Where eagles dare

John and Barbara Strothman are two of a growing number of people who have traveled to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to find the nesting bald eagles (see story).

In case one hasn’t heard, there’s a bald eagle’s nest at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

Many have tried to find the nest on their own, and others have learned where it is from those who have seen it.

John and Debra Strothman found it Sunday, Jan. 12. To say Debra was a bit excited to finally see it would be an understatement.

The nest is far off the loop road, but Debra did the best she could to get a clear shot with the camera lens she had with her that day.

“While they are not near the quality or clarity I like for my picture sharing, the distance of the eagles didn’t allow my long lens to reach.  But I’m thrilled with the shots I got.”

The Strothmans were all smiles when they spotted the eagles at about 2 p.m.

“The refuge had posted a picture on its Facebook page, so we knew it wasn’t a secret,” Debra said. “We didn’t ask for directions after arriving at the refuge and purchasing our pass. We thought we knew where to find them through a friend who told us about the spot.

“We were told the nesting eagles were on the Auto Tour Road about one mile in.

“Well, we got there and didn’t see anything.  So we continued creeping along the road, stopping periodically to scan the tree lines. We came up to a meadow with a tree line in the distance and I asked John to stop.

“Nothing was visible to the naked eye, so I took pictures and John scanned with his binoculars.

“I zoomed in on the pictures I snapped and lo and behold, there they were - two white heads!  I was so giddy as I yelled to John that I found them.”  

A few minutes later another car pulled up. A lady got out of the vehicle and told the Strothmans refuge employees told her exactly where to find the eagles.

“I have to admit, our way of finding them was more thrilling,”

Debra said.

“I understand an eaglet has hatched.  I look forward to my next outing to see if I can get a few more pictures.”

Numerous people have called the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce asking about the eagles’ location.

“We were told you should go to about mile 15 of the 16-mile loop, and when you get to 15 mph yellow sign, look in the trees with your scope,” said Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Diane Probst.

The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States of America.

According to Wikipedia, eagles build the largest nest of any North American bird, and the largest tree nests ever recorded for any animal species.

The sexes are identical in plumage, but females are about 25 percent larger than males.

The bald eagle was on the brink of extinction in the late 20th century. It was removed from the list of endangered species in 1995, and transferred to the threatened species list. In 2007 the bald eagles were removed from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife in the 48 contiguous states.

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