The last weekend in January is the best time to be in Arkansas! Eagles Et Cetera is an annual event held that weekend. If you’re a birder, wildlife enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurist, you’ll want to put this on your calendar.
Eagles Et Cetera celebrates the bald eagle and other birds of prey as well as focusing on conservation efforts of our national symbol and its counterparts. The 41st event will be held at DeGray Lake State Park Friday, January 24, 2020 through Sunday, January 26, 2020. While the final schedule is not out yet, here are our 5 Must Do’s for the weekend:
1. Eagle watch tours: Make reservations for a boat tour, led by a State Park interpreter. You’ll cruise DeGray Lake in search of wintering bald eagles. You might also see loons, osprey, grebes, herons, and other birds around the lake! These tours are held throughout the weekend, so plan one around your other activities.
2. Live falconry hunt: This is hands down our favorite activity of the weekend – and perhaps one of our favorite things to do EVER! You’ll take a short boat ride to an island where 2-3 hawks will be turned loose to find some prey. You, as participants, will traipse through the woods and brush in an effort to flush out the game. If you’re successful, the hunt will end in a meal for the hawks! It’s fascinating to watch these raptors hunt down their prey!
3. Meet an owl: One of the many educational programs held inside the lodge is a live birds of prey presentation, featuring birds from the Little Rock Zoo. You’ll learn which birds are native to Arkansas, and get to see them up close – including Lynn, the American Bald Eagle.
4. Raptor Rehab: Learn about the challenges of healing injured raptors before they are released into the wild. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to watch a live release of a newly rehabilitated bird!
5. Have coffee with the birds: Tiffany’s Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to stay to view songbirds from our front porch. We can even point you to an exclusive eagle watching spot near us! We’ll have a hot mug of coffee ready for you when you wake up, and then we’ll serve you breakfast at Tiffany’s to start your day off right.
All programs are free of charge, except the boat tours. Boat tours also require advance reservations, which we’ll be happy to make for you when you book your room with us. Be sure to bring your cameras and binoculars – and dress warmly for the boat tours. Don’t forget that this is also the opening weekend for live racing at Oaklawn, so make your reservations soon!