04 July 2009
The National Eagle Center
To celebrate the Fourth of July, let me take you on a visit to the National Eagle Center. I spent the previous Fourth on the road, and that road led me through the town of Wabasha, Minnesota. Located on the banks of the Mississippi, it was a logical site for the creation of the National Eagle Center.
In addition to the conventional educational exhibits, the National Eagle Center has viewing areas for watching the ever-present eagles hunting along the river and several live eagles in residence. The latter were rescued from injuries and would be unable to survive in the wild, but are impressive creatures at close range.
A number of I think veterinary students serve as docents at the center; the young lady above gave an excellent hour-long presentation on the biology and habits of bald eagles. I learned that despite the impressive beak, the bald eagle's killing power rests in its talons; a bite from a bald eagle is a minor nuisance (by comparison, the bite from a small nut-eating bird like a finch can reduce a full-grown man to tears).
This place is worth a visit.