The Edmond Sun

January 3, 2013

Bird lovers prep for annual Eagle Watch at Arcadia Lake


The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Bird lovers will be flocking to Arcadia Lake for the city’s annual Eagle Watch, which begins Friday.

Bird watchers come to Eagle Watch from all across the state. Visitors are  urged to dress warmly and bring binoculars for the event, which begins at the Arcadia Lake park office, 9000 E. Second St., about 3.5 miles east of I-35 on Route 66.

At the office, guests can receive information about where the eagles can be found. The park office will have a raptor wingspan display, videos and other great eagle information. Eagle Watch will be from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Price per vehicle is $3. For more information, call 216-7470 or visit www.arcadialakeok.com.

The bald eagle is a migratory species, and birds that nest in the Great Lakes states and nearby areas fly south to find food for the winter, according to the Tulsa Audubon Society.

Many find their way to Oklahoma, where eagles begin arriving in late November and December. Their numbers peak in January and February. Most migratory birds have left for their northern breeding grounds by the end of March.

In recent years, a number of pairs of eagles have visited Arcadia Lake this time of year.

A large raptor, the bald eagle has a wingspread of about 7 feet, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Adults have a dark brown body and wings, white head and tail and a yellow beak. Juveniles are mostly brown with white mottling on the body, tail and undersides of wings. Adult plumage usually is obtained by the sixth year.

In flight, the bald eagle often soars or glides with its wings held at a right angle to the body.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, bald eagles can live to about 20-30 years of age in the wild, longer in captivity. Their range extends from the Mexico border through the United States and Canada. Many can be found in Alaska.