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Eagle Watching In Arkansas

Eagles Love Arkansas

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Hillary, an American Bald Eagle at Little Rock Zoo

Hillary, an American Bald Eagle at Little Rock Zoo.

Amanda Galiano
Eagles love Arkansas. Our natural waterways, moderate winters and natural parks give them the perfect place to winter and nest. Eagles have made a great comeback in the natural state and that is something we should all be proud of.

Meet The Eagles
Meet Hillary (pictured). Hillary is an American bald eagle and he shares his digs with Leucas, another American bald eagle at the Little Rock Zoo. Her likes include tasty rats, the occasional fish, heat lamps and long walks across his pen. Her dislikes include cuddling and flying, because all of the eagles on exhibit at the Little Rock Zoo were injured by poachers.

Eagles in Arkansas have had a rocky past. Eagles like Hillary were commonly shot and killed. Even if they escaped poachers, eagles suffered from pollution and were unable to breed. For a long time, seeing an eagle in the wild was a rarity. Fortunately, Arkansas (and the rest of the country) is witnessing an eagle comeback tour.

Seeing Eagles
Sure, you could go check out Hillary at the Little Rock Zoo. I highly recommend you do. However, there's nothing more majestic than a soaring American bald eagle.

We are fortunate enough in Arkansas to be a wintering & nesting area for these birds. December through February are peak eagle months and eagle awareness month is January of every year. Many state parks have eagle watching interpretive tours in January (particularly the last weekend in January).

Some of my favorite places to scope out the eagles are Lake Degray, Bull Shoals, Petit Jean & Holla Bend. They have great eagle shows and informative tours in January. Even Pinnacle Mountain State Park has eagle visitors, and it's a very short drive from the Capitol city.

The main food source for eagles is fish. They like to hang around parks with plenty of water and Arkansas has no shortage of waterways.

The best way to see them is to go on a tour with an interpretive guide who knows the park. They are excellent at camouflage and the guides know where they hide and how to identify a soaring eagle from the ground.

Tips
If you are planning to see eagles, dress warm. Eagles like water and water is a bit chilly in January and February. Be quiet. Try to leave the habitat the way you found it (don't throw litter, knock down trees, etc).

Other than that, a park ranger or interpretative guide is your best reference. These individuals know where eagles have been spotted and can direct you to the most likely viewing areas. Even if they are not giving a tour or doing an eagle watch at the time, they will be happy to give the information you need.

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