8th Annual Eagle Day is February 8th
The Eighth Annual Pueblo “Eagle Day” is Saturday, February 8 from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Pueblo Reservoir. The event’s co-sponsors are the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW), Lake Pueblo State Park, Pueblo Zoo, The Pueblo Raptor Center and the Arkansas Valley Audubon Society.
Activities at the day-long event include live raptor demonstrations by the Pueblo Raptor Center, bird watching classes, children’s crafts, and wildlife viewing stations. All of the activities are free and open to the public.
Exhibits and indoor events are at the Lake Pueblo State Park Headquarters on the south side of the reservoir. Wildlife viewing tours and outdoor displays take place on the north side of the reservoir.
This year Pueblo Eagle day has its own Web site. The address is www.eagleday.org.
Eagles rank number one on the list of animals that Americans say they want to see in the wild, and Colorado in the winter offers prime viewing opportunities for both bald eagles and golden eagles.
The bald eagle – so named because of its white head – lives only in North America, and it is the second largest bird of prey of the continent. Only the California condor is larger.
Up to 1,200 bald eagles spend the winter in Colorado. They are attracted by relatively mild winters. Bald eagles tend to stay near open water where they can find fish, which is why they gather near large reservoirs along the Arkansas River drainage.
Most of the bald eagles leave Colorado in late February or March, heading north to nesting grounds in the northern U.S., Canada and Alaska. A few bald eagles remain year-round. In recent years, DOW biologists located 29 active bald eagle nest sites in the state.
Golden eagles, on the other hand, prefer rugged cliffs with adjacent open fields where they feed on a variety of birds, reptiles and small mammals. Jackrabbits and prairie dogs make up a large portion of their diet.
Unlike bald eagles, golden eagles are common nesting birds in Colorado. There are between 600 and 900 active golden eagle nest sites in the state. The majority of the golden eagles in Colorado nest in the northwest part of the state during the summer and move to the eastern plains in the winter.
Eagles are prominent figures in mythology, literature and art; and are widely used as symbols of greatness. The bald eagle is the country’s national symbol, a distinction it has held since 1872.
Adult bald eagles have a wingspan of up to eight feet and may weigh as much as 12 pounds. They have large brown bodies, yellow beaks and white heads and tails. They fly with deep strokes and soar on flattened wings. Because immature bald eagles lack the distinctive white markings, they are frequently confused with golden eagles until they reach the age of maturity.
The bald eagle prefers to nest in large trees near water with little human activity. They feed mainly on fish in the summer, but in the winter they will eat dead or crippled animals such as waterfowl or winter-killed deer and elk; as well as small animals such as prairie dogs.
Both species are safeguarded by the Eagle Protection Act which makes it illegal to kill or possess eagle feathers, body parts, nests, eggs or live birds without a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For more information about this year’s Pueblo Eagle Day activities, contact John Koshak in Colorado Springs at (719) 227-5221 or the Pueblo office of the DOW at (719) 561-5300.
To visit the Eagle Day website, use the link below.