07/25/12 Marcia Caine of Plymouth recently gave an interesting PowerPoint presentation title “Bald Eagles In Indiana” at Miller’s Senior Living Community. Caine has always been what she refers to as a “back yard birder” but became interested in eagles quite by surprise.
Several years ago as she was driving North on 31 just past Peru she saw out of the corner of her eye the biggest bird she’d ever seen. Could it be…she wondered? No! It couldn’t be an eagle…Indiana doesn’t have eagles. About 4 years later, around 2000 or 2001 she was driving in the same area and as she was looking around, she saw it – there was an eagle sitting on a fence post looking directly at her as she drove past. In 2010 her granddaughter Mae Christiansen was cross-country skiing near the Wabash River. She called home and told her, “Grandma! I saw a bald eagle today!!”
That did it for Caine. She began researching on the internet by simply typing in “eagles in Indiana” and she has been learning more and more about eagles ever since.
Caine and a friend decided to explore the area around Peru, Indiana where she discovered there are many eagles living. On her first trip to Peru near the Mississinewa area by 4:00 p.m. she had seen eight adult eagles and one juvenile.
On the next trip she explored the area known as Seven Pillars; which happens to be the best kept secret in Indiana, and by 1:00 p.m. had counted 18 adult eagles and one juvenile. By then she was hooked. She is and eagle “junky”. She has also studied the history of Peru and the surrounding area and knows much of the Indian history of that area.
Caine’s PowerPoint presentation included wonderful pictures of eagles and many interesting facts. Some of the interesting eagle facts are almost unbelievable unless you have seen them for yourself. An eagle can have a wing span of 72” – 90”, they stand 28” – 38” tall and they have 7,000 feathers. An eagle can fly 10,000 feet above the ground at a rate of 20 – 60 mph. In the wild an eagle can live up to 30 years and as much as 50 years in captivity. Eagles are strong swimmers, and have very keen eyesight.
What amazed the audience the most seemed to be the facts about an eagle’s nest. An eagle pair constructs their nest and then will return to it year after year adding on to it what is needed. The eagle pair always has the top of the nest for themselves but often other birds will nest lower in the nest while squirrels may live in the bottom portion. An eagle’s nest can weigh as much as 4,000 pounds.
Anyone wishing to go eagle watching should be willing to go in the early morning, stay in your car as it acts as a good blind, take your binoculars and drive slowly with your hazard lights on. It is best to go when there isn’t as much foliage on the trees such as September or February.
Caine is excited about her hobby of eagle watching and it oozes out of her as she shares her knowledge. Anyone wishing to have Caine share her presentation may call Marcia at 574-936-4794.
Photo Caption: Marcia Caine discusses Bald Eagles In Indiana as her granddaughter Mae Christiansen acts as her technological advisor.