If you've been following my last few posts, you'll know that I was in St. Louis over the weekend for a wedding. Being not one of the bridal party, instead being just an uncle, I didn't have to get caught up in the maelstrom of wedding planning. The groom's father didn't have a lot to do on Saturday, so he took me kayaking on an 80-acre lake on the outskirts of St. Louis. One of the attractions, besides being my first kayaking "adventure", was a Bald Eagle nest along the shoreline.
I'm amazed, of course, that my camera didn't end up on the bottom of the lake, and we were able to float close enough for some good shots of the Bald Eagle family. Both parents were in attendance, along with one chick, which appeared to be getting reasonably close to being a fledgling.
Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) got treated rather shabbily for being our national bird. They were shot and poisoned almost to extinction in the lower 48 states, and the widespread use of DDT made things worse. They have recovered nicely, and are reclaiming much of their lost range. It was nice to see a thriving family in the Midwestern U.S.