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16th annual Bald Eagle Watch Weekend

Published: Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 2:51 p.m. CDT

UTICA — The Illinois Audubon Society and the Corps of Engineers Illinois Waterway Visitor Center will conduct its 16th annual Bald Eagle Watch Weekend on Jan. 26 and 27.

Activities and events will be presented at Starved Rock Lodge and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Participants can take the trolley from Starved Rock Lodge and ride between Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock Visitor Center and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center for a nominal fee of $1 for the day.

Visitors to the park and Waterway Visitor Center will see America’s symbol in the wild as bald eagles search for fish in the open waters just below the dam.

Live raptors, including bald eagles, will be showcased several times daily during programs inside Starved Rock Lodge and the Waterway Visitor Center.

The free tickets are required and may be picked up at each location the weekend of the event.

Raptor Awareness programs at the Lodge are scheduled for 10 a.m., noon, and 2 and 4 p.m.

Birds of Prey programs will be presented at the Waterway Visitor Center at 11 a.m., and 1 and 3 p.m.

Other activities at Starved Rock Lodge include exhibits by numerous nature and conservation organizations. At 11 a.m., Rich Escutia, master falconer, will speak about the history of falconry accompanied by three of his hunting birds. At 1 p.m., Steve Seaborn, historian, will speak about the immigrants who came to this valley. Volunteers from the Starved Rock Foundation will offer children’s activities at the State Park Visitor Center and eagle viewing from the top of Starved Rock.

In additional activities at the Waterway, there will be Native American Eagle dancing at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.; face painting from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and suet feeder make-n-take from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. There will be indoor and outdoor eagle viewing through high powered spotting scopes with Starved Rock Audubon members on hand to answer questions.

All programs and activities at both locations are free of charge.

At the Waterway, food and beverages will be available for purchase from the Utica Fire Department and Starved Rock Audubon.

For additional information, call the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center at 815-667-4054 or view the website at illinoisaudubon.org.

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