By Katie Steiner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – On a cool November morning, Roxanne Heaton was drinking her coffee and watching the lake, when she did a double take.

“I looked out the window, and on those two trees, I saw all these big birds. I counted them. There were 7 of them,” Heaton said.

At first, she thought they were turkeys. But then, she realized they were actually bald eagles.

“Then all of a sudden, they take off. They swoop up this hill, and they fly just a few feet away from me. And I can see that amazing wingspan. And it just, just literally took my breath away. It made me cry, they were so beautiful,” Heaton said.

Heaton isn’t the only person to notice more eagles around the lake.

They have been the topic of conversation around Lake Minnetonka the last week.

Carrol Henderson has studied and worked with birds of all types during his 45 year career with the DNR, and still continues to in retirement.

He says not only is the bald eagle population up, but as lakes across the state freeze, bald eagles flock to any open water.

“We have a number of pairs of bald eagles nesting right in the Twin Cities, and we have migrant birds coming down from Northern MN and even Canada,” Henderson said. “We are able to enjoy this incredible sight of our national bird sometimes just driving to work. It’s a wonderful thing.”

This might be one of the best times to see a bald eagle.

“This is the time of year you can expect to see that,” Henderson said. “There’s a lot of movement, and the birds shift around depending on how severe the weather is, or if we get a big snowfall or something,”

So before we get a major snow storm, it might be good to head to a big lake, or a flowing river.

Katie Steiner