The weeks of milder-than-normal winter weather have brought an unusual visitor to Katepwa Lake in the Qu’Appelle Valley – American bald eagles.
Lorne Scott at Nature Saskatchewan says he counted between 25 and 30 in one day.
“Other people have noted that up to 50 have been counted in the last couple of weeks,” Scott said.
The iconic birds of prey are able to catch fish in open water near the dam between the lake and the river. The access to food has allowed the eagles to stay around rather than proceed further south.
“The eagles have been congregating there all fall,” Scott explained, “largely due to the fact there is a good supply of fish.”
The presence of the eagles in December is a sign of the mild winter so far, and also of the extent the birds have bounced back in recent years.
“In the 60s, 70s with the use of (the pesticide) DDT, the bald eagle was an endangered species,” Scott noted. “And now they have made a great comeback.”
The American bald eagles normally spend the summer in the northern forest and the winter in the U.S. Midwest.