Bird watchers keeping an eagle eye on local farm

Local News

HUDSON, S.D. (KELO) — A large convocation of eagles near Hudson, South Dakota is drawing bird watchers from around the region, but one lucky farm couple is enjoying a front row seat to a spectacle of nature.

“One day just from my kitchen window, I counted 44 of them,” said Elaine Wennblom.

Murlyn and Elaine Wennblom live near the Big Sioux River and have seen eagles before. But nothing like this.

“I would guess there’s 80 to 100 of them for sure,” said Wennblom

The eagles have turned their quiet county road into a highway.

“There’s been all kinds of traffic. Every time I look out, there’s 8 to 10 cars out there,” said Wennblom.

Jason Honey and his family drove here from Brandon Sunday morning to see the congregation first hand.

“Just came out to take some pictures of the bald eagles. There must be darn near 100 of them or so. You see the young ones that haven’t had their full plumage and everything. It’s beautiful to see all these birds just kind of flying around,” said bird watcher Jason Honey.

The eagles are feasting on frozen fowl. The Wennblom’s don’t own the field and aren’t sure if it’s chickens or pheasants, but Elaine is a little worried about her farm cats.

“Yes, yes, I think they’re quite concerned about themselves as well. My husband says when they fly over, the cats duck under the trees. See how they’re walking close to the buildings, so they’re aware,” said Wennblom.

Nobody knows if the birds of prey will stick around or scatter when their food source is gone, but Wennblom has some advice for bird watchers and photographers.

“If you get out and move, they leave, because we tried to take pictures and as soon as you open the door, whoosh, they’re gone,” said Wennblom.

Still, it’s a beautiful sight, even when they take off.

The Wennbloms think the eagles are thinning out. They counted fewer birds on Sunday than just a few days ago.

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