We learned this past week that two bald eagles are hanging out at the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge. As to why they would come to this area at this time of year is not that difficult to figure out. They’re being Arizona Snowbirds . . . literally!

Seriously, this is the time of year when the winter visitors return to the area. I like to say this is when the migratory species Arizonus Snowbirdus makes its way south to their winter roosting grounds. I admit I like snowbird jokes as much as the next Arizonan, but I also recognize how important they are to the local economy.

La Paz County’s economy is largely based on tourism. Many of those who come here during the winter months like our friendly, small town atmosphere. They come here because they like it here, and they like us. We should be flattered that they want to come here. They spend money in our stores and restaurants (including sales tax) and pay for their spaces in mobile home parks and campgrounds.

I’ll also admit I know people who are winter visitors, and I’m always glad to see them when they come back.

It’s not always easy accommodating the annual influx of people. The stores get more crowded, and traffic on the highways become more congested. No one likes getting stuck behind an RV that’s going just 25 mph. There’s no getting around it that this influx of people can be very difficult and trying at times.

Still, I’ve found it’s nothing we can’t handle with a little patience. When one considers what they do for the economy, the inconveniences of the winter visitors is something we can put up with.

I suspect those bald eagles live up north somewhere and noticed all the humans heading to Arizona. They decided to check us out for themselves. Maybe they’ll invite some of their eagle friends to join them. That way we’d have two eagle aeries in the area:  the one in town at Mohave and Arizona Avenues and one upriver in the wildlife refuge.

Eagles? Aeries? Get it? Okay, so that one was pretty lame.

If you ask me, jokes about eagles are for the birds! They’re not as bad as jokes about sausages, which are the wurst.

I better quit while I’m ahead.


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