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Return of the Eagles


Fri, Nov 23rd, 2001
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By John LevellMonday, November 12, 2001

Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures of early November 2001, Bald Eagles can again be seen soaring over the Root River Bluffs of the Lanesboro region. Their arrival, as much as the now leafless trees, a clear and dependable sign that winter is soon to come. In fact, Eagles only rarely grace area skies in the warmer months of spring and summer.

In the seven or eight years spent observing regional birds, I have noticed that the annual return of Eagles to Lanesboro’s skies seems to coincide almost perfectly with the southbound departure of the last of our Turkey Vultures. With the exception of a brief period of one to two weeks with some potential for overlap, exactly the opposite sequence of arrival and departure events seems equally true in springtime as well. In other words, if Eagles are present it is unlikely you will see Vultures and vice versa.

Although the white head and tail of adult Bald Eagles makes their identification relatively easy, it is conceivable that juvenile individuals, which do not obtain white head and tail feathers until the age of four or five, could be mistaken for the similarly sized Turkey Vulture particularly when in flight. When gliding, however, Vultures typically hold their two-toned wings in a distinctive V-shaped arc known as a "dihedral." Eagles, on the other hand, generally soar with flattened wings and present a readily recognizable straight silhouette against the sky.

The Osprey or Fish Hawk is the only other regional species likely to be confused with the Bald Eagle. Ospreys occur only sporadically in the Lanesboro region, however, and their bodies appear distinctly white when viewed from below. Eagles in contrast, whether adult or immature, invariably have dark torsos.

With recognition now out of the way, more attention can be focused on trying to explain why Eagles and Vultures only rarely occur simultaneously in Lanesboro’s skies. Obviously, the two species are not in some way mutually exclusive, as Vultures and Eagles successfully co-exist in many portions of eastern North America. If not competition, what is it then that makes things different here in Lanesboro?

Understanding why Turkey Vultures leave in the first place presents little problem, as like many other migrant birds they simply head southward to spend winter in a warmer, more temperate climate. Certainly their featherless heads, an adaptatio .....
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Berries for Winter Birds

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, November 12, 2001

More than just winter interest, you can add color to your landscape and feed the birds by planning ahead and incorporating berries into your garden plan.

There are lots of plants that have grea ..... 
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Jeg er Norsk-I Am A Norwegian

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2001
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Monday, November 19, 2001

"Ich bin ein Berliner" is what John F. Kennedy said when he went to Berlin, Germany. He meant to say that he was one with the people of that city, but to the Germans it came out as, "I am a doughnut." Although I am no ..... 
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Noodle Soup

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2001
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Monday, November 26, 2001

“Food is the communication between the person cooking and the people eating,” I heard Julia Childs say on a TV program the other day.

I suppose Thanksgiving is the classic example of this axiom: a bronzed tur ..... 
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Fri, Nov 23rd, 2001
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Fri, Nov 23rd, 2001
Posted in

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2001
Posted in

To the Editor,

I was growing up at a time when it looked like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. might one day have a run at the presidency. He had this to say about conflict:

Darkness cannot drive
out darkness;
Only light can do that.< ..... 
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Fri, Nov 23rd, 2001
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To the Editor,

I must address Herb Panko's article, "Another View: Some root causes of the September 11 tragedy" in the Nov. 12, 2001 issue of the Fillmore County Journal. He says that "[Christianity, Judaism, and Islam] use ultimate authorit ..... 
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, November 26, 2001

To the Editor,

The 2001 tax bill passed last spring dramatically changed how many government services are funded. Under the new law, much of the cost of K-12 education will now be paid ..... 
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