thank goodness)
Now, today, a story at mlive.com details another bald eagle rescue along the Flint River in Genesee County. Apparently, this story, too, has some tragedy to it...but, this time, at the hands of Mother Nature. One female was rescued from the river, while another drowned after the two had an apparent battle over a piece of roadkill.
Bald eagles truly are amazing creatures. What was once a sight saved for those in the great wilderness of America is becoming a more common sight for those of us lucky enough to call Michigan our home. Keep your eyes peeled...you may become amazed!