On Friday, as my son and I were walking through our neighborhood, we saw an American bald eagle fly overhead. An American bald eagle in an urban area. Who knew? A few years ago, when we were visiting my wife’s parents, we saw bald eagles in a park in Montrose, Colo, near the Uncompahgre River. I expect to see bald eagles in Colorado. But in Indiana?
Actually, bald eagles are not as rare in Indiana as one might think. Near my hometown, a nesting pair of eagles live at Eagle Marsh. I am not sure how Eagle Marsh got its name, but I’m pretty sure no eagles were living there when the wetlands restoration began.
Last winter, my wife and son went to an eagle program sponsored by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. They joined a caravan that ended up at a Mississenwa River crossing where several eagles were gathered. A few days after they went, my wife and son took me to the same areas so I could see the eagles up close.
Besides eagles, viewing wildlife in the city isn’t all difficult, though it’s often surprising because you never know when you might see something like an eagle flying over your neighborhood. Or the afternoon on a day before Thanksgiving when my son and I were at the park and we saw several dozen sandhill cranes flying south. On the far west side of the state, sandhill cranes gather on their migration every fall and spring, so this was surprising to see so many on the east side of the state.
I frequently see a hawk of some type flying from tree to tree in the neighborhood. And our city has a falcon nesting box at the top of one its skyscrapers. Occasionally on summer nights I hear a barred owl making its “who cooks for you, who cooks for you all” call. Living as do near rivers, I also frequently see great blue herons. I had an animal control officer ask me one afternoon if I’d seen a fox in the park. I hadn’t, but she got a call from someone who saw an injured fox in the park.
Coyotes are making a comeback in urban areas. Though I have yet to see one, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not nearby. We have raccoons and squirrels and chipmunks and groundhogs and mallards and Canada geese in the neighborhood.
What wildlife frequents your cities and towns?