Mark your calendar for the 21st annual Eagle Watch celebration Feb. 27-28 at PGE’s Round Butte Overlook Park 10 miles west of Madras. The free celebration honors eagles and other raptors that live in the Lake Billy Chinook area. The two-day celebration runs 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Festivities will be in the “Eagle Village” at the park visitor center.
“This event has something for the entire family,” says event coordinator and Oregon State Parks Ranger Erin Bennett. “Visitors may glimpse our resident bald eagles and golden eagles, as well as learn about the eagle’s significance to local Native American culture and traditions.”
While you’re there, meet Aquila, a rehabilitated golden eagle, as well as a great horned owl. Children can build a bluebird house (on Saturday) or a bird feeder (on Sunday) and make a commemorative Eagle Watch button to take home. The Madras Garden Center will show how to create a backyard refuge and enjoy birdwatching year-round.
To cap off the event, the Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers will present tribal drumming and dancing at 2 p.m. on Sunday sponsored by Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises.
Admission and parking at PGE’s Round Butte Overlook Park are free. New Eagle Watch souvenirs will be available, and a silent auction will benefit the Oregon Eagle Foundation. Cash and checks accepted; there is no ATM on site.
Oregon State Parks, Portland General Electric (PGE), and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs are the event hosts.
Feb. 22-23 celebration honors eagles and other raptors at Lake Billy Chinook
The 19th annual event in Central Oregon explores the natural and cultural significance of the birds via an “Eagle Village” at Round Butte Overlook Park and guided viewing sessions at both Round Butte and The Cove Palisades State Park.
“The eagle holds a significant place in tribal culture and traditions,” said Robert “Bobby” Brunoe, natural resources general manager for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. “It is honored throughout the year for its spiritual significance, and Eagle Watch provides a special opportunity to gather together and share what that represents to us all.”
Start your day at Round Butte Overlook Park’s visitor center, located 10 miles west of Madras. Tour the “Eagle Village” displays and see presentations by regional birds-of-prey experts. Crafts are available for the kids. Enter the prize drawings, too. Event hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
“Eagle Watch is a fantastic opportunity to see both bald and golden eagles,” said Paul Patton, event coordinator and Oregon State Parks resource specialist. “Ten pairs of bald eagles and ten pairs of golden eagles live in the area year-round, and migrant bald eagles join the resident birds January-March. That makes this one of the largest gathering spots for eagles in the region.”
You can see the eagles on guided viewing sessions both days at Round Butte Overlook and The Cove Palisades. Shuttles will be available to move between the sites.
The Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers will cap off the event 2 p.m. Sunday with tribal drumming and dancing sponsored by Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises
Admission to all Eagle Watch events is free, and complimentary parking is available at Round Butte Overlook Park (an Oregon State Parks day-use permit is required to park vehicles at The Cove Palisades State Park).
You can make reservations to camp or stay in a cabin at The Cove Palisades or Tumalo State Park (45 miles south) by calling 1-800-452-5687. Private camping is available at the Central Oregon KOA east of Culver and the Mountain View RV Park in Metolius.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Portland General Electric (PGE), and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs host the event. Sponsors include the Oregon Eagle Foundation, Sunriver Nature Center, Crooked River National Grassland (U.S. Forest Service), Raven Research West, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, East Cascades Audubon Society, The Museum at Warm Springs, Bureau of Land Management, Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Earth2O, Kah-Nee-Ta Resort and Spa, and Telecom Pioneers of America.
For more information about Eagle Watch, call the Oregon State Parks information line at 1-800-551-6949 or visit oregonstateparks.org.