The Edmond Sun

January 4, 2013

SLIDESHOW: Arcadia Lake guests on lookout for eagles

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Eagles were spotted Friday morning at Arcadia Lake during the first hour of Eagle Watch.

As the sun rose on a chilly January morning — ideal weather for America’s national bird — white-tailed deer were seen in Spring Creek Park, located just east of Interstate 35 on 15th Street. The park is home to Arrowhead Point, a prime bird-watching location at the lake. Another is a cove in Edmond Park, located off Second Street/State Highway 66. Numerous birds, including white pelicans, were there Friday morning.

Arcadia Lake, which has a surface area of 1,820 acres, is surrounded by 26 miles of shoreline. Birding is very good on and around the lake during any season. Flocks of cormorants were flying over its waters during Eagle Watch this weekend.

Oklahoma is an important wintering area for bald eagles, consistently ranking in the top 10 states for number of birds, according to the Tulsa Audobon Society. They migrate south from their nesting range and stay wherever they find open water and plentiful food. At Arcadia Lake, their numbers vary.

Year-round birds that can be seen at the lake include: American white pelican, great blue heron, Canada goose, red-tailed hawk, wild turkey, northern bobwhite, American coot, ring-billed gull, rock pigeon, mourning dove, white-winged dove, roadrunner, great horned owl, barred owl, eastern screech owl, belted kingfisher, pileated, red-head and red-bellied woodpeckers, northern flicker, downy and hairy woodpeckers, loggerhead shrike, blue jay, American crow, tufted titmouse, Carolina and bewick’s wrens, eastern bluebird, American robin, northern mockingbird, eastern phoebe, spotted towhee, northern cardinal, eastern meadowlark, red-winged blackbird and the house sparrow.

Eagle Watch continues from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily through Sunday. Admission to the lake is half-price — $3 per vehicle— during the event. The lake park office is about 3 miles east of I-35 off Second Street. For more information about Eagle Watch, call the park office at 216-7470. | 341-2121, ext. 108