There’s nothing more American than Bald Eagles so this week I decided to visit Manhattan, Kansas for Eagle Day at Turtle Creek Lake. I also knew that some Milk Chocolate Orange Creams would be delicious on the bus ride around Turtle Creek Lake.
I arrived at Manhattan Fire Station shortly before the tour started at 9:00 am to get to know the people I would be learning with. I quickly made friends with a boy named Jimmy, we hit it off instantly because we have the same name.
“Do you like eagles, Jimmy?” I asked him.
“Eh, I don’t know,” said Jimmy, “I’m just here because my dad thinks it’s important.”
“Well, I’ll bet you like them a lot more after this, “I said, handing him an orange crème.
It was time for the presentation to start. A forest ranger came out with a Bald Eagle right on his arm. I was amazed! The ranger said, “My name is Ranger Randy and I’ll be teaching you a little bit about our national animal today.”
“First,” said Ranger Randy, “what surprises you about this Bald Eagle I have here on my arm?”
A loud chorus of “It’s not bald!” was shouted from the crowd.
“That’s exactly right,” said Ranger Randy. “In fact, the Bald Eagle isn’t bald anywhere. They are completely covered in feathers.”
“But, its head looks bald,” said my new friend Jimmy, “because of the white feathers.”
“That’s also right, Jimmy,” Ranger Randy affirmed. “This bird’s name is Brenda. I rescued her about two years ago right here at Turtle Creek Lake. She had been severely hurt by some people so she can’t fly. Instead she just travels with me.”
I felt really sad that Brenda had been hurt, I couldn’t believe that anyone would hurt such a majestic animal. It was with a heavy heart that I boarded the bus to see some Bald Eagles in the wild. I sat next to Jimmy and we got ready to look out the window. After everyone was seated we drove to Turtle Creek Lake. As we approached I saw something huge in a tree slightly off the road.
“We’re going to stop here for a minute,” said Ranger Randy, “because on your left you will see an eagle nest.”
It was the huge thing I had just seen! I could believe that was actually a nest.
“This nest is about six feet across, which is standard for a Bald Eagle nest,” Ranger Randy informed us. “They live in their nests forever, rather than building new ones year after year.”
We drove around the rest of the lake and I went to the front to ask Ranger Randy if I could pass out some Milk Chocolate Orange Creams. He told me that would be great! I felt so luck to learn more about my amazing country and share one of my favorite treats with my new friends.