Monday, January 30, 2012

Shad + Shallow Water = Bald Eagle's Buffet!

Bald Eagles at the Monroe Michigan DTE Power Plant   
 (Above: Barrie Lynn Totten Wood photo)
Western shore of Lake Erie - January 28, 2012
photos by Barrie Lynn Totten Wood  and Jonathan Schechter

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature he finds it is attached to the rest of the world"
Those timeless words of John Muir take on a new meaning at the DTE Monroe Power Plant.
Bald eagles are common at the power plant during winter for the fishing is easy
and the living is secure because man tugged on nature.
And where is why the eagles come!
Slightly warmed water from the heat exhangers of this coal fired facility - one of the
cleanest coal plants  in the nation - flows through shallow canals and ponds to Lake Erie.
Gizzard shad like warm water and congregate in the shallows.
Bald eagles, with their excellent eye sight, ability to hover, and powerful talons take
 advantage of the opportunity of abundance and feast on the shad, the main entree
at this all you can eat  power plant fish buffet.

Shallow water eagle habitat - photo by Jonathan Schechter

Eagle watches the water for fish movement -  photo by Jonathan Schechter

A perfect kingfisher-like hover! - photo by Jonathan Schechter

A final flight adjustement - photo by Barrie Lynn Totten Wood

Juvenile bald eagle soars high overhead - photo by Barrie Lynn Totten Wood

A six foot wing span - the bald eagle - soars over the trees
photo by Jonathan Schechter

Americna coots paddle beneath the eagles and among the old giant lotus stalks
photo by Jonathan Schechter

Another moment of magestic hovering - photo by Jonathan Schechter

  Joann Van Aken of the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance chats with Jamie Lanier,
the Visitor Services Manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge who coordinated
the  2012 Eagle Tour with the cooperation and assistance of the DTE Monroe Power Plant.
This secure facility is normally closed to the public. 
 I took part as an escorted guest on the tour sponsored by the  DTE Energy
 Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
photo by Jonathan Schechter


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bald Eagles are so cool. I a was able to watch them from a boat up in Lubec, Maine, and was amazed at their size a beauty. Great article.
Kris Harris

January 30, 2012 at 7:38 AM 

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