Despite the arctic cold a sign of spring is showing up in Sioux Falls. Bald eagles have made a pit stop in the city as they fly north for the spring and summer.
"They traditionally every year bunch up around Sioux Falls as they're moving north," Conservation Officer Jeremy Rakowicz with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks said.
The eagles are a sign of warm weather to come. Nearly 20 eagles have been spotted this week around the Big Sioux River just downstream from Falls Park.
"A lot of times they'll follow the waterfowl migration, which we haven't seen yet this year because of the late winter, but it's time for the birds to be moving and those eagles know that so they're on the move," Rakowicz said.
Officials with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks say the eagles are on their way to northern nesting areas and will likely be in Sioux Falls for the next couple weeks. There are more eagles because the population is growing.
"Eagle numbers are on the rise. They have been the last several years and it's not uncommon to see eagles anymore like it used to be 20 years ago," Rakowicz said.
And at least for a few weeks it won't be uncommon to see the symbol of freedom flying high over the city.
Officials remind the public that bald eagles are still federally protected and it’s illegal to chase after the birds or interfere with them in any way.