Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bald Eagle Days in Keokuk

Saturday, after the Temple.,..we hurried over to Keokuk to the last 2 hours of their Bald Eagle Appreciation Days celebration. Keokuk is the winter home of the largest concentration of Bald Eagles on the Mississippi River. I posted some pictures of the eagles along the river that we had seen a couple of weeks ago. They had all kinds of booths and entertainment set up in the River City Mall there, and it was all very interesting. I wish we had had more time to spend there before it closed for the day. It was open again today (Sunday) , but of course we would not go over today....really not a Sabbath activity...especially for a missionary :)!!

Keokuk was originally an Sauk or Sac Indian settlement and is named after on of their great Indian Chiefs. There were a lot of Native American booths with items to purchase and lots of interesting information about the Native Americans who settled this area. They were also doing some fun dancing at one end of the mall. I tried to get a couple of pictures...not very good, but maybe enough for you to get a flavor of the dancing.

Several of our Site missionaries spent the whole day over at this celebration in a booth called NAUVOO ON THE ROAD...They were demonstrating pioneer crafts and games, etc...much like they do in the Family Living Center here in Nauvoo. For example...candle making, weaving, rope making. etc. They were just closing up when we came, but I got a picture of the women...the men were loading up the supplies. Sisters Guymon, Leal, Torrie, and Saville.

A little boy ...proud of his eagle I took his picture while we were waiting in line for the Bird Show. The World Bird Sanctuary of St. Louis brought several of their raptor birds, and put on a program in the movie theatre in the mall. It was very interesting!

There were two different kinds of owls...this is a barn owl...little, but scary looking :) He could turn his head all the way around!!

These two pictures are the screech owl, pretty cute looking I thought. This owl would fly over our heads from the front of the theatre to the back and only inches from our heads!! ...and when you closed your eyes, you couldn't hear it at all. They have "silent flight" so their prey do not hear them coming. Owls also have excellent hearing. She said they could hear a mouse running along the ground 2 miles away!!

This is an Auger Buzzard, which she said was a cousin to the red-tailed hawk. She said that what we think of as buzzards are actually vultures and not buzzards at all. This guy really didn't like his picture taken and was usually turned the other way.

These next 3 pictures are a Tawny Eagle, and he really acted mean!! He kept trying to fly away from the man who was holding him!

He actually hit the man in the head with his wings here!

Would you like to meet him in a dark alley?!! Remember the show THE BIRDS? I kept thinking about that all during this program.

And then there was this beautiful Bald Eagle...named Patriot. He was so majestic and beautiful. He was really cool to be so close up to one of these magnificent creatures!

Eagles have incredible eyesight. She said if they could read, they could read a normal printed page across the length of a football field!!!
Their wing span is about 7 feet...but they weigh only about 11 pounds because their bones are hollow.

Looks like a stuffed bird...but HE WAS REAL!

They also had this African White Naped Raven outside the theatre that they had trained to take bills from peoples hands and fold them and put them in this donation box for the sanctuary. He was amazing...I got Rick to try it so I could catch this picture!

This was just a man made eagles nest they had displayed in the mall, but they said eagles nests can be as large as 9 feet wide and 12 or more feet deep!! The eagles mate for life and they come back to the same nest every year and they add to it every year!!

On the way home we stopped by the river and I got another couple of pictures of the eagles in the wilds! There were several in this tree when we stopped the car, but as I started to walk towards them, they all flew away except this one and he just stayed and stayed!

Video of the Native American dancing at Eagle Days. This was a dance to ward off illnesses and problems.
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Bob and Joan said...

Looks like a great outing. Excited to see your pictures of the ice storm!