If you’re into watching eagles in the wild, here’s some information about upcoming eagle watches around the state, courtesy of the state Tourism Department:
Bald Eagle Watch programs at Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Bald eagles are flying once again over Lake of the Arbuckles at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. The annual return of the bald eagles to this area is always a cause for celebration during the winter season.
This year park rangers at Chickasaw National Recreation Area would like to invite the public to attend Bald Eagle Watches scheduled for Jan. 16 and 30. The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a program at the Travertine Nature Center. After the program the group will caravan with park rangers to the Lake of the Arbuckles to locate and observe eagles in the wild. Those attending should dress for the weather; bring a camera and binoculars, and a sack lunch. To learn more about this annual event, please call the Travertine Nature Center at (580) 622-7234.
The American bald eagle almost reached the point of extinction, but the combined efforts of many private citizens, elected officials, and government agencies led to the removal of bald eagles from the endangered species list in 2007. This increase in the eagle population allows us the privilege of seeing these birds in the wild.
Kaw Lake Ultimate Eagle Watch scheduled Jan. 16
We may be in the grips of winter, but that’s the perfect time to enjoy a popular outdoor event, the Kaw Lake Ultimate Eagle Watch set for Saturday. The watch involves a day of activities in addition to the thrill of sighting eagles.
For starters, at 7:30 a.m. at both the Kaw City Community Center and the Kaw Nation Tribal Headquarters, doors open and refreshments are served. At 8 a.m., the first guided eagle viewing tours depart both locations. Two more tours depart at 10:15 a.m. and at 1 p.m. from both locations.
According to Kathy Tippin, executive director of the Kaw Lake Association, other events include seminars, a live eagle program and a free Native American luncheon including corn soup, fry bread, boiled potatoes and grape dumplings to be served at the Kaw Nation Community Center just west of Washunga Bay.
“Two of the presentations are new this year: the one by the Oklahoma Falconers Association and the one by Dave Hensley with Kaw Nation Environment Program,” she said. The day’s events are free, but donations are accepted, she added.
For complete details, see the following schedule of events.
Kaw Lake Ultimate Eagle Watch
Kaw City Community Center (East of Ponca City, south side of State Highway 11)
7:30 a.m. – Doors open with refreshments.
8:00 a.m. – First guided eagle viewing tour departs.
9 to 9:30 a.m. – Kathy and Gary Siftar, raptor rehabilitators.
9:30 a.m. – Refreshment break.
9:45 to 10:15 a.m. – History of the eagle and its habitat; Mark Howery, biologist, state Department of Wildlife Conservation.
10:15 a.m. – Refreshment break/second guided eagle viewing tour departs.
10:30 to 11 a.m. – Cinnamon Valley Exotics.
11 to 11:15 a.m. – Refreshment break.
11:15 a.m. to noon – Ryan Van Zant, Sutton Avian Research Center – Live Eagle program.
11:30 a.m. to1 p.m.– Free Native American lunch, Kaw Nation Community Building (Washunga Bay) or area restaurants.
1 p.m. — Third guided eagle viewing tour Departs.
Kaw Nation Tribal Headquarters (Kaw City, north side of State Highway 11)
7:30 a.m. – Doors Open with Refreshments.
8 a.m. – First Guided Eagle Viewing Tour departs.
9 to 9:30 a.m.– Luther Pepper, significance of eagles to Native Americans.
9:30 a.m.– Break/refreshments.
9:45 to 10:15 a.m.– “Solve a Mystery,” Jennifer Lance, Critter Tales.
10:15 a.m.- Refreshment break/second guided eagle tour departs.
10:30 to 11:15 a.m.– Oklahoma Falconers Association with live raptors.
11:15 a.m.– Break/refreshments.
11:30 a.m. to noon – Dave Hensley, Kaw Nation Environmental Program, “The Water Eagles Live On.”
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Free Native American lunch at the Kaw Nation Community Building (Washunga Bay) or area restaurants.
1 p.m. – Third guided eagle viewing tour departs.
During the free Native American luncheon at the Kaw Nation Community Center, meat pies will be available for sale.
All programs are subject to change and weather conditions, Tippin said.
“In case of ice or snow, please phone before departing for the Eagle Watch,” she said.
The numbers to call are (580) 761-1615 or (918) 688-9518.
For more information, call (877) 671-6985, (580) 762-9494 or go to www.kawlake.com.