Trip to Grand Rapids

Wednesday I headed up to Grand Rapids (birth place of Judy Garland) for another wildlife tourism meeting. I drove up through Aitkin County hoping to find some owls but they have appeared to returned to normal hunting times. I drove through the area about 4pm and found no owls, but I did find a field full of rough-legged hawks. Rain clouds darkened the sky to the east as the sun started to lower in the west and the effect on the dried grasses was beautiful. In an area of about 2 miles I saw about 22 rough-legged hawks hunting the fields.

On the way home I lolligagged a little to see if I could pass through Aitkin closer to sunset in the hopes of finding more owls. I passed a strange scene, an eagle nest above some fishing cabins:

There's a young eagle on the right of the nest and an interesting shiny object. Any idea what it might be?

It's a tv antenna (obviously they are trying to get KARE 11 so they can watch my segments--okay, that joke even made me want to gag and yet I couldn't resist it). I think one of the birds tried to add it to the nest but it got caught in the tree. On the upside, I think they can get some great reception with it.

You can't see the head at this angle, but there was an adult bird sitting in the nest. It kept giving a whining call to the younger bird sitting on the branch. I wonder if the younger eagle was raised in the nest two or three years ago and the adult is scream, "Get outta here, do something with your life. Get a job!" I got a little closer and digi scoped the young eagle's photo:

"I am a lonely asparagus."

My lolligagging paid off, on the way home in the evening I found two porcupines and four great gray owls. Here's one:

Owls here this late are a sure sign that they are nesting. I think our record year is still going to continue.