Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is hosting a Virtual Eagle Festival March 12–14. With the pandemic and continuing need for social distancing, this year’s activities will be conducted online, with programs taking place on Facebook (@BlackwaterNWR) and Zoom, while encouraging visitors to enjoy the refuge on their own. In addition, the Wildlife Drive will be free-of-charge on March 13 and 14 for those who wish to visit the refuge to see eagles and other wildlife.
Highlights of the Weekend:
The Eagle Festival will kick off at noon on Facebook with a welcome by refuge staff and a roundup of the best hotspots to see eagles at the refuge. This will be followed at 1pm with a brief introduction to eagle identification.
Mike Callahan of Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Education Center will present “The Bald Eagle, Icon of Blackwater NWR and our National Symbol” with a live bald eagle at 10am. Tuckahoe State Park staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at the Scales and Tales Aviary while answering commonly asked questions about eagles at 2pm. Tune in for appearances by several live birds of prey!
Join refuge staff for story and craft time at 11:30am as they watch the picture book Owl Babies, and then make their very own “owl baby” with a few basic supplies. A limited number of kits with all the necessary supplies will be available to pick up in advance. Registration is required for this Zoom program. Email email@example.com with “Owl Babies” in the subject line, and the names and number of children participating. Deadline to register for this program is March 12.
Mike Callahan returns to Facebook at 10am with live birds of prey for a program titled “Raptors Rule,” highlighting some of the native raptors of Maryland. At 1pm, gather the kids for a puppet show and learn all about the adventures of a young Canada goose as he explores the refuge’s habitats and discovers the animals that call Blackwater NWR home. At 4pm, check out the bald eagle highlight reel from the Friends of Blackwater, where they’ve captured some of the best videos from the four wildlife cameras on the refuge!
All online events will be monitored by refuge staff, who will be standing by to answer your questions during the programs. For more information and a schedule of programs, visit www.fws.gov/refuge/Blackwater. If you have any questions, please email fw5rw_BWNWR@fws.gov.