Annual Eagle Watch Event Takes Flight February 23-24

(Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers perform at Eagle Watch | Photo Courtesy of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department)

The 24th annual Eagle Watch celebration will return February 23-24 to Round Butte Overlook Park, ten miles west of Madras. The event will feature activities that explore the natural and cultural significance of the eagles and other raptors that inhabit the Lake Billy Chinook area. The free two-day celebration runs 10am-4pm Saturday, February 23 and 10am-3:30pm Sunday, February 24.

“The ecosystem that surrounds like Billy Chinook is fragile community of living and non-living things,” said Erin Bennet, park ranger with The Cove Palisades State Park. “Eagle Watch is a great way to discover how these birds fit in and what we can do to help as environmental stewards.”

Festivities will be held in Eagle Village at the Round Butte Overlook Park’s visitor center. On Saturday visitors can take pictures with event sponsor mascots, build bluebird houses, meet a live Great horned owl and view wild eagles.

Sunday’s activities include bird feeder building, wild eagle watching and a special tribal drumming and dancing presentation at 2pm by the Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers. A free hot dog lunch will be served both days, with donations supporting the Madras Little League program.

An estimated 11 pairs of Bald eagles and nine pairs of Golden eagles live in the wilds surrounding Lake Billy Chinook. With migratory eagles joining the resident population in late winter, the area is one of the largest gathering spots for eagles in Oregon.

Admission and parking at Round Butte Overlook Park is free. Attendees can participate in a daily silent auction and raffle, with proceeds benefiting the Oregon Eagle Foundation. Indian Fry bread will also be sold; proceeds will support local youth participation in the Simnasho rodeo. Only cash and checks will be accepted and there is no ATM on site.

Eagle Watch is coordinated by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) in conjunction with Portland General Electric (PGE), Crooked River Grassland and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS). • 541-546-3412


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