LeBlanc: Enjoy the unique wild birds around Lake Conroe

It's not unknown for me to get on my soapbox and rant and rave about the mass destruction in our area caused by people mindlessly destroying the habitat for what appears to be nothing more than greed for money and power.

However, if you look back into the history of our world and our country that is the way things have always been. Now, what was that scripture says about “false gods?”

If you would like some interesting and informative reading that has not been twisted by academia or liberal historians trying to rewrite history, take a look at the book, “Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans” by T. R. Fehrenbach.

Besides the mass destruction by mankind, let me point out some of the beauty today in which I marvel almost every day where I live up at the north end of Lake Conroe.

This year, so far, I have seen an abundance of beautiful birds around our house and appearing also on the lake. I think we have seen more Bald Eagles this year than at any other single time since we moved here over 30 years ago and they are a magnificent sight. We have seen many fishing over the lake and in case you haven't seen them yet, you have a marvelous sight awaiting you.

When you look up and see a large bird in the sky, many times you will ask yourself if that is a buzzard or an eagle? But when you see a Bald Eagle you know it's a Bald Eagle and there is no doubt in your mind!

One tell tale that distinguishes raptors from buzzards soaring, is when you see a buzzard, their wings make a ‘V’ with their body that is distinctive and easily recognizable. When eagles and hawks are soaring or flying, their wings are completely flat across their bodies from wingtip to wingtip. You will also notice that the eagles are far larger then the vultures or other raptors and when you see their white heads and the white tails there is just no doubt in your mind that you are looking at a Bald Eagle.

Another point that can be noticed is buzzards seem to lazily float in the air but eagles, besides being much larger, fly faster and appear that they are on a mission. If they are flying on the level in no particular hurry they are moving at a speed of around 30 miles per hour. However, if they are hunting they can dive at a speed of 100 miles per hour.

So far this year it has not been unusual for us to see as many as four or more eagles at a time circling and fishing in an area over the lake; what a sight.

This is also true with Ospreys (meaning fish hawk) that are large brown raptors with a wing span that can approach six feet, but not as large as a bald eagle that may have a wing span of up to seven and one half feet.

One day not long ago, fishing guide Butch Terpe and I were out crappie fishing and it was a clear sky and beautiful day. We both looked up about the same time and there flying right down the middle of the lake heading from north to south, was an osprey with a large black bass in it's talons and the fish was pointed in the same direction that the bird was flying. It was a mesmerizing and wonderful site.

Up here where we live there is a huge eagle nest near the top of a tall pine tree. It looks like a huge platform. There has been a nesting pair in that tree for three or four years at least that I know of and from what I find about the Bald Eagles is they mate for life and each year just add to last years nest. I find them fascinating.

Pelicans can also be seen on occasion on Lake Conroe usually in the fall and early spring. A couple weeks ago I was walking down by the lake and there in the cove was a raft of pelicans that would have come close to covering a football field. They were mostly white pelicans, but there were some brown ones mixed in with the bunch.

A common sight for me are Great Blue Herons. Just this morning I saw one of the largest and most colorful great blue herons wading in the water down at our boat dock that I have ever seen, it was beautiful. It is not unusual to see one down there or anywhere in the shallows for they are fishing and with the shad running right now and that is one of their favorite meals.

My wife Pam has a bird feeder on the south side of our house so she can sit in her recliner and watch the myriad of beautiful birds as they eat and bathe in one of her bird baths. At almost anytime you can see Cardinals male and female, Blue Jays, Chickadees, Golden Finches and even a Redheaded Woodpecker on occasion.

So folks if you want to enjoy Mother Nature's bounty and the birds that she provides for us, get a bird identification book for Southeast Texas and learn what we have here in this area and you can see some of the prettiest birds playing around right near your house.

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