Colorado Parks and Wildlife's 2017 "Pueblo Eagle Days" festival features eagle-viewing opportunities, hands-on activities for youngsters, live bird programs, native American dancers and educational presentations by raptor experts. This year's festival, Feb. 3-5, takes place at three locations: Lake Pueblo State Park and State Wildlife Area, the Pueblo Nature & Raptor Center and the Rawlings Library.
Each year the event draws hundreds of visitors from across the state to learn more about these unique birds of prey.
"Eagle Days is a great opportunity to get outdoors in the winter, include the entire family on the outing and learn something about these majestic birds," said Monique Mullis, park manager at Lake Pueblo State Park and one of the event's organizers.
Numerous bald eagles spend the winter at Lake Pueblo State Park and the Pueblo State Wildlife Area. They roost in the large trees and dine on fish from the large expanse of open water.
"Once again, we will have both indoor and outdoor activities," said Jena Sanchez, volunteer coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "This is the 21st Annual Eagle Days and we've got several exhibits and events. Exhibits and indoor programs take place at all three locations, plus outdoor activities are scheduled throughout the weekend around the lake including bird watching tours and nature hikes. Be sure to check the website for times and locations.
The area around Pueblo Reservoir offers excellent opportunities to view a variety of birds of prey year-round, but during the winter months, the bald eagles are the star attraction. The eagles tend to gather at the west end of the lake, but park employees and visitors report sighting individual eagles around the south marina, the Boggs Creek area and the river corridor below the dam, especially when ice forms.
Programs at the Park Visitor Center and entry to the Visitor Center from Hwy. 96 are free, but vehicles are required to have a Park's Pass if they enter or drive through other portions of the park.
The festival starts Friday, Feb. 3 at 5:30 p.m. at the Rawlings InfoZone Theater on the 4th floor at the Rawlings Library. Photo contest entries will be on display with the announcement of the winners from this year's contest happening at 7 p.m. Saturday programs will kick off at the Lake Pueblo State Park Visitor Center at 9:00 a.m. Sunday events will take place at the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo.
For more information about Pueblo Eagle Days and a complete schedule of events, visit www.puebloeagledays.org.