SPRINGFIELD — The 17th annual Illinois Audubon Society Bald Eagle Watch Weekend will be held Jan. 25-26, 2014.
Free events are scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Starved Rock Lodge, the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center and Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center. Programs headlining each day are “Raptor Awareness” presented in the Lodge and “Illinois Birds of Prey” offered at the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center. The day is rounded out with exhibits by major state and local environmental organizations, organized activities for children, additional scheduled presentations, and of course, bald eagle viewing on the Illinois River. Hiking trails and the Starved Rock lookout will also be open. Food is available on-site.
New this year, in response to popular request, a limited number of admissions to the “Raptor Awareness” programs presented in the Lodge will be available for purchase online in advance. The non-refundable cost for each ticket is $3. Online ticket sales begin Jan. 1 and continue until Jan. 18 at the Illinois Audubon website (www.illinoisaudubon.org) or until allocation of online-sale tickets is depleted. Free tickets for each presentation will still be available each day starting at 8 a.m. in the Lodge on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating remains unreserved. Presentations are at 10 a.m., noon, 2 and 4 p.m. each day.
Tickets for the Illinois Birds of Prey program are available on each day of the event starting at 9 a.m. and must be picked up at the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center. Presentations by the Illinois Raptor Center are at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Advance ticket sales for this program is not being offered.
The Bald Eagle Watch Weekend is made possible by the Illinois Audubon Society, its members and locally by the Starved Rock Audubon Society. The Raptor Awareness program is presented by the World Bird Sanctuary and sponsored by the Illinois Audubon Society. The Illinois Birds of Prey program is presented by the Illinois Raptor Center and sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
A shuttle trolley is available to transport attendees from the Starved Rock State Park Lodge on the south side of the river to the Illinois Waterways Visitors Center on the north side of the river, with stops at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center. Attendees may also drive and parking at all sites is free.
More detail can be found at the Illinois Audubon Society website at www.illinoisaudubon.org or by calling 217.544.2473.
The mission of the Illinois Audubon Society is to promote the perpetuation and appreciation of native plants and animals and the habitats that support them. The Illinois Audubon Society is an independent, member supported, not-for-profit, statewide organization. Founded in 1897, the society is Illinois’ oldest private conservation organization with more than 2,300 members, 21 chapters and 15 affiliate groups. The Illinois Audubon Society has protected over 3,400 acres by investing more than $6.6 million to protect land and water throughout Illinois.