Our Bald Eagle Story

Four years ago a pair of bald eagles took up residence near our farm. We discovered their nest while canoeing the Arkansas River that runs on the edge of the farm. High up in an old cottonwood tree, just across from land where our cattle graze, is their huge nest. It’s best viewed in the winter as tree leaves quickly camouflage the nest during the summer months.

Soon after taking up residence by the river, the bald eagle pair started perching in a dead cottonwood tree that is across the road from where Daniel and I live. It’s the highest point in the area and gives them a bird’s-eye view (I couldn’t help myself!) of the farm.
We love watching them soar through the sky and they’ve just become part of the farm. Our oldest son and his cousins named them Mr. and Mrs. Hawaii. Male and female eagles look the same, so we never know exactly who we’re watching.
We’ve accepted that in the spring months they will kill some of our layer chickens to feed to their eaglets. It’s just part of the Jako Farm philosophy of working with nature instead of against nature.

Mrs. Hawaii, the Jako Farm bald eagle

Last month Daniel and our son were walking through a wooded area of the farm when they spotted a dead bald eagle on a brush pile. Daniel contacted the Kansas Department of Parks and Wildlife and we quickly had multiple people coming out to assess the situation.

Their best guess is that the bird had a heart attack. Judging by the size of the bird, they believed it was the male that died. The remains were taken by the Kansas Department of Parks and Wildlife. They will either bury the eagle or send it to the Eagle Feather Dispensary in Denver where Native Americans can apply to obtain feathers or talons.

Over the past 10 years, there has been a study monitoring the bald eagle population in the Wichita area. Our new friend, Bob, has been monitoring the eagles in the area, so he came out to check on the situation as well. He was so gracious to let us tag along with him.

We saw an adult eagle in the nest and by using Bob’s camera equipment, we were able to confirm that are two eaglets in the nest. We were concerned that our days of eagle watching would be over since one parent had died, but we learned that when an eagle dies, the remaining partner will bring a new mate back to the the nest. This cycle keeps repeating, which means that the nest could likely stay active for over 20 years even though the resident eagles will change.

Apparently there are over 50 eagle nests within 100 miles of Wichita. There is a nest about every five miles along the Arkansas River. Isn’t that fascinating???

I’m also happy to report that this week Mrs. Hawaii was perched in the tree across from our house but she had an adult friend with her. We’re guessing she has a new Mr. Hawaii.

We Need Bags!

We do our best to reduce waste here on the farm. One way we do so is by reusing plastic bags instead of buying new ones for the store. Two years ago, Judy, (my mother-in-law and matriarch of Jako) started sewing fabric shopping bags that you can Borrow and Bring Back. She up-cycles fabric purchased from thrift stores and has made over 600 shopping bags. Can you believe that??

Unfortunately, we’re out of plastic bags and running very low on the fabric Borrow and Bring Back bags. If you have extras around your house, we’d love to reuse them in the store! Thank you so much for helping reduce waste!

It sure feels like summer has officially arrived – have a great weekend!