Jason's Journal: Bald Eagles Celebrate the New Year in Illinois

By Jason Beverlin
Deputy Director of the Illinois River Program

January 2008 — Happy New Year from Emiquon!

Last year ended with the arrival of bald eagles—we counted 20 of them in early December, and they continue to winter here and at nearby Spunky Bottoms. This is a good place for them to winter; since Emiquon is far enough down river that the water doesn’t stay frozen for long, the eagles can find plenty of fish here. In fact, Lake Thompson was stocked with 24 fish species last spring and summer, so the eagles can hunt for fish like bluegill, largemouth bass, and pumpkinseed sunfish. With the wintering eagles and the well-stocked waters, we are getting closer and closer to the natural biodiversity of these wetlands.

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