The Eagle Has Landed

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. ~ Neil Armstrong

Naturalist Derek Klawitter knew that if he worked hard enough, we’d eventually get an eagle on our trail cam.

Today, he gets to cross one more item off his bucket list.

This mature bald eagle landed on a deer carcass here in the park this week and our trail cam captured it. Enjoy the photos.

1133:022116:28F:2853:CAMERA1 :3
1133:022116:28F:2853:CAMERA1 :3
1140:022116:28F:2853:CAMERA1 :3
1140:022116:28F:2853:CAMERA1 :3
1144:022116:28F:2854:CAMERA1 :3
1144:022116:28F:2854:CAMERA1 :3
1148:022116:28F:2853:CAMERA1 :3
1148:022116:28F:2853:CAMERA1 :3
1152:022116:28F:2853:CAMERA1 :3
1152:022116:28F:2853:CAMERA1 :3
1153:022116:29F:2854:CAMERA1 :3
1153:022116:29F:2854:CAMERA1 :3
1154:022116:29F:2854:CAMERA1 :3
1154:022116:29F:2854:CAMERA1 :3
1158:022116:29F:2854:CAMERA1 :3
1158:022116:29F:2854:CAMERA1 :3
1200:022116:29F:2854:CAMERA1 :3
1200:022116:29F:2854:CAMERA1 :3

Will That Owl Eat My Cat?

owl
Skitter Photo

Will that owl eat my cat? Probably not.

We get a lot of questions about that here at The Outdoor Campus. There are owls and hawks all over the place – in town and out of town – but we don’t see them very often.  So when we do, it can cause alarm, especially if our pets are out in the yard.

Julie DeJong, animal control supervisor for Sioux Falls, said larger owls may try to pick up a cat, but “cats usually outweigh them and the mission is unsuccessful. If you are concerned about your pets being outside while there are owls or hawks around, keep them inside or keep them near you while you are outside.”

Owls hunt at night and have excellent eye sight. “Just keeping your pets indoors at night could keep them safer,” she said.

If an owl or hawk did steal and eat a person’s pet, there really isn’t

Photo: Keith A. Anderson
Photo: Keith A. Anderson

anything animal control or South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks can do to help the owner. “Owls, hawks, and eagles are all protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which is a federal agreement with Canada and Mexico. These birds cannot be killed or harmed, and their nests cannot be destroyed without a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service,” she said.

Keeping owls and hawks out of the yard is nearly impossible, but there are some ways to discourage them from hanging around. “The best and most effective ways are to take away the food source,” DeJong said. “Often these predators are lured to your yard by the birds at your bird feeder. Removing the bird feeder will eliminate that food source.”

DeJong also said some frightening items may work for a while if homeowners vary them. Put up a scarecrow or fake owl to scare away the predators, but move them often. Remove perching locations like dead branches, fence tops and other places the raptors sit. Loud noises will help, but probably not make for good neighbors. Also, an increase in human activity can keep predator birds out of backyards.

 

Winter Sports: Where Can I Rent Snowshoes and Skis?

Winter Sports: Where Can I Rent Snowshoes and Skis?

IMG_20160213_103403Folks get tired of winter, but around here we love long winters!

We offer many classes throughout the winter featuring cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. The more snow, the more classes!

Where Can I Rent Skis or Snowshoes? 

We do not rent them here, we just teach classes. You can rent them in Sioux Falls. Here’s a list of places to call.

Snowshoes

Sun N Fun : 605.361.1456

Great Outdoor Store:605.335.1132

Cross Country Skis

Great Bear Recreation Area:  605.367.4309