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Nature Viewing

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People often make a special trip to the Chippewa National Forest to observe bald eagles. The best opportunities for viewing bald
eagles are from the large lakes and major rivers. Wildlife viewing is best at dawn and dusk. Tall white and red pine with openings in the limbs are often prime perch sites. Nests are usually located about 10-20 feet from the top. 
 
Eagle nest sites are kept confidential to protect the birds from disturbance during incubation and rearing of young. If you know of an eagle nest location, please use caution and watch them only from a distance.
 
In the spring and summer start your eagle viewing expedition while boating at the biggest lakes such as Cass, Winnibigoshish and Leech. Watch along the shorelines for eagles perched in trees on calm days, and overhead air shows on windier days. Canoeing on the Boy River, Mississippi, or  Big Fork Rivers almost always guarantees an eagle sighting.
 
You can easily reach open viewing areas at Federal Dam at Leech Lake or Winnie Dam at the east end of Lake Winnibigoshish.   Near Cass Lake, Knutson Dam and campground provide an expansive view of the lake and opportunities for fishing, by humans and eagles!
 
The Mississippi River winds along Highway 2 between Cass Lake and Deer River.   Eagles are often seen soaring overhead. A prime viewing area is where the river meets the highway about eight miles west of the town of Deer River.   
 
In autumn, eagles are often seen perched on lake or river edges, searching for food. The change in temperature causes the lakes to "turn over" as the cooling surface water mixes with lower layers, causing fish to die. Eagles capitalize on the fish's inability to adapt to seasonal changes!
 
Eagles remain near open water during winter months. On the Chippewa National Forest, dams, channels between large lakes and faster moving rivers provide such habitat. The Cass Lake Wayside rest provides easy parking for those with an hour for exploring.


https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/chippewa/recreation/natureviewing