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      Bald eagles make return to Ottumwa

      It's that time of the year again, bald eagles are back in the Ottumwa area.

      Bald eagles are migratory birds. Every year when the weather gets colder in their habitat up north and the water begins to freeze, they have to move south because they need to find an open water source where it's easier to find fish, their main food source.

      They make the trek to Ottumwa because the water is slightly warmer and it's easier to find fish.

      Wapello County Conservation Board Naturalist, Annette Wittrock, said since these birds are much more visible this time of year, it's a good idea to give them their space.

      "It's a good idea to keep your distance," said Wittrock. "Try not to scare them too much. They waste a lot of energy when we scare them away and make them fly. So the less we stress them out, the better the eagle population will do."

      Bald eagles should not be attempted to be fed as well.