EAGLE WATCHING IN
CONNECTICUT OFFERS A DISTINCTIVE WINTER GETAWAY OPPORTUNITY OFF THE SLOPES
Connecticut celebrates the eagle's annual feeding
pilgrimage with activities, fairs and sightseeing tours
HARTFORD, CT, August 25, 2004 - Each year, 60
million Americans grab their binoculars and head outdoors to bird watch.
According to the National Survey on Recreation and Environment, bird watching is
the second fastest growing recreational activity and, this winter, Connecticut
offers a rare opportunity for visitors to flock together off the slopes and
celebrate the bird considered to be the living symbol of America - the bald
eagle. Every winter, from early January to mid-March, bald eagles fly southward
from Canada and northern New England to feed on fish found in the open waters of
the lower Connecticut River. During this period, travelers can find numerous
special events and activities to help view these magnificent birds up close.
Connecticut eagle watching activities, celebrations and viewing opportunities
- Connecticut River Eagle Festival.
Feb. 19 - Feb. 20, 2005. Essex, CT.
Presented by the Connecticut Audubon Society, this fun-filled event is
"New England's Premier Eco-Event" and celebrates the return of the
bald eagles to their wintering grounds on the Connecticut River as well as
their remarkable comeback as an endangered species.
Most festival activities and events are FREE to the public and will take
place under two large, heated tents on Main Street and throughout the
quintessential Americana town of Essex - rated the number one small town in
America.* Various attractions include: Native American performances, live
birds of prey presentations, bird carving exhibits, nature crafts for
children, storytelling, lectures and book signings by noted
environmentalists and authors, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice carving
exhibits, art exhibits, an interactive weather station, and live musical
Although eagles can be seen from the shore, guided eagle-viewing boat tours
offer unobstructed and closer views of the eagles. Boat tour tickets during
the festival cost $15 for children under 12 and $30 for adults. Reservations
must be made in advance. Also available throughout Connecticut's Eagle
Watching season, this two-hour tour takes place on heated enclosed boats,
and advance reservations are required. To request a regular boating
schedule and to make reservations outside of the Eagle Watching Festival,
call toll free 800-996-8747 or 860-767-0660.
In addition, shuttle buses will be available to transport visitors to all
venues from designated Festival parking lots. To request a complimentary
Eagle Festival program guide, secure reservations for the eagle watching
cruises, or to request additional information, call toll free 800-714-7201
or 860-767-9795. Travelers can also visit www.ctaudubon.org.
- Shepaug Bald Eagle Observation Area.
January - mid-March 2005. Southbury, CT.
Located along Connecticut's Housatonic River, the Shepaug Bald Eagle
Observation Area is another outstanding viewing site available in
Connecticut throughout the winter. Now in its 20th season, this site
provides bird watchers with a prime view of bald eagles hunting in the
ice-free waters below the Shepaug Hydroelectric Station. The hydroelectric
station's operation attracts eagles by preventing the water from freezing
thus, making it easy to feed on fish below the dam. The observation area is
open through mid-March on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. - 1
p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are required by calling 800-368-8954.
- The 17th Annual Eagle Watches on the
Connecticut River January 15, 22, 29, & February 5, 12 & 19,
Presented by the Madison Audubon Shop in Madison, CT, the 17th Annual Eagle
Watches on the Connecticut River features a land-based guided tour of
several sites along the Connecticut River. Starting at One Marine Park in
Haddam, CT, eagle watchers have the opportunity to observe as bald eagles
make their way from Canada down the River in search of ice-free fishing. The
$20 fee includes the cost of a luncheon at Oliver's Tavern in Essex, CT.
Binoculars are recommended and available for rental. For additional
information and reservations, please call 203-245-9056. Space is
For more information, please call 1-800-CT BOUND
(1-800-282-6863) or log onto www.ctbound.org.
*100 Best Small Towns in America, by Norman Crampton (MacMillan)
# # #
Connecticut Commission on Culture
Tourism Division Director
Tel: (860) 270-8080