Eagle Watching Days return this weekend – WiscNews


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When a pair of bald eagles made a nest in the lakeside Milwaukee neighborhood of Bay View, the community was thrilled. One or both eagles used to sit in Sue Gradus’ tall tree overlooking the lake. “It was just amazing because he’s close enough,” she said. “You don’t expect it in the city.” B…
Wisconsin’s longest-running eagle-watching event is back for 2023. Ferry Bluff Eagle Council’s Bald Eagle Watching Days takes place Saturday and Sunday in Prairie du Sac. 
Eagles have awed human beings for millennia.
In Menominee traditions the eagle carries the words or prayers of the people to the Great Spirit.
“People, today, still feel that sense of awe and freedom when they observe an eagle soaring,” said Spring Green’s Jeb Barzen, an ecologist with Private Lands Conservation LLC. “And people can do something, today, to assure the eagles are here for millennia to come.”
Bald eagles are one of conservation’s best success stories. No longer endangered or threatened, many winter along the Wisconsin River near Prairie du Sac. 
The Ferry Bluff Eagle Council is giving people something to do this coming weekend. Barzen, and other bird enthusiasts, will be perched at the newly renovated overlook, at 490 Water Street in Prairie du Sac, to see eagles over the Wisconsin River. Taking place Saturday and Sunday, it is Wisconsin’s longest running eagle watching event. This is the event’s 36th year.
“Bald eagles are one of our great conservation success stories.” This, from Spring Green’s Jennifer Lanzendorf. She serves on the board of the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council and is chair of the Sauk Prairie Bald Eagle Watching Days Committee. “You can see many more now than you could back when the festival started.”
“Bald eagles now nest in every county in Wisconsin. And, in winter, hundreds of eagles come together in several communal roosts along the Lower Wisconsin Riverway,” Lanzendorf said.
Hundreds of birds are coming and thousands of birders are coming together to watch them this weekend.
In the late 20th Century, bald eagles were on the brink of extirpation in the United States. Populations have since recovered. The bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list in 1995 and moved to the threatened species list. The bald eagle was removed from the threatened species list in 2007.
2023 marks the 36th year of Ferry Bluff Eagle Council’s Bald Eagle Watching Days. This year it takes place Saturday and Sunday in Prairie du Sac.
There are approximately 316,700 bald eagles in the lower 48 states, according to data gathered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources did aerial bald eagle nest surveys in 2019 and found 1,684 occupied nests, up from 108 in the 1970s.
“In years when there is a lot of snow on the ground and there’s a lot of ice on the Wisconsin River, eagles concentrate in the Sauk Prairie area,” said Barzen, who joined the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council in 1988 with his wife.
Founded in 1988, the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council was created by a small group of environmental and bald eagle enthusiasts “to protect, maintain, and enhance bald eagle habitat in the Sauk Prairie area through education, research, and management activities.”
The Ferry Bluff Eagle Council has collaborated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, and local municipalities on a variety of land use and bald eagle habitat issues.
“Bald eagles are just majestic birds to watch,” Lanzendorf said. “The eagles don’t come on cue, but, if you have patience and are willing to brave the cold, there is a good likelihood you’ll see them.”
During the weekend’s watching days, there will be a dedicated group of volunteers staffing the Water Street overlook to help visitors spot eagles and to answer questions. The volunteers will be there from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days.
Saturday, at Prairie du Sac’s River Arts Center, located on 105 9th Street, the lobby will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring displays, booths, and activities for the whole family.
“They are so large,” Lanzendorf said of bald eagles. “It’s really fun to watch them flying and fishing over the river. I never get tired of it.”
All events are free and open to the public. For more information about the event, visit ferrybluffeaglecouncil.org.
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When a pair of bald eagles made a nest in the lakeside Milwaukee neighborhood of Bay View, the community was thrilled. One or both eagles used…
I moved to Wisconsin from Georgia in June. I had been in the state of Wisconsin all of a long weekend in my entire life before we sold our hou…
Wisconsin’s longest-running eagle-watching event is back for 2023. Ferry Bluff Eagle Council’s Bald Eagle Watching Days takes place Saturday and Sunday in Prairie du Sac. 
2023 marks the 36th year of Ferry Bluff Eagle Council’s Bald Eagle Watching Days. This year it takes place Saturday and Sunday in Prairie du Sac.
Bald eagles are one of conservation’s best success stories. No longer endangered or threatened, many winter along the Wisconsin River near Prairie du Sac. 
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