LaSalle News Tribune | LaSalle, IL
 
close
Due to weather related issues, in some areas there may be delayed deliveries of your Monday issue of the NewsTribune.
If road conditions are severe enough, your delivery person may not be able to deliver your NewsTribune at all on Monday.
In this case, your Monday edition will be delivered with your Tuesday newspaper.
We ask you to be understanding for the safety of our carriers.

You can view Tuesday's newspaper online at http://newstribonline.com
 


home : news : north central illinois   June 24, 2016

1/27/2013 8:00:00 AM
Raptor birds delight visitors at Starved Rock (with video)


Rich Escutia, a master falconer, holds his Harris's hawk, Cazadora, Saturday at Starved Rock Lodge during a presentation on the art of falconry. This weekend was Bald Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock State Park and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center. Saturday's activities included a raptor awareness program, face painting, history of the Illinois River valley, and eagle viewing from the observatory decks.NewsTribune photo/Genna Ord
+ click to enlarge

Rich Escutia, a master falconer, holds his Harris's hawk, Cazadora, Saturday at Starved Rock Lodge during a presentation on the art of falconry. This weekend was Bald Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock State Park and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center. Saturday's activities included a raptor awareness program, face painting, history of the Illinois River valley, and eagle viewing from the observatory decks.
NewsTribune photo/Genna Ord

Alicia LeGrand-Riniker
NewsTribune Reporter



Hundreds of spectators oohed and ahhed at the activities for the 16thannual Bald Eagle Watch at Starved Rock State Park Saturday and Sunday hosted by the Illinois Audubon Society.

A packed room filled with laughter as several birds of prey flew over spectators’ heads, back and forth across the room. The raptor awareness program presented by World Bird Sanctuary near St. Louis, Mo., took place at Starved Rock Lodge and featured many raptor birds from the United States and two from Africa. Visitors got to see the birds close up through flight or carried around the room.

“Watching the raptors being able to fly is amazing to me,” said Kevin Horvath, who came from Joliet to attend the event. “It’s so up close and intuitive for the kids.”

Tom Clay, executive director of Audubon, said the show is very popular.

“This room holds 275 people, and we will fill it four times today and four times tomorrow,” Clay said Saturday.

The day was filled with other activities including Native American dancing and seminars about falconry and the history about the Illinois Valley. Kids also could enjoy special activities like crafts and face painting. Several conservation and nature exhibitors had booths to educate and inform visitors about different projects and practices.

Visitors also could go to the north side of the river to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center near Starved Rock Lock and Dam and view eagles in their natural habitat as they perched in trees and swooped across the river.

Guests with cameras and binoculars crowded the viewing area trying to get a glimpse of the birds in action. Katie Zink brought her children from Aurora for the third year in a row to watch the eagles from the dam.

“It’s an amazing thing to see,” said Zink, adding they had seen five eagles so far.

Clay said that the biggest part of the day was awareness and education, because 200 years ago 100,000 nesting pairs of bald eagles were in the United States. In 1963, that number fell to 400 and today there are 10,000 nesting pairs.

“It’s because of programs like this,” said Clay. “People become aware that it is our responsibility.”

Teri Graves, a trainer from Word Bird Sanctuary, said education was the key to saving endangered birds like the bald eagle.

“Once you learn about something you gain appreciation for it,” said Graves.

Graves said she likes using live bird shows because of the impression it leaves on the audience.

“Having a live bird of prey fly right over your head leaves a lasting impression that stays with you, whether you are 4 or 40.”

Clay said the program brings in 4,000 to 5,000 people each year from across the country and even internationally. There is no cost to attend the event, but the Audubon Society does except donations. Visitors included first-time attendees and regulars who return every year.

“It’s been a great event for a lot of years. It keeps kids and adults entertained and it’s just a beautiful time to be out at the park,” said Horvath. He said he started by bringing his children but now brings his grandchildren.

 

Alicia LeGrand can be reached at (815) 220-6931 or svreporter@newstrib.com.












Login to your account:
  Username:
  Password:
Remember me
Login reminder
  If you'd like to comment on this article, please log in or click here to subscribe.


 

Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE






Was it sex assault or murder-for-hire?
Updated: 6/24/2016 1:30:00 PM
Torres' case moves toward jury trial
Updated: 6/24/2016 1:28:00 PM
'We probably could have sold 150-200 more banners'
Celebrate La Salle opens in full swing
Baseball Player of the Year
Baseball Coach of the Year


Illinois Valley Events
<
June
>
SMTWTFS
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    



Photo GalleryVideo LibraryMagazinesDealsAbout UsAP Terms of UseAdvertise With UsExtra Content


Copyright 2016 NewsTribune, LaSalle, Illinois. All rights reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved