My heart did a skip not once but twice during a Saturday afternoon visit to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, El Puerto, at Leisure Point on Fox Lake. Our group was having a great time with a great view of the lake. One by one, we started to notice the different birds swooping to grab fish from the lake. White Pelicans and even an Eagle were together fishing on the open water of the lake.
What a delight to see the migrating White Pelicans. As it turns out, the White Pelicans have been on the lake this time of year, for at least three years, as they honor us on their way back to their summer home in Canada.
The American Eagles, labeled an endangered species 40 years ago, are around most often in the winter months when they need to find open water to fish. Now, Illinois is second only to Alaska for Eagle sightings in the United States. I have known that Eagle watching was common along the Illinois and Iowa Border, near Wisconsin, on the Mississippi River in January for many years, but I can now walk down the street from my home to the waterfront on Fox Lake and eagle watch.
This may have been an excruciatingly long, cold winter for all of us in Northern Illinois, but being able to see more of the White Pelicans and American Eagles fishing in our waters is worth it. Seeing these birds hunting together in such close proximity to humans and safe in their natural environment just gives me hope for our planet. If you live in the area, it is a trip you must take to the lake to see these birds fish.
Information about Eagle watching in Illinois: http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/eagles/Pages/EagleWatching.aspx
More to read about these beautiful bird sightings in Lake County: