Introducing Grandkids to Eagles

Watching our grandsons for the day, we decided to coax them away from their cartoons and computer games by suggesting a visit to Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area.  The promise of seeing bald eagles seemed to do the trick and we set off with our binos and field guide amidst an air of enthusiasm.

Arriving at the refuge on this cool, sunny morning, we were fortunate to spot an adult eagle within a few minutes, perched near its massive nest; the boys were thrilled by the encounter and they remained attentive for a half hour or so.  We saw mallards, Canada geese, American coot, great blue herons, ring-billed gulls, red-tailed hawks, white-tailed deer and several more eagles as we circled through the refuge but their interest rapidly waned.  Attempting to boost their enthusiasm, we stopped to skip pebbles across a frozen slough and to watch a freight train beyond the swift flowing Missouri.  Alas, reports of hunger and boredom shortened our visit.

Too young to fully appreciate the floodplain refuge, their focus had turned toward the digital entertainment awaiting at home.  But I have no doubt that they will remember our trip and will surely mention the eagles to their schoolmates and friends.  Hopefully, it will spawn requests to return to Eagle Bluffs in the months and years to come, gradually expanding their interest in the magnificent diversity that nature has to offer.