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In Search of Eagles; Finding Vultures

American Bottom: Bluff at Modoc, Illinois

Friday afternoon, we set off down Bluff Road, which runs along the bluffs that define the eastern edge of the great Mississippi River floodplain that extends from Alton, Illinois a hundred miles south to the Kaskaskia River, our destination. Perhaps we would find a new venue for eagle watching.

South of Prairie du Rocher, the bluff runs right up against the road and you can almost sense the river eroding the rock during the great glacial floods that careened through the Mississippi valley with the wasting of the last glacial ice sheet.

When we arrived at the Kaskaskia we found the trail to its confluence of with the Mississippi flooded, perhaps a preview of things to come this year. Lots of water but no eagles.

What we did find we vultures, roosting on the face of the bluffs, just north of Prairie du Rocher.

The Bluff

The birds were hunkered down on a ledge, their backs turned to the weather.

Vulture Roost

We returned along levee road, where we saw eagles roosting in trees, along the river, but way off in the distance.


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