Question: I noticed the DNR eagle cam is back online. Do bald eagles in Minnesota migrate for the winter, or do they stay on their summer nests?
A. Many Minnesota bald eagles do not migrate. As long as they have access to open water, they can and do stay here all year. In fact, with the installation of the eagle cam in the Twin Cities, we have learned that eagle nests are rarely vacant. Eagles are bonded to their nesting territories, and staying around ensures it will not be taken over by another eagle or pair of eagles.
The eagles along the Mississippi River and Hawk Ridge near Lake Superior during spring and fall are mostly migrating eagles. Most of the eagles come from Canada and use the Mississippi Flyway to travel south to their wintering grounds.
View the eagle cam at mndnr.gov/eaglecam.
— Lori Naumann
Naumann is nongame wildlife program specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Q. What does the DNR do with animals that are taken illegally (poached)?
A. For those animals that are taken illegally, the DNR tries to ensure they are not wasted. Meat from illegally harvested wild game such as deer often is donated to food shelves and other groups that serve those less fortunate. However, sometimes meat must be thrown away or destroyed. This has been especially true for fish. The DNR has an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Health to dispose of meat, such as pre-packaged fish fillets, because it is often hard to tell whether the packaging was done properly.
In some cases the animal, or parts of the animal such as deer antlers, are turned over to schools and other educational institutions for study. Some also appear in the DNR’s “Wall of Shame” trailers, which are displayed at fairs and events around the state.
We encourage citizens to report game and fish violations to the TIP hotline at (800) 652-9093. Cellphone users can dial #TIP. Informants can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.
— Maj. Roger Tietz
Tietz is operations support manager of the DNR’s Enforcement Division.