James Baughn was the webmaster of seMissourian.com and its sister newspapers for 20 years. On the side, he maintained even more sites, including Bridgehunter.com, LandmarkHunter.com, TheCapeRock.com, and Humorix. Baughn passed away in 2020 while doing one of the things he loved most: hiking in Southeast Missouri. Here is an archive of his writing about hiking and nature in our area.
Bald eagles putting on a show near Big Muddy River in Illinois
Posted Monday, March 18, 2019, at 1:58 PM
This last weekend saw a large crowd descend on the Snake Road at LaRue-Pine Hills in Illinois to watch the snake migration.
For those of us not interested in reptiles, the same area is currently offering another kind of wildlife viewing opportunity: bald eagles.
Thanks to the flooded fields after our ridiculously wet winter, the eagles have scoped this out as the perfect place to go fishing.
A couple dozen eagles -- both adults and juveniles -- are hanging around Highway 3 just north of the bridge over Big Muddy River. It didn't take long for word to spread on social media about the eagle party, and so the roads over the weekend were hopping with bird watchers toting their telephoto lenses.
The eagles didn't seem to be fazed by the traffic on Highway 3.
Adding to the festivities was a controlled burn by the U.S. Forest Service just to the south.
It's unclear how much longer the eagles will stay in the area, but if you want to see the nation's symbol without much effort, here's the perfect chance.
Driving directions: Take Highway 3 north through Ware and Wolf Lake. Continue to the bridge over Big Muddy River. Turn left at the levee road immediately after the bridge. Park on the side of the road and look north (right). The eagles have been hanging around the fields and trees here.
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