Thursday, January 09, 2014
USA’s National Emblem (Bald Eagle) Alive and Well in NW Arkansas
The majestic American Bald Eagle, symbol of the strength and long life of United States, migrates every year to winter and raise young in NW Arkansas. With a wing span of seven feet, eagles can fly at speeds up to 30 MPH and dive at 100 MPH. Truly an awesome sight.
Males and females look alike and both sexes work hard to raise their young. They mate for life and build huge nests to which they return year after year. They refurbish and enlarge their nests over time to the point that some become as large as an automobile.
We are lucky in NW Arkansas to be able to see bald eagles (which are not actually bald) from October to February. Beaver Lake is undoubtedly the largest lake in the area and has the most eagles, but sightings occur on other lakes and reservoirs. Eagles have even been seen soaring over roadways or near chicken houses where I presume they hope to find a dead chicken.
The easiest and surest way to see bald eagles and their nests is the Eagle Cruise. For only $10/adult or $5/child (kids under 6 ride free), you can take advantage of a 90-minute pontoon-boat cruise on Beaver Lake. An interpretative guide goes along to take you to the optimum locations for success and answer questions as well.
Reservations are required so call Hobbs State Park at 479-789-5000 or stop by the Visitor Center. This could be a great field trip, not only for families with children but for anyone interested in one of our great natural resources in NW Arkansas.