In the same issue that saw a full-page article with photos about our newest wildlife icon,
This is a bit of an insider joke for locals. It is a real eagle, for sure, but the tall 'pine tree' it is perched on is a fake. It is actually a 75-foot AT&T cell tower disguised as a pine tree to better blend in with the surrounding forest, just outside the city limits. Some might describe it as an extremely tall artificial Christmas tree. It's not a bad fake, and would be even more inconspicuous if it were planted in the middle of a forest. This one stands apart from other trees, and although at first glance it could be mistaken for the real thing, a longer, second look makes it obvious it is faux.
Apparently this is the coming thing for cell towers in scenic and/or populated open areas. Here's one made by the Nello Company of West Bend, Indiana, which calls them 'monopines'.
Here is another being assembled:
So we've got an owl. We've got an eagle. What will our next wildlife star be? Ante up, Mother Nature.