Monday, August 08, 2011

National Eagle Center

My husband with Harriet at the Eagle center.
On Saturday, our family made a day-trip to the Minnesota river town of Wabasha to see the National Eagle Center. The center is the home to four bald eagles and one golden eagle. These magnificent birds live here because they have each suffered an injury that would prevent them from being rehabilitated and returned to the wild.

We got to meet Donald, the golden eagle, and the bald eagles Harriet, Was'aka (pronounce Wah-shock-uh), Columbia, and Angel. Harriet is the resident matriarch, and at 31 years old has already surpassed the life-span of the average bald eagle. She is quite the traveler and ambassador as well. Harriet has appeared on the Today show twice, Jay Leno, and is also featured on the Minnesota "Support Our Troops" license plate.

Former Governor Pawlenty unveiling the new plate
with Harriet's picture.
The National Eagle Center is located in Wabasha, Minnesota because it is a winter haven for migrating bald eagles. Between late October and early April, you can see HUNDREDS of bald eagles along a five-mile stretch of the Mississippi. Even now, in mid-summer, there are nesting pairs visible from the center. While we ate lunch at Slippery's (of Grumpy Old Men fame) we watched a bald eagle soaring over the river.

Of particular interest to me was the story of Old Abe, the mascot of the 8th Wisconsin during the Civil War. Old Abe was present at 37 different battle engagements during the war. You can read a little about Old Abe by clicking HERE.

We also got to see a traveling exhibit in downtown Wabasha all about the Minnesota home front during World War 2. I had no idea that a group of young men, conscientious objectors to the war, volunteered for a harrowing ordeal in order to help out returning Prisoners of War. These young men voluntarily starved themselves almost to death (under the care of University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic doctors) so that the doctors could study the physical and psychological effects of starvation and deprivation on the human body, as well as how to rehabilitate returning prisoners.

Question for you: Do you like day-trip vacations? Where have you gone this summer?


  1. We haven't gone anywhere! Isn't that horrible?? I love day trips. Sounds like you guys had mucho funo.

  2. I love day trips. This year, I think the furthest we made it was the zoo.

    My husband is obsessed with Eagles. I think he would have loved this.

  3. You might have to go back to see the eagles when I come out to visit someday. And twice a week, I've been going to an archaeological dig.

  4. Yes, I do. My man happens to really like eagles, too.

    Heading to Maine in a few weeks after my mom visits only for a few days.
    ~ Wendy

  5. I love anything to do with a "trip". One day or 14 day :) ... sounds like a fun day. (Btw, love the new header pic on your blog - great book covers)

  6. Haven't really done many day trips this summer. Although we did drive through Coloma (where James Marshall discovered gold in 1848) a while ago. That was fun since they still have many of the original buildings open for visitors to walk through.

  7. Wow! Day trip made of awesome! BTW, there's an eagle in my latest WIP. ;)

  8. Your trip sounds great, Erica.

    My hubby and I took a day trip to Virginia City in the heart of Nevada's Comstock Lode. Thankfully Gwynly enjoys history as much as I do, so our day trip destinations are often interesting sights from the past.

  9. Sheesh! I didn't proof my comment. I meant sites, not sights.

  10. Sadly, we haven't done a lot this summer. The horse shows have taken most of our weekends.

    We did visit Toronto in July for some shopping. Would have preferred to do ome site eeing there, though.

    You have great day trips, Erica!

  11. Katie, you went to Galena in the spring. :D

    Jessica, the zoo is an awesome outing. Love zoos! And if you bring your husband to the eagle center, let me know. We can do lunch at Slippery's. :D

  12. CJ, I'll add it to the list of must-see's. :D

    Wendy, I've never been to Maine, and as a fan of Sarah Graves's Home Repair is Homicide mysteries, I'd love to visit that state. Have a safe and fun trip.

  13. Jaime, thanks for the comment re the header. It's my one foray into graphic design.

    Lacie, I would love to visit the gold rush country of California. So much history!

    Tana, Love that you have an eagle in your WIP. Perhaps you need a trip to MN for some research? hint! hint!

  14. Keli, sites, sights, I think both apply. If I make a swing through California someday, we can see the sites and sights together!