Since then I’ve wanted to return to this spot. As much as I enjoy the knowledge shared by a large group of birders, I enjoy being alone with my thoughts. Yesterday I took the opportunity to revisit the spot (on a much warmer day) and I was able to spend some time with over twenty bald eagles.
Indiana is the wintering ground for a large number of bald eagles. Many of these birds roost along Sugar Creek in Park County. When the sun rises these birds fly from their roosts and follow Sugar Creek to the Wabash River where they hunt for fish.
The West Union Bridge, northwest of Montezuma, crosses Sugar Creek near the its junction with the river.
I arrived about 15 minutes before sunrise. The sky was turning pink to the east when the first bird flew overhead. As the sun rose higher birds appeared more frequently — often in twos and threes. Eagles began to roost on two large trees several hundred yards downstream. They appeared to warming themselves in the brightening sunlight. It was wonderful to hear their vocalizations as birds repeatedly challenged one another for roost space.
The fun lasted for 45 minutes, or so. As I was leaving a pileated woodpecker began vocalizing and drumming at the end of the bridge.
Arrive at West Union Bridge about 10-15 minutes before dawn and park at the western end of the covered bridge. Stand on the modern, concrete bridge and watch for birds coming over the hills upstream. As the fly over look to see them roosting downstream.