MANHATTAN, Kan.,— On Saturday, Jan. 3, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Tuttle Creek Lake will sponsor a free Eagle Day program for an impressive 27th year.
The bald eagle was adopted as our national symbol in 1782. At that time, there were as many as 50,000 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states.
In 1967, the bald eagle was declared as an endangered species because there were only about 2,000 birds total with an estimated 417 nesting pairs. But their population in the lower 48 states has rebounded remarkably to more than 35,000 birds with more than 10,000 nesting pairs, some of which live around Tuttle Creek Lake.
The day will start at 9 a.m. at the Manhattan Fire station at Kimball and Denison with an overview of eagle nesting in Kansas. This will be followed by a live raptor program featuring live hawks and owls and a mounted bald eagle.
The highlight of the morning is the free bus tour through areas near Tuttle Creek Lake. Knowledgeable bird watchers from the Northern Flint Hills Audubon Society will share information and assist with eagle viewing. The Corps will furnish binoculars and spotting scopes. One of the bus tour stops is to view a clearly visible, large nest on an island in River Pond State Park.
The Eagle Day program is a popular program with an average attendance of 150 people, many of them youngsters who have been fascinated by the birds and the facts about them.
Viewers should dress appropriately for the weather and bring binoculars and spotting scopes if they have them. The program is free and open to the public.
Sponsors of this event include the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, and Manhattan Convention Visitors Bureau, Tuttle Creek Lake Association and Northern Flint Hills Audubon Society.
For more information, contact Steve Prockish at (785) 539-8511, x3167.
There will also be an Eagle Day at Milford Nature Center on Jan. 17. For more information call 785-238-5323.
Release no. PA-2014-60