Thursday, November 22, 2012

Raptors rule

picture of the State of the River cover (Metro segment Mississippi River) 

Driving north on 35E yesterday afternoon on my way home from work,  near the Hugo-Forest Lake border,  I noticed two bald eagles perched near the top of a bare tree on the east side of the road. One or both are probably the same eagles I've seen soaring over the roadway and fields in the same general area from time to time this year. The sight reminded me of something I learned at a recent State of the River event I attended. Along the Mississippi River as it passes through the Twin Cities metro area there are about 36 active bald eagle nests, compared to about 1,300 in Minnesota and only 400 or so in the early 1960's. That's 36 active bald eagle nests in the middle of a metropolitan area. Christopher Alexander, in his book Pattern Language, proposes the pattern "fingers of country in the city." Although we have more than enough low density development displacing farmland in much of the metro area, we must also be doing somethings right to support that many eagles. It gets better when we include the nesting ospreys and peregrine falcons in Ramsey County, home to St. Paul, the state capitol. In My Minnesota, raptors rule.