Monday, January 19, 2015

For the Birds

Early yesterday morning Jim and I drove to the Audubon Center at Riverlands to see the birds - specifically the trumpeter swans. This bird is the largest waterfowl in the Northern Hemisphere, and the largest swan in the world. It has an eight-foot wingspan! Each year a significant number of these swans migrate south from their summer resorts in the northern United States, Canada and even Alaska seeking open water. Around here that can be found at the audubon center. Last year over 900 swans made this area their winter home, and this year the number appears to be about the same. It was easy to see (or perhaps I should say hear) how they got their name. They are quite noisy!

trumpeter swans and ducks on the Mississippi

ducks with cold feet
birds in flight
After visiting the audubon center, we drove across the bridge into Illinois, and then followed the River Road north hoping to catch a glimpse of eagles. Some bald eagles migrate to our area this time of year as well. We found this handsome guy in a tree along the River Road.

bald eagle
We continued our drive up to Grafton, IL where we had a nice breakfast in the restaurant of the old Ruebel Hotel. The bar is from the 1904 World's Fair - beautiful! 

We had such a nice time on an unseasonably warm day in St. Louis. It was a perfect day for a drive - even if it was for the birds.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

He is a handsome one! Also love those swans. Wish they would come by my wildlife café, but no big body of water near my backyard....