On Wings Like Eagles...

The Eagles are back!

In the middle of winter, Bald Eagles gather near open water the way we might congregate around an Old Country Buffet if all the usual grocery stores and restaurants were closed.  This is where the food is!

The open stretches of the lower Wisconsin River offer food swimming past at regular intervals for the eagles whose minds are quickly turning to love as Bald Eagles begin mating season by Valentine's Day.

Yesterday we drove up to Sauk City and Prairie du Sac to watch the symbol of our country.

It's easy to see them along the river.  Perched in trees overlooking the water; in flight; and even sitting on ice.

My camera doesn't "reach out" to pull the birds close to me, but was fortunate when I drove into a city park and the majestic looking bird above and to the right was perched in a tree. Fortunately, it didn't move as I pulled to a stop about 20 yards away.

I parked the car, lowered the windows, and crawled across to the passenger's side to get a decent view.

(Visitors are encouraged strongly to stay in their cars in most viewing areas since the cars don't scare the Bald Eagles, but people walking around could disrupt their habitat.)

This particular eagle stayed on the branch - looking around; talking to eagles nearby; and looking for food - letting me take all the pictures I wanted.  

Only a couple other times have I been this close to a Bald Eagle.  In Pierre, South Dakota below the Oahe Dam and near Augusta, Wisconsin when I topped a hill and saw an eagle dining on road kill.

Thankfully, the population of Bald Eagles is growing thanks to environmental protections that have restored their habitat, so it's not as difficult to find eagles as it used to be.

They are inspiring to watch - gliding over the water, wheeling on air currents, and perched to survey their territory - an image of strength, endurance, and leadership.

It's what makes the Bald Eagle perfect as our national emblem and as an illustration of the strength we find in our Lord and our God:

Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall; 
     but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
 they will walk and not be faint.  
Isaiah 40: 30-12