eagles,Image created by Hope Rutledge

South Dakota

My name is Marcy Jones and I am a 47 year old lifetime resident of South Dakota. All but 4 of those years I have lived in the beautiful Black Hills. Yesterday, Saturday, February 5, 2011, I saw a bald eagle, for the first time. I immediately had to call my husband (even though he was in a meeting) and tell him. I was about 2.5 miles west (off Hwy 16) and 1/2 mile south of Custer, SD on Stagg Rd. I was looking for properties for sale and was on unfamiliar roads with about 3 inches of fresh snow. I was driving south looking for Dakota Pine Road and had missed the turn. I was on slippery narrow roads in a wooded area and was looking for a place to turn around. After turning around in the middle of the road I saw a large bird perched at the top of a pine tree that had possibly been damaged by fire. The top 10 ft or so of the tree was just branches with no needles. The rest of the tree looked like a normal pine tree. I tried to take a photo with my cell phone but could not get it to zoom enough to see the eagle. It was close to noon and about 39 degrees with sunny skies. This was a spectacular view and something I would never have expected to see.

December the 1st found us on top of Bear Butte looking out over the terrain when a large female and her mate road the thermals right in front of us. It was absolutely incredible as the female just hovered in front of us before tipping her body and continued on her ride. We have also seen this pair out on Bear Butte Lake when the ice is breaking up watching for fish.
Linda Kellogg - Sturgis, SD

I live in Deadwood, SD and have notice over the past few years that we have several bald eagles that winter here. Some of which must nest and hunt near our home. Last weekend, my sons and I spotted 3 right down the road from home. Yesterday on our drive to Spearfish, my husband and I spotted one perched in a dead tree. Then again we saw one soaring above Deadwood.
Cheryl Hess

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