Bald eagles were once endangered in all of the lower 48 states. But today the raptor, which became the national emblem of the United States in 1782, has come back. Increased awareness, protective legislation and widespread conservation efforts have assisted in the remarkable comeback.
DeGray Lake Resort State Park in Bismarck, Arkansas celebrates the American bald eagle and the message of conservation during Eagles Et Cetera from January 25 to 27 at the park.
Bald eagles are unique to North America. Some 1200 begin to arrive in Arkansas as early as mid-October and stay all winter long, departing around February and sometimes as late as mid-March. An estimated 200 nesting pairs stay in Arkansas year round.
Visitors making the trek to the event, the largest of its kind in the state, can expect many opportunities to see eagles in their natural habitat.
Eagles Et Cetera not only highlights eagles but also gives attention to birds of prey in general and also song birds, migratory birds, waterfowl, game birds, conservation practices and general lake ecology and health.
Visitors will also have a chance to see birds of prey up close. The Little Rock Zoo will be on hand to show a variety of birds including owls, hawks, falcons, and, of course, a bald eagle. There will also be a live falconry demonstration.
Eagle tours will also scout DeGray Lake in search of eagles, loons, coots, herons, and other waterfowl and wildlife. Guided owl prowls and bird and woodpecker hikes are also on the lineup, along with presentations highlighting wildlife, such as an alligator presentation.
DeGray Lake Resort State Park is located at 2027 State Park Entrance Road (off Highway 7) in Bismarck. All programs at the festival are free of charge, except for the Eagle Boat Tours, which are $9 for adults and $5 for kids age 6-12. Reservations are required for the boat tours and can be made by calling 501-865-5850. More details on the park as well as a program schedule for the event can also be found at degray.com.
For more information about top events in Arkansas take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Arkansas.