Annual Eagle Celebration
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – On Saturday, Feb 29th Willow Bend Environmental Education Center in partnership with AZ Game and Fish, Liberty Wildlife and the Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience held its Annual Eagle Celebration.
The day started with a morning field trip led by Coconino County Parks and Recreation staff, AZ Game and Fish Biologists and a number of volunteers. This year the event also included a second field trip later in the morning, especially geared towards families. The lucky groups spotted 6 juvenile and a nesting pair of bald eagles, as well as numerous waterfowl species.
The day continued with three talks at Willow Bend presented by AZ Game and Fish biologists and Willow Bend staff covering eagle ecology, management, and conservation. During the family focused program our young participants became ornithologists for the day and made observations about eagle characteristics, feeding habits, and habitat. One young volunteer got to dress up as an eagle to demonstrate key eagle adaptations.
But the highlight of the day was the appearance of live eagles from Liberty Wildlife: Aurora the adult bald eagle and the Anasazi the golden eagle. The eagles displayed their impressive wing span and their powerful talons while Joe and Jan Miller, wildlife rehabilitators and bird trainers from Liberty Wildlife, shared information about the birds, conservation efforts, and Liberty Wildlife rehabilitation center.
“This is a wonderful event and a great opportunity to educate the public, especially children, about eagles in hope of ensuring their continued survival” said Moran Henn, Willow Bend’s Executive Director. Joe Miller, from Liberty Wildlife, emphasized the importance of programs that rehabilitate and protect eagles, and shared a few simple ways each and every one of us can help, “from picking up fishing lines, leaving birds alone while in their nests, and notifying the appropriate entities if you see an injured bird or unlawful behavior” said Miller. Hannah Griscom, AZ Game and Fish Habitat specialist AZ Game and Fish was pleased with the public’s interest in local wildlife. She concluded that “we had another very successful year! Everyone enjoyed seeing eagles in their natural habitat during the field trip as well as learning about and seeing them up close at the presentation”.
“That was amazing!” concluded Max, one of the event’s 3rd grade participants.
Willow bend’s mission is to provide education outreach services that build environmental awareness and an ethic of responsible stewardship of our natural and cultural resources.
To learn more about upcoming programs visit www.willowbendcenter.org