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Marsh Musings
hoi kl marshmusings
Bald eagles abound in the area this time of year.

It is “”Eagle Time” in Kansas!  It seems that we have had more eagles this year than any in my memory. All of the reservoirs have eagles in residence.  I have located a couple of nests with eggs under these beautiful mothers.  Both parents share the incubating duty that is 35 days, but the female spends most of the time on the eggs.  “Bald ( or balde)” meant “white” in the old language, and this bird was declared the national symbol in 1782. I went to Kansas City last week to join my friend Randy Akings in a moderately successful effort to photograph eagles on the Kaw River where it crosses under Loop 435. There are about 300 eagles in that area, and they are fairly easy to access.  This picture was  taken in Wyandotte Park close to the Cabelas store.  America lost a hero last week when Dick Cabela passed away at age 77.  I was privileged to attend his annual holiday party with Dave Holt in late January. Dick and his brother started that store by selling fishing flies out of a garage. I’m sure the “Eagle Spirit of America “ watched over them in that endeavor.  We live in a great nation, and I hope we are smart enough to protect and nurture it.
We have had local eagles at the Bottoms, and at Veterans Park in Great Bend.  They were shopping for a goose meal at Veterans lake. I noticed a public discussion of the serious contamination of that lake by the geese and nitrogen run off.  I applaud that effort, and would encourage the community to join in with gusto. When I came here in the early 1990’s Mike Ehlebracht and his two daughters and I caught beautiful rainbow trout which were delicious after being soaked in a brine and smoked.  They moved to Wyoming and the girls are grown. Time does fly.
If you want to join a “million plus” completely dedicated viewers, there is a web cam at Berry College on line that is following a eagle nest.  One eaglet hatched on Feb. 22, and the second egg is due any day. An owl visited the nest but did no harm a few days ago.  The web address is  It is a personal, intimate view of a segment of eagle life.  They can live up to 40 years according to Waite’s Birds which is a app on my phone. Technology reigns supreme-- but it is a terrific opportunity to see something very special.
Enjoy our eagles-- they won’t hang around here very much longer this year.
Doc Witt is a retired physician and avid outdoorsmen.