Bird Watchers Look to Iowa Skies for Bald Eagles

The pair of eagles made famous by the webcam at their nest by the fish hatchery near Decorah on Tuesday, March 6, 2011. The video camera can be seen at the top left. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Liz Blood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bird watching enthusiasts around Iowa are looking to the skies this weekend for a glimpse of thousands of bald eagles making their way across the state.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says wildlife workers and volunteers are tallying reports of bald eagle sightings around the state as part of the national Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey. The annual event is coordinated by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Surveyors had most of early January to complete their reports, though target dates are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

An Iowa DNR spokeswoman says migration patterns show the eagles are being spotted in other places besides stronghold spots along the Mississippi River. That includes more appearances along the Des Moines River.

More than 3,000 eagles were counted in the state last year.

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