NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Breaking News

PortWatch

February 6, 2014

Winged wonders

Eagle Festival celebrates Merrimack River's winter visitors

(Continued)

“It’s just a beautiful boat shop building with space on either side of it,” Vokey said.

Started in 2006 to celebrate the resurgence of bald eagles in the area and the lower Merrimack Valley’s first known nesting pair, the festival has always been a popular draw for birders and non-birders alike eager to spot the emblem of America, Vokey said.

“Eagles are called charismatic megafauna,” she said. “They’re like tigers or elephants. People really find they connect to these creatures that live in the wild, because they look at them and associate human characteristics with them, like courage and strength and nobility.

“It symbolizes the things that we honor about being American, so they want to see them out in the wild,” she said. “They just get such a kick of it, and it’s so wonderful to help them do that.”

The festival is sponsored by The Daily News and the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank.

If you go

What: Merrimack River Eagle Festival

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, and Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, 6 Plum Island Turnpike, as well as other locations in Newburyport and Amesbury

How much: Free

More information: 978-462-9998 or www.massaudubon.org/eaglefestival

Schedule of events

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Visit eagle hot spots along the Merrimack River. Locations include Andrews Boat Shop and Lowell’s Boat Shop on Main Street in Amesbury, Deer Island in Amesbury, the Mersen building on Merrimac Street in Newburyport, and Cashman Park in Newburyport.

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Van tours depart every half-hour from Chamber of Commerce (full).

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Family activities at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and Joppa Flats Education Center. Live owls and hawks from Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm.

10 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. — Raptor demonstrations with Tom Ricardi of the Massachusetts Bird of Prey Rehabilitation Facility, Newburyport City Hall. For ages 6 and up; first-come, first-served.

11:15 to 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 to 1 p.m. — Pose for a photo with a raptor, Newburyport City Hall. $10 donation; reservations recommended at 978-462-9998.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Special Features
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Special Features