If you want to get into the patriotic spirit this election season, look no further than Marion reservoir.
Office manager Torey Hett and assistant lake manager Kevin McCoy both reported spotting the first bald eagle of fall this past week, which is a little earlier than last year.
“It seems like I have noticed them more toward the end of October around Halloween,” Hett said, “but possibly with the cooler weather they’ve moved in a little bit sooner.”
Both McCoy and Hett said they look forward to this time of the year.
“It’s just a fun time to be able to see them come in and, for me, when I started working here, I didn’t realize we get that many,” Hett said. “There are some years where we will count 30 to 40 eagles in that one day.”
On one day during January, the office staff drive around the lake looking for eagles to count them for a report.
“We’ll notice them right along the dam and they like to sit out on the ice there,” Hett said.
Hillsboro Cove is another decent area for spotting an eagle.
One reason they stop at the reservoir is instincts.
“It’s part of their migration; this is one of their stopping points in the winter time,” McCoy said. “It’s interesting because you can see them when they are standing on the ice because they like to do that.”
Sometimes, eagles even build nests at the reservoir.
“It’s been a couple years but we’ve had one or two build nests around the res,” Hett said. “To have them build a nest this far south is pretty rare.”