5th Annual Prairie du Chien bald eagle appreciation day February 28

Come and enjoy bald eagles along the Upper Mississippi River
during Prairie du Chien Bald Eagle Appreciation Day on Saturday,
February 28, 2009, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Event activities will be
centered along the Mississippi River at the Prairie du Chien, Wis.
Regional Tourism Center, 211 S. Main Street, and the adjacent
AmericInn Lodge and Suites. Ken Block, Chief Ranger at Effigy
Mounds National Monument, touted Bald Eagle Appreciation Day as an
“opportunity to learn about bald eagles and all of the other
wonderful natural resources of the Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and
McGregor / Marquette, Iowa region directly from local experts. Our
location is situated in a perfect place to experience the outdoors
– the heart of the 261-mile long Upper Mississippi River Wildlife
and Fish Refuge.”

During the week days preceding and on Saturday, artwork created
by the students of Bluff View Intermediate School art teacher Lisa
Lewke will be on display in storefronts along Black Hawk Avenue, in
the heart of Prairie du Chien’s business and restaurant district. A
large Bald Eagle Quilt will be displayed at the Pickett Fence on
Black Hawk Avenue by Saturday.

On Saturday, live bald eagle programs presented by staff of the
National Eagle Center of Wabasha, Minnesota, will anchor the day of
presentations at the AmericInn. The first live eagle program will
be presented at 11 a.m. and a second at 1 p.m. in the lobby of the
AmericInn. To start the day, Neil Rettig’s “American Eagle” episode
from the PBS Nature series will be shown at 9 a.m. in the
AmericInn’s conference room. A special talk, “Bald Eagles on the
Refuge,” will be presented in the lobby at 9:30 a.m. by Tim Yager,
FWS Refuge Manager. Biologist David Heath, Wisconsin DNR, will then
give a talk about shad, a favorite food of bald eagles, at 10 a.m.
In between the live eagle programs, from 12:30 to 1 p.m., a special
presentation of “Lessons from the Eagle; Music from the River,”
will be given by Jon “Hawk” Stravers of the Audubon Society – Upper
Mississippi River Initiative.

Educational displays and activities at the Regional Tourism
Center will include agency exhibits, children’s craft activities
and a life-size eagle nest replica displayed by Pat Schlarbaum,
Iowa DNR wildlife technician (weather depending). Educational books
and other items from the bookstore at Effigy Mounds will be on sale
– including Neil Rettig’s “American Eagle” DVD. A second eagle’s
nest replica will be available across the river at the Effigy
Mounds Visitor Center.

Throughout the day, the true centerpiece of Bald Eagle
Appreciation Day will be outdoor viewing of live bald eagles. Pat
Schlarbaum, Jon Stravers, Dennis Kirschbaum, Laura Johnson and
personnel from the Iowa DNR, Wisconsin DNR, National Park Service
and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will staff outdoor bald eagle
viewing points in Prairie du Chien and other regional locations
they will identify that day as having good eagle activity. These
birding experts will be available to answer questions, explain
exhibits and lead car caravan trips to other eagle watching
locations. Maps & directions for self-guided field trips to
eagle watching locations will be provided.

Neil Rettig’s “American Eagle” episode from the PBS Nature
series will be shown again at 5 p.m. in the AmericInn’s conference
room to conclude the day of activities.

Location: Prairie du Chien Regional Tourism Center

9 AM – 3 PM

  • Outdoor Viewing with Spotting Scopes & Binoculars
  • Eagle viewing stations outside of the Tourism Center (and other
    nearby locations)
  • Bald eagle nest replica
  • Indoor exhibits
  • Children’s activities and educational sales items Location:
    AmericInn Lobby

Special Talks & Videos

  • 9 AM -Neil Rettig’s “American Eagle” episode from the PBS
    Nature series
  • 9:30 AM – Talk: Bald Eagles on the Refuge – by Tim Yager, FWS
    Refuge Manager
  • 10 AM – Talk: Shad – Food Fit for an Eagle – by David Heath,
    Wisconsin DNR
  • 11 AM – Live Bald Eagle Program (see below)
  • 12:30 PM – Special Talk: Lessons from the Eagle; with Music
    from the River – by Jon Stravers, Audubon Society
  • 1 PM – Live Bald Eagle Program (see below)
  • 5 PM – Neil Rettig’s “American Eagle” episode from the PBS
    Nature series
  • Live Bald Eagle Programs -National Eagle Center of Wabasha
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