The Staring Lake Eagles

Local Aerie Makes Squirrels Wary

In the past I have interviewed nature photographers who had proudly slogged through the most inhospitable terrain imaginable in order to get one single shot. Pete Rose, a photographer in Eden Prairie who often snaps pictures for this very magazine, is too humble to say he is more skilled than those masochistic shutterbugs. But I declare him the smartest of the lot, because he knows that some of the best wildlife subjects to be photographed can be found right in the comfiest pockets of Minnesota.

“I’m always on the lookout wherever I go,” said Pete, “although I do heavily rely on my wife’s keen eye as well. I owe an absolutely beautiful shot of a ring-necked pheasant that was strutting through the field behind our house to her. She also turned me on to the nest of red-winged blackbird hatchlings I recently photographed at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Green Heron Lake.

“Maybe it’s not glamorous, but if you only photographed wildlife at Staring Lake Park you would never get bored. There are plenty of ducks, geese and swans around the water. Just last year a hawk let me get amazingly close as it was putting the finishing touches on an unfortunate squirrel. (I don’t believe I’ll ever put one of those photos on a Christmas card.) I’ve seen a coyote slinking around the woods back there, and the beavers leave behind plenty of tell-tale stumps even if they don’t like revealing themselves in person.

“But the biggest stars of Staring Lake are the bald eagles. I was going for my walk one day when I noticed a lady stopped on the path. ‘They’re nesting in the crook of that tree,’ she said, and right as she pointed upward an eagle swooped in with a giant stick in its beak. I couldn’t go home to get my good camera fast enough.

“I’ve enjoyed watching them these past few weeks. Now that they’ve gotten their nest all ready for when the weather is warm again, they spend more time perched up there, just keeping an eye on everything around them. Vigilant, I guess you could say! And they’re not at all concerned about the people who stop to take a look. I could kick myself for not having my camera ready the moment the female soared only a few feet above my head.

“Next time, I’ll be ready.”

Pete Rose Productions serves residents of Eden Prairie and surrounding areas for all their photography and videography needs. You may see all of Pete’s beautiful photos for sale and inquire about his services on

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