Go find a bald eagle on this President’s Day

Are you feeling a little Patriotic this President’s Day? Maybe you should go try and see a bald eagle.

According to Indiana Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Ginger Murphy, the winter time is actually the best time to see bald eagles in Indiana.

“The congregate in the winter time,” Murphy said on Network Indiana’s Indiana Outdoors. “We have a lot of nests now throughout the state after having none for a long-time.”

She said bald eagles were scarce in Indiana after the 1890’s, but in 1985, the Indiana Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program began the Bald Eagle Reintroduction Program. During the program dozens of eagles and eaglets were obtained from places like Wisconsin and Alaska and then set free in Indiana.

As of 2017, there were 231 reported bald eagle nest throughout the state, with an estimated 274 individual bald eagles living in those nests. These surveys also indicated the first ever recorded bald eagle nest in Boone County.

The same study conducted in 2017 said the highest concentration of bald eagles during the winter time is near Sugar Creek’s West Union Bridge northeast of Montezuma in Parke County.

Closer to home here, you can find eagles at Lake Monroe, and at Patoka Lake as well as the Patoka National Wildlife Refuge in Pike and Gibson Counties.

“There’s a great place in Miami County where they nest during the winter time,” Murphy said of some of the other places you’re likely to see a bald eagle. “There’s several another spots along the Wabash River on the west side of the state. Monroe Lake and Patoka Lake are also great places to see them.”

Bald eagles used to be an endangered species, but it’s thanks to efforts like the DNR’s reintroduction program that the bald eagle was removed from that list in 2007. Nationally, the DNR says the bald eagle population is increasing by less than 1-percent a year.