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Last year, the Indiana bald eagle population expanded in record proportions and Eagle Watch Weekend, Indiana's premier eagle viewing event, will celebrate this hallmark of conservation success. The event will be February 3 through 5 at the Fourwinds Resort and Marina in the Fairfax State Recreation Area on Lake Monroe.

The weekend will begin with a lake-wide bird count at 8 Friday morning. In its second year, this count helps biologists recognize population trends of many of the area's winter birds. Friday afternoon will feature programs on raptor biology and a "birdy" craft program for all ages. Live bird programs dot the weekend with Indiana's owls taking the stage Friday evening. Tammy Davis and Zach Walker from the Dwight Chamberlain Rehab Center at Hardy Lake will feature the owls of Indiana. Eagles, hawks, and falcons will be the focus of three programs with live birds throughout the day on Saturday and a bird banding demonstration with Wild Birds Unlimited's Chief Naturalist John Schaust, will take place on Sunday morning. Two programs for the younger set are scheduled for Saturday featuring Wendy Smith, Education Coordinator from the Great Lakes Research and Education Center at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The afternoon will feature bus caravans to view bald eagles in the wild, two programs featuring live raptors, and "Snakes Alive," presented by Chris Bell from O'Bannon Woods State Park. Those new to birding won't want to miss "The Basics of Birdwatching" Saturday morning presented by DNR interpretive naturalists Jim Eagleman and Jeff Cummings. Later in the morning Rex Watters will talk about the bald eagle reintroduction program, and John Castrale, non-game avian biologist will give an update on the status of avian research in Indiana. Other programs for the weekend will include "DNR - Where Are We Headed?" Saturday evening, and "Images from Nature," a new program featuring the tips and tricks of nature photography by award-winning photographer Jeff Hammond on Sunday morning.

The $5 per adult event fee ($1 - students over 12 with ID) covers any or all programs for the three-day weekend. Age 12 and under are admitted free of charge.

For a complete listing of programs, pre-registration information, and in-depth coverage of Indiana's bald eagles, log on to www.eaglesatlakemonroe.com or call 812-837-9546. For information on overnight accommodations, call 812-824-2628 or log on to www.fourwindsresort.com, or the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.visitbloomington.com.


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