National bird has strong presence in Iowa

Ty Smedes has been photographing Bald Eagles for more than ten years. He has published his second book titled The Return of Iowaâ??s Bald Eagles.

On Saturday, Smedes shared his photographs and enlightened others with his knowledge about Bald Eagles at the Pioneer Ridge Nature Center.

Smedes looked all over Southern, Iowa near his Urbandale home to finally find one Bald Eagleâ??s nest that was photogenic.

â??It was across from a hillside which cut down the elevation a little bit. It was open to the east, there were no branches in the way and I spent 21 mornings and 84 hours photographing that Bald Eagle family. And that's what I need to complete the book,â?? said Smedes, a freelance writer and photographer.

There were days at a time when Smedes would sit in the blind for three hour periods and see the parents come back to the nest without fish. Instead, they would bring in things you wouldnâ??t expect to appear in an eagleâ??s nest 60 feet above the ground.

Even though they have eyesight that is ten times as good as ours, if the water is chocolate-covered and you can't see below the surface, that eyesight doesn't do much good. But you catch whatever crawls out. They were catching frogs, and turtles and things that were along the river sides bringing them into the nest. They had to feed them,â?? said Smedes.