More Iowa bonuses

I’ve mentioned previously that not only do I live in Iowa, I live waaaay out in rural Iowa–gravel road, mile-away neighbors, the whole shebang. I realize that’s the worst nightmare of many people–living in the boonies in a “red state,” but it definitely has its perks at times. This morning, my husband called me on his drive to work and said I might want to pack up the kids and drive around the block. Turns out about 16 bald eagles were in a field down the road, apparently feasting on something dead. The good news: I have a Canon camera with a crazy telephoto lens for moments just like this. The bad news: the battery was, of course, dead, and I didn’t have a spare on hand. (D’oh!) So had to use the digital camera instead. You have to use your imagination a bit, but those little white dots are their heads (note that some of them are all brown–juvenile bald eagles don’t have white heads). There were about 5 on the ground at that point, and ~10 or so more in the tree to the right.

We live a few miles from a lake, and ~10 miles from each of 2 decent-sized rivers, so we see bald eagles pretty regularly in the area. (Not quite as often as those who live in Iowa towns along the Mississippi, but often enough). Last year we frequently had them in our backyard:

It’s a great place to live if you like birds of prey. We have a raptor center nearby where they care for injured birds, and hawks are everywhere. Last summer when we were out on the lake, we watched an osprey catch fish. It was certainly doing a better job than my husband was.

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  1. there is a beauty of the unbroken horizon in the midwest, though i cautioned my gf against getting out of the car when we were in southern minnesota in the middle of the summer at sunset as it was pretty humid. there are pluses and minuses to big city and small town, mountains and bottomlands, and if ppl keep them in mind we can appreciate the sort of diversity we have in a big country like. though, i would offer that anyone who wants to see vistas and majesty swing over to the pacific northwest, we’re talkin’ god’s country for sure….

  2. You’d think that in rural Iowa, hog heaven, there’d be plenty of pig entrails tossed about and the eagles would feed on them. Near here are chicken farms, and the eagles come out in droves when the unfortuantes that don’t make it get heaved out.

    It’s always nice to see the big raptors though. There’s a great horned owl that likes to bathe in our lake.

  3. Looks like Norfolk (UK). If you like flat places with lots of farms, then I recommend a visit. I’m more of a mountains man; can’t beat a bit of gradient.

  4. razib–I have a good friend who lives in Oregon, and I made a very quick stop in Seattle last year on my way to Victoria, BC. It’s definitely on my list of places to return to.

    Dave–that could be what was out there. It was right across the road from a small hog farm, and I couldn’t tell what they were feeding on (didn’t want to get too close). Last year right next to my house, 4 of them were feeding on a dead raccoon (we went out and checked what it was after they were finished with it). Don’t see many owls, and we even have a barn on our property. They must hide pretty well around here.

    Steve–I’d love to get over there. Maybe when the kids are a bit older…And it’s hard to tell from that picture, but it’s not really flat here. There are rolling hills, so it makes for a bit of scenery. Where I grew up in NW Ohio, it’s *really* flat–the only valleys you get are roadside ditches.

  5. I have a good friend who lives in Oregon, and I made a very quick stop in Seattle last year on my way to Victoria, BC

    send me an email if you are coming to my state 🙂 if you have a UofO association i might know them.

  6. “Flat places”? I drove from one end of Iowa to the other in a fully-loaded and underpowered truck. There wasn’t an inch of highway that wasn’t steeply uphill or downhill, or immediately adjacent to both. Maybe you’re thinking of Kansas.

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