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Alabama’s rich biodiversity on display during Eagle Awareness Weekends

GUNTERSVILLE – America’s national symbol will be celebrated at the Eagle Awareness Weekends in Lake Guntersville State Park.

The 38th annual event runs weekends from Jan. 19 through Feb. 4.

Visitors will have the chance to learn more about the magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. The Friday through Sunday event attracts people of all ages from all over the United States who come to spend a winter getaway in one of Alabama’s most popular state parks immersed in nature-based learning. 

The weekends were started as an activity for people to experience the joy of watching eagles and other birds in their natural habitat and as a way of educating the public about the importance of protecting the area’s wildlife. The weekend events feature live bird demonstrations, 35 minute education classes, programs provided by notable speakers, guided safaris for viewing eagles in their natural habitat and plenty of photo opportunities for those with camera in hand. 

The dates are Jan. 19-21, Jan. 26-28 and Feb. 2-4. Activities get underway at 5:30 p.m. each Friday, with activities throughout the day Saturday and wrapping up Sunday following the 9 a.m. guided field trips.

Scheduled programs and presenters are (subject to change):

  • Jan. 19-21
    Presenters/programs: Falconer and Anthropologist Lauren McGough, Raptor Ridge, Southeastern Raptor Center and Alabama Wildlife Center
    Education classes: Environmental Connections: Gopher Tortoises and Indigo Snakes, The Intriguing Loggerhead Shrike and Pitcher Plants and Alabama’s Plant Biodiversity.
  • Jan. 26-28
    Presenters/programs: Alabama 4-H Science School, Wings to Soar, Alabama Wildlife Center and Year of Alabama Birding photography workshop led by Alabama The Beautiful’s Beth Cowan Drake
    Education classes: The Oak of Oak Mountain, Alabama’s Hemlocks and Cranes of Alabama
  • Feb. 2-4
    Presenters/programs: Rise Raptor Project, Southeastern Raptor Center and Alabama Wildlife Center
    Education classes: The Art of Leaf Pounding, Eagle Monitoring in Alabama and Red-cockaded Woodpeckers: Birds in the Mist

Sessions typically fill up quickly and participants are encouraged to reserve a weekend by calling 256-571-5440 for lodge reservations or 256-571-5455 for campground reservations. Lodging packages start at $348 and include lodging, two breakfasts, one dinner, a welcome packet, VIP access to presentations, discounts at the restaurant and gift shop, photo opportunities with birds of prey, activities for children, engagement with featured sponsors and one-on-one access with the naturalists.

Day passes will be sold first come, first serve each Saturday morning of Eagle Awareness Weekends. These will include guided tours to the eagle nests and live bird programs only. A day pass is $25/adult and $10/child under 12 years old.

For a complete list of scheduled events, speakers and lodging packages, visit https://www.alapark.com/EagleAwarenessWeekends.

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