Fountainbleau State Park in Mandeville, Louisiana, off blue highway LA 22, is a fine place for birding. The lake has too many gulls to identify, lots of those wonderfully clumsy fishermen we call the brown pelican, all kinds of ducks, and assorted wading birds. On land you’ll see spectacular red-headed woodpeckers, nearly fluorescent bluebirds, mockingbirds, jays, an occasional osprey, a dozen varieties of sparrow, plus sapsuckers and flickers.

But our national bird is something else. Kat and I spotted our first bald eagle years ago in Arkansas as it flew past rapidly heading upriver. A review of Peterson’s Field Guide informs you that you can’t mistake anything else for a bald eagle – nothing comes close. It’s a huge brown bird with a white head and white tail. And “huge” doesn’t do that 7 to 8 foot wingspan justice; you just have to see one to believe it.

This February we saw a bald eagle flying over Fontainebleau State Park on several different occasions, always soaring effortlessly on the wind. Yesterday over Fairview-Riverside State Park near Madisonville, we saw another one wheeling over the woods in brilliant afternoon sunlight. It was truly a magnificent sight. As Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. famously puts it, “I know he’d be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly ….”

Of course, the leitmotif of John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High applies to a lot of us full-timers. We took to the open road seeking rebirth and renewal. And many of us were “born in the summer of our n7th year, going home to a place we’ve never been before.”
Here’s to home!

2 thoughts on “Birding

  1. I hardly create remarks, but after reading through a lot of responses
    on Birding – Life on the Blue Highways. I do have a couple of questions
    for you if you tend not to mind. Could it be simply me or
    does it appear like some of these remarks
    look like they are written by brain dead individuals?
    😛 And, if you are posting at other social sites, I’d like to follow you. Could you list of the complete urls of all your social pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?


    1. Facebook bores me foolish. I like Youtube for the music videos but don’t participate in it. Twitter is too concise a venue for me to even say Good Morning. Sorry, this is it.



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