Eagle Days organized to educate participants about state’s largest raptor
PRATT — Perhaps nothing piques the interests of both novice and seasoned Kansas bird watchers more than the sight of the nation’s symbol, the bald eagle. While some bald eagles nest in Kansas, numbers often surge during January and February, providing excellent opportunities to observe these magnificent raptors. To improve bald eagle viewing opportunities, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) — in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and local Audubon chapters — has scheduled a number of "Eagle Days" across the state.

The Tuttle Creek 2011 Eagle Day will be held Jan. 8 from 9 a.m. until approximately noon. The program is free and open to the public. Participants will meet at in the large assembly room at the Manhattan Fire station, 2000 Denison (the corner of Denison and Kimball) in Manhattan. At that time, Dan Mulhern, biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will offer a short presentation on the nesting habits of bald eagles in Kansas. Pat Silovsky, director of KDWP’s Milford Nature Center, will then display several live raptors in her discussion of eagles and other birds of prey.

Following the two presentations at the fire station, members of the Northern Flint Hills Audubon Society will take participants on a bus tour through the area downstream of Tuttle Creek Dam, with the goal of watching bald eagles in the wild.

All participants should dress appropriately for the weather. Everyone is encouraged to bring binoculars, spotting scopes, and cameras. Sponsors of the bus service include the Northern Flint Hills Audubon Society and the Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information, phone Steve Prockish at 785-539-8511, ext. 3167.

Similar Eagle Days events are scheduled at the following locations:

  • F.L. Schlagle Library on Wyandotte Lake on Jan. 15, phone 913-299-2384;
  • Milford Reservoir on Jan. 15-16, phone 785-238-5323;
  • Lawrence Free State High School, 6th and Wakarusa in Lawrence, on Jan. 23, phone 785-843-7665; and
  • Chaplin Nature Center, 27814 27th Drive in Arkansas City, on Jan. 29 and Feb. 5, phone 316-442-4233.

KDWP staff are reporting eagles at El Dorado State Park, but no events are scheduled. Eagles frequent several large reservoirs in eastern Kansas, and other Eagle Days may be scheduled in the near future. For more information, contact the nearest office of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.