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Pueblo's 20th Annual 'Eagle Days' are Feb. 5-7 

Pueblo's 20th Annual 'Eagle Days' are Feb. 5-7 
Kyle Davidson

Pueblo's 20th Annual 'Eagle Days' are Feb. 5-7

PUEBLO, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife's 2016 "Eagle Days" festival features eagle-viewing opportunities, hands-on activities for youngsters, live bird programs, native American dancers and educational presentations by raptor experts. This year's festival, Feb. 5-7, takes place at three locations: Lake Pueblo State Park, the Pueblo Nature & Raptor Center and the Pueblo Zoo.

Each year the event draws hundreds of visitors from across the state to learn more about these unique birds of prey.

"Eagle Days is a great opportunity to get outdoors in the winter, include the entire family on the outing and learn something about these majestic birds," said Monique Mullis, park manager at Lake Pueblo State Park and one of the event's organizers.

Numerous bald eagles spend the winter at Lake Pueblo State Park and the Pueblo Reservoir State Wildlife Area. They roost in the large trees and dine on fish from the large expanse of open water.  

"Once again, we will have both indoor and outdoor activities," said Jena Sanchez, volunteer coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "This is the 20th Annual Eagle Days and we've added several new exhibits and events. Exhibits and indoor programs take place at all three locations, plus outdoor activities are scheduled throughout the weekend around the lake including bird watching tours and nature hikes."  

The area around Pueblo Reservoir offers excellent opportunities to view a variety of birds of prey year-round, but during the winter months, the bald eagles are the star attraction. The eagles tend to gather at the west end of the lake, but park employees and visitors report sighting individual eagles around the south marina, the Boggs Creek area and the river corridor below the dam.  

Programs at the Park Visitor Center and entry to the Visitor Center from Hwy. 96 are free, but vehicles are required to have a Park's Pass if they enter or drive through other portions of the park.  

The festival starts Friday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Lake Pueblo State Park Visitor Center with the announcement of the winners from this year's photo contest, and a presentation by wildlife photographer and avid birder, Debbie Barnes, who will share her photos and some great hints.  

Schedule for Saturday, Feb. 6:

9 a.m. - Debbie Barnes, will give you the ins-and-outs of identifying raptors as well as hints on great places to look

11 a.m. -  There will be a “Live Raptors Demonstration" by Diane Miller at the Pueblo Raptor & Nature Center next to Lake Pueblo State Park

12:30 p.m. - "Falcons Demonstration" by USAFA Cadets.  Kids can also meet the mascots – Hooter, Talon, Elbert and Smokey Bear

1 p.m. - Native American dancers

3 p.m. - Release of a rehabilitated raptor at the west fishing area on the north side of Lake Pueblo State Park

Schedule for Sunday, Feb. 7: 

10 a.m. - Driving Eagle Tour – Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call NRCP for details (719)549-2414, 

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Nature and Raptor Center Open House. See resident birds, including golden eagles, owl and hawks. 

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. - Paint with Randy Ford - local artist from Stroke N Sip - at the Pueblo Zoo. The featured painting will be an eagle. Light snacks will be provided and you can bring your own beverage if you would like to sip while painting. Call 719-561-1452

For more information about Pueblo Eagle Days and a complete schedule of events, visit


More about eagles: Eagles are the number one animal that Americans say they want to see in the wild. Colorado, in the winter offer prime viewing opportunities for both bald eagles and golden eagles. Up to 1,200 bald eagles spend the winter in Colorado. Bald eagles are attracted here by relatively mild winters. Look for them near open water where they hunt for fish or ducks. Most of the bald eagles leave Colorado in late February and March, heading north to nesting grounds in the northern U.S., Canada and Alaska, but a few remain year-round. Golden eagles prefer rugged cliffs with adjacent open country where they feed on a variety of birds, reptiles and mammals, though jackrabbits are their primary prey. Unlike bald eagles, golden eagles are common nesting birds in Colorado but they too move about during different times of the year. There are roughly 900 active golden eagle nests in Colorado. The majority of the golden eagles nest in the northwest part of the state during the summer. In wintertime, golden eagles are more broadly distributed throughout the state, but they are particularly visible on the eastern plains.   Eagles are protected birds, which makes it illegal to kill or possess eagle feathers, body parts, nests, eggs or live birds without a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. At one time, the bald eagle was an endangered species; however, conservation efforts help the birds recover. The Fish and Wildlife Service removed bald from the endangered species list in 2007.


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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