This bald eagle was spotted just south of the Ashland Avenue bridge in Aurora on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. | Photo courtesy~ Albert Cansino
Updated: March 24, 2012 11:39PM
The eagles have landed ... again.
Bald eagles have been spotted in the past week making their yearly visit to the Fox River between Aurora and Montgomery.
Resident Albert Cansino said he spotted — and photographed — one of the majestic birds just south of the Ashland Avenue bridge in Aurora on Sunday.
In counts in Illinois last year, 100 nesting pairs of bald eagles were spotted across the state, and as many as 1,000 bald eagles have been counted along the Mississippi River near Alton during the winter.
The birds are scavengers that will fish and look for open water near dams, where it is easy to catch prey. In cold weather, water below dams moves too much to freeze and becomes a particular draw for eagles looking for fish.
In the 1950s, experts put the number of bald eagle pairs in the lower 48 states at between 200 and 400. But with subsequent pesticide bans and federal laws protecting the birds, there now are more than 70,000 bald eagles in the U.S., according to the American Bald Eagle Information website.
By 2007, the Interior Department took the American bald eagle off the Endangered Species List.