Birds of Prey: The Bald Eagle Laying Season in the Dubuque Area

DUBUQUE, IA – With the elections coming up this year, many people are seeing American symbols on display  in various places. One of the most traditional symbols makes its home in Iowa.

Bald eagles have been living and making appearances in the Dubuque area for quite some time, thanks to the abundant fishing opportunities in the surrounding countryside.

Decorah Nest ImageThe success of the Decorah nest camera, which shows a live feed of eagles and their activity on, has many interested in watching the egg laying process. Since mating and nesting seasons in Iowa begin in mid-February and continue through March, now is one of the best times to go watching for the birds.

Staff at the Dubuque County Conservation Board, including naturalist Allie Schmalz, are more than happy to share the information with those interested, “…uh, bald eagles tend to mate for life, and they tend to use the same nest year after year [unless other birds move into the nest], so they’ll sort of pick out a place and then they’ll sort of add to that nest year after year, and make it bigger and bigger….”Allie Image

While attempting to create the story for LCTV News, it was discovered that there are few eagle nests in the area that can be seen by visitors. However, the places best suited to see eagles flying, hunting, and even perching 0n tree branches include Swiss Valley Park near Catfish Creek, and Lock and Dam Number Eleven on the Mississippi River. Other places include Eagle Point Park and the Mines of Spain, which will not be open for public use until Memorial Day of this year. Occasionally, eagles will be seen hunting or eating carrion in local fields.Swiss Valley Image Lock 11 Image

You can contact the Dubuque County Conservation Board on-location at 13606 Swiss Valley Road near Peosta, or call at (563) 556-6745.

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Levi Bernhard is currently a senior student at Loras College. He originally hails from St. Benedict, a small town near Algona, Iowa. Levi is a reporter and crew member for LCTV News, and helps contribute stories to productions. A couple years ago, he worked as an intern at Kossuth Regional Health Center, recording and editing videos. This past January, he went on a travel January Term course to Greece, where he helped create a couple of short documentaries about the country. He enjoys being in media studies because he likes the concepts of telling stories to wide audiences, and working with a variety of technology. He is also in media studies because he has a dream of becoming a filmmaker.

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