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Celebrate Eagles Over Monroe Jan. 26-28
Updated January 16, 2018 8:52 PM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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eagle2.jpg
Photo by Jeff Danielson
eagle photo.jpg
Photo by Jeff Danielson

(MONROE LAKE) - Eagles over Monroe celebrates the close relationship that Monroe Lake has with these majestic birds.

Monroe Lake was the site of Indiana's Bald Eagle reintroduction program. In the 30 years since, Bald Eagles have survived and thrived, becoming the lake's signature bird. In more recent years, they have been joined by small numbers of Golden Eagles, which have learned that Monroe Lake is the perfect place to spend their winter.

This unique special event January 26-28, dives into the lives of eagles and other raptors: tour the lake to see eagles in the wild, learn about recent research, meet live raptors, explore bird biology, and explore new ways to enhance your enjoyment of birds at Monroe Lake. Programs are accessible to both beginners and experienced birders, adults, and children.

The venue will be held at Fourwinds Lakeside Inn and Monroe Lake Fairfax State Recreation Area.

Schedule of Events

Friday, January 26

6:30 p.m. Migration Patterns of Northern Saw-whet Owls

Susan Hengeveld, Indiana University Biology Professor, will discuss an ongoing banding project of Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) in Yellowwood State Forest that began in 2002. This banding operation is part of a larger network of such banding efforts throughout the U.S. and Canada and was initiated to investigate migration patterns of the different sex/age classes of these diminutive owls. (60 min)

7:45 p.m. Eagles and Biodiversity of Monroe Lake

No organism lives alone. As a top predator, the Bald Eagle is dependent on the availability of a robust, healthy ecosystem rich in biodiversity. Roger Hangarter, Indiana University Biology Professor, will use photographs to explore Monroe Lake's Bald Eagles, as well as a number of other organisms that are part of the biodiversity found in local ecosystems. (45 min)

Saturday, January 27

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Complimentary Coffee and Cocoa

9 a.m. TWO presentation options:

The Story of Monroe Lake's Eagles

If this is your first time attending Eagles over Monroe, come to this program to learn about why the eagles at Monroe Lake are so special to us. Rex Watters, Monroe Lake's wildlife biologist, will share the story behind the reintroduction of the bald eagle to Indiana, which took place right here at Monroe in the 1980s and early 1990s. Rex was one of the people who had it happen, so all the stories he shares were experienced first-hand! (45 min)

Birding by Impression

Bird books generally rely on key field marks for species identification. But what if the bird fails to cooperate and you can't see those marks? David Rupp, owner of Indigo Birding Nature Tours, and Joe Bailey, local photographer, will show you how other clues can be used effectively to help identify an uncooperative avian in the field. (45 min)

10:15 a.m. When Dinosaurs Flew

From lizards to birds... Patrick Haulter, Interpretive Naturalist for Brown County State Park, will explore the prehistoric world of dinosaurs as he explains one of the most exciting discoveries in evolutionary history: Birds! (45 min)

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. TWO drop-by activities available...

Raptors up Close

Leslie Grow, the interpretive naturalist at Hardy Lake, will have an assortment of their live, education birds on display! DROP BY to check out several diurnal raptors, including a Bald Eagle, take photos, and ask questions.

Avian Arts and Crafts

DROP BY to enjoy one of several arts and crafts projects with a bird/birding theme, presented by Sandy Belth, a naturalist for Monroe County Parks. Most projects will be accessible for ages 5 and up; there will also be at least one project that adult crafters will enjoy.

1 p.m. Saving a Species: The Whooping Crane

The Whooping Crane recovery is one of conservation's greatest success stories. Facing extinction in the 1940's with a population of about 20 birds, the Whooping Crane has recovered to about 500 birds in the wild today. James Kawlewski, Outreach Program Assistant for the International Crane Foundation (ICF), will share how the ICF is working to save the world's cranes from extinction, with a focus on the eastern migratory population of Whooping Cranes. (45 min)

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Self-guided Driving Tour

Local birders will be stationed with spotting scopes at multiple eagle "hotspots" around the lake from 2 to 4 p.m. In addition to highlighting any eagles that come into range, they will also train their scopes on other interesting birds. Over 150 bird species have been spotted at Monroe Lake during the winter! Pick up the driving tour map at the registration table beginning at noon.

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Complimentary Coffee and Cocoa

4:30 p.m. Live Raptor Presentation

*This presentation is being sponsored by the Sassafras Audubon Society*

The Indiana Raptor Center is a non-profit organization in Nashville, Indiana dedicated to the rescue of injured or orphaned wild birds, their rehabilitation and their return to the wild. Their mission is comprised of a triad of objectives, none of which may be effectively achieved without the others: Rehabilitation, Education, and Conservation. Join the volunteers of the IRC as they introduce you to their live raptor ambassadors - sharing stories about how these different species live in the wild and why their ambassadors were unable to be released after rehab. (60 min)

5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Italian Buffet Dinner available in the Fourwinds Tradewinds Restaurant

Dinner is NOT included with event registration, but discounted tickets are available to attendees if purchased in advance via online event registration (deadline is Jan. 23).

In advance (purchase during event registration): $12 per person, $7 for ages 12 and under

Walk-up (purchase at the restaurant door): $15 per person, $9 for ages 12 and under

7 p.m. Keynote Presentation: Raptors and Cranes, an Interconnected Wonder
The ways in which raptors and cranes are connected may surprise you! James Kawlewski, Outreach Program Assistant for the International Crane Foundation, will discuss the ecology and biology of both raptors and cranes, including some of the intense ways that these species groups interact with each other. The presentation will provide some history of species decline, the enactment of protections, challenges that these species face today, and how people can work together to help both raptors and cranes for their continued success. (60 min)

8:30 p.m. Bird Bingo
Wind down for the evening by playing some B-I-N-G-O with a birding twist! Snacks will be available and we've got some pretty nice prizes for the game winners. (45 min)

Sunday, January 28

8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Complimentary Coffee and Cocoa

9 a.m. Pretty in Pixels Hike
Bring your camera, smartphone, tablet, or other photo-taking device and venture into the outdoors for a morning photography hike to capture the beauty of Monroe Lake! This easy hike will be led by Kriste Lindberg, an avid local nature photographer and watercolor painter, who will likely by joined by several other experienced photographers. Don't go home without the perfect picture to capture your weekend! (45 to 60 min)

10:15 a.m. Mid-Morning Birding
Want to add a few more birds to your weekend list? Join Wyatt Williams, Interpretive Naturalist for Spring Mill State Park, for a leisurely bird hike along the shoreline and woodland edges. If you have binoculars, please bring them! We'll also have some loaner binoculars available. (60 min)

Advance Registration by January 23, online only

Adult (age 16+): $15
Child (age 6-15): $10
Child (age 0-5): Free

Contact the Paynetown Activity Center for event questions at 812-837-9967, or email Monroe Lake Naturalist Jill Vance at jvance@dnr.IN.gov



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