Or wherever it is they go when they decided to leave the Fox River. I never have bothered to look up the migration habits and patterns of bald eagles. I'm assuming when they're not here, they're up in Canada somewhere or soaring over a mountain out west. There are a few that seem to have taken up residence in the Fox Valley, but during the warmer months of the year, they're harder to spot and find.
I guess I should be grateful that during January they come and hang out and I get to gawk at them like a kid in a candy shop. A chocolate shop to be more precise.
At the end of January the Fox River was low, pretty well frozen over or was flowing slush. There was little open water and for some reason the river temporarily became a magnet for bald eagles. I took a 10 mile drive along the river from my house in Yorkville to Montgomery two days in a row and wrote about what I saw here and here.
Since then the temperatures have warmed up a bit and we got a couple of inches of rain. This raised the river, melted off the ice and quite a bit of the river in that 10 mile stretch is now ice free.
Yesterday I took the drive along the river to Montgomery. I already noticed that there were fewer eagles in the half mile stretch from the Yorkville dam to my house. Early in the morning a juvenile bald eagle was floating over my house at treetop level. I was surprised that the neighborhood squirrels paid no attention, they seem to be more wary of the hawks than the eagles.
As I headed out, one eagle was seen down on the island below my house and further upstream one was seen at the dam. Three miles further upstream at a park called Saw Wee Kee, two more were seen. That was it for the drive. At the end of January there were over 20 spotted from Saw Wee Kee Park to Montgomery, today, not a single one, they've disappeared.
My friend Bob Frances reported seeing six of them up in South Elgin yesterday, so they're still around. I doubt the big numbers for the eagles will be back, I think that's done. If you're determined to come out to the Fox River and hope to see one, you'll have to be a little more selective on where you go.
I think it's still worth the effort.
Bald eagle photo courtesy of friend and avid bird watcher Larry Granat who runs a Facebook page called The Kendall County Bird Page.