Colorado Parks and Wildlife's 2013 "Eagle Days" festival features eagle-viewing opportunities, hands-on activities for youngsters, live bird programs and educational presentations by raptor experts.
This year's festival, Feb. 1-3, takes place at three locations: Lake Pueblo State Park, the Pueblo Nature & Raptor Center and the Pueblo Zoo. 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 Darcy Mount, a ranger 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 Reservoir 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 John Koshak, a watchable wildlife specialist at Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "This is the 17th Annual Eagle Days and we've added several new 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."
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.
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. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lake Pueblo State Park auditorium with the announcement of the winners from this year's photo contest and a slideshow by Colorado photographer and premiere taxidermist Todd Huffman. Activities continue from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.