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2017 Eagle Watch set for Feb. 25-26


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See golden eagles, bald eagles and other raptors at Eagle Watch.

The 22nd annual Eagle Watch celebration is set for  Feb. 25-26 at Round Butte Overlook Park. The celebration honors eagles and other raptors that live in the Lake Billy Chinook area and activities explore the natural and cultural significance of the birds to tribal culture and traditions.

The two-day celebration hosted by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Portland General Electric (PGE), Crooked River Grasslands, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) features resident bald eagles and golden eagles. The event runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. Festivities will be in “Eagle Village” at Round Butte Overlook Park’s visitor center, 10 miles west of Madras.

Event attendees can meet Aquila, a rehabilitated golden eagle, as well as a great horned owl that lives at the Sunriver Nature Center. Saturday at noon, children can meet JR Beaver, Smokey Bear and Larry the Lightbulb. Children are also invited to take part in our eagle race (on Saturday) or make a bird feeder (on Sunday). Madras Garden Center will show how to create a backyard refuge to enjoy birdwatching year-round at your own home.

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Wild eagle viewing will take place each day at Round Butte Overlook Park and two overlooks on Mountain View Road.

Wildlife biologists have recorded eleven bald eagle pairs and nine golden eagle pairs living in the area year-round, and migrant bald eagles join the resident birds from January through March. For those who want more, on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. attendees can go to Smith Rock State Park for an hour-long guided tour with Oregon Eagle Foundation volunteer David Vick.

The Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers will give a special presentation of tribal drumming and dancing sponsored by Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission and parking at PGE’s Round Butte Overlook Park are free. Attendees can buy souvenirs and take part in a daily silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Oregon Eagle Foundation. Indian Fry bread proceeds will support sending local kids to the rodeo, and donations for lunch support Culver Middle School’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program. Only cash and checks will be accepted; no ATM is on site.

For information, call Oregon State Parks Information at 800-551-6949 or The Cove Palisades State Park at 541-546-3412 or visit oregonstateparks.org. Information will also be posted on the Cove Palisades blog, The Cove Rattler, at covepalisades.wordpress.com and on Facebook.