This is a recent report sent to me, I have withheld the last name and included a map of the general area. -Tom
Name: Corey ****(Last Name withheld but on file)
County: Van Buren
Date of Sighting: July 4,2008
Time of Day: around 3 pm
Nearest Town: Keosauqua
Length of Sighting: about 15 minutes
How many Witnesses: 3 others besides myself
Any Photos/Videos: no
Describe sighting in detail:
I truly believe Thunderbirds are migrating up and down the Des Moines River in Iowa. I am an experienced bird watcher and have a trained eye for detail and have seen over 300 species in my county. In December 2006, 2 big birds were seen by bridge construction workers and she described them as very dark with some white on the wings and were twice as big as a bald eagle and I tried convincing a woman that they were golden eagles but she quickly said no as she was very familiar with eagles. However sometime after that she changed them to the golden eagle. I watched for them but no luck.
However, on July 4,2008 I was fishing on the other side of the river from Keosauqua during the afternoon and I saw a large dark bird flapping with hard and deep beats for a long distance down the river and I thought an osprey or bald eagle because of the long crooked wings when it glided for a short distance. I watched it with my 16x50 binoculars as it flew down the river and it started soaring around in circles and to my surprise was a turkey vulture but it was different. It resembled a turkey vulture but it had a large head not small head, broader tail and much broader wings but it had the silvery wing feathers. Its flight pattern was different and it must have been a heavy bird with all the deep flapping. A turkey vulture rarely does and soars more and when they glide they hold their wings in a V and this bird glided with crooked wings as I mistook it for an osprey which are rare here in summer but bald eagles are nesting along this river. I didn't have a camera and only binoculars. I was fishing with 3 other guys but they didn't pay much attention to it.
A large bird was sighted recently in Illinois resembled a turkey vulture but twice as big.
A large black bird was reported in Central Iowa around the same time as the big birds down here on December 13,2007. I am very confident that the bird I saw was no ordinary turkey vulture. There is an Indian thunderbird symbol in Lacey-Keosauqua State Park.
Map Of Sighting Area
-End of Report
Thanks goes to Corey for sending in the report.
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