The Return of Iowa’s Bald Eagles by Ty Smedes – Author and Photographer


The Return of Iowa's Bald WaglesReviewed by Teri Davis

What is the first thing that you think of when you hear the words “bald eagle”? Do you think of its majesty, power, or grace? Do you think of the creature as a predator? Do you feel grateful that Ben Franklin did not win with his suggestion of a turkey instead of the bald eagle?

How do you capture these creatures return? If you’re Ty Smedes, it is magnificently.

The Return of Iowa’s Bald Eagles is about these creatures who have been missing from our state of Iowa and much of the rest of this country for so long. First their population decreased due to hunting and then to the usage of DDT, from the years of 1905 to 1977, not one bald eagle nested in the entire state of Iowa. Since they are now settling and making their homes in our state again, we need to know who they are and how we need to be good neighbors to keep their population growing.

By combining truly outstanding photography with informative and well-researched text makes this book perfect for everyone. The combining of factual information about their locations, growth from infancy to adulthood, as well as their hunting abilities, is superbly documented.

This unique book shows the story of these magnificent creatures coming back to Iowa. The photography rivals anything ever in a National Geographic magazine. It truly balances text with photos that are reflective of the everyday life of a bald eagle with clarity and simplicity.

Once in a while you come upon something that is so outstanding that you are not certain how to review it. That’s my problem with The Return of Iowa’s Bald Eagles. It is unusual to read such a well-balanced book with the pictures complimenting the text and frequently explaining to the reader a lesson about these bald eagles completely through the pictures. The amount of time that Ty Smedes had to take these pictures of the lives of these bald eagles had to be immense.

This book is for everyone and especially for those of us who really appreciate all the magnificence of Iowa.

A concern about this book is that it centers on Iowa only. The pictures, the narrative, this book is for everyone, not just for those in Iowa. This is definitely one book that needs to be available to everyone.


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