Shepaug Bald Eagle Observation Area Now Open
The 2012-2013 Winter Season of the Bald Eagle Observation Area at the Shepaug Hydroelectric Dam in Southbury, CT has begun and reservations are now being taken. All are welcome and admission is free of charge, but advance reservations are required. To make reservations for individuals, families, and groups, simply call toll-free at 1-800-368-8954 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays or visit http://www.shepaugeagles.info.
Observation times this season will be Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. beginning Wednesday, December 26, 2012 and running through Wednesday, March 13, 2013. This is the 28th season for the Observation Area, which is run by FirstLight Power Resources, a GDF SUEZ Energy North America, Inc. company. FirstLight owns and operates several hydroelectric facilities, including Shepaug, along the Housatonic River.
“It’s amazing to think we have been here for nearly three decades and have welcomed over 136,000 visitors from throughout the U.S. and the world to the site,” said Gary Smolen, longtime coordinator of the eagle observation program. “We are fortunate that the Shepaug dam and the surrounding area are situated in such a way that minimizes disruption to the eagles, allowing folks to observe them in their natural winter habitat.”
“Because the viewing season begins during the week of most school vacations, it’s a great opportunity for young students as well as their parents and teachers to visit. It’s a fun and educational experience they will not soon forget,” added Smolen.
Some years visitors have witnessed ten or more eagles in a single day, not to mention a variety of other birds including red-tail hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, goshawks, great blue herons, and various waterfowl.
Specialists will be on site with high-powered telescopes to help visitors see the eagles in action and to answer questions about America’s national symbol. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly and to bring binoculars if possible, given the limited number of onsite telescopes.