2004 Season

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 lhcvbnwct@aol.com The swoops and glides of America's national bird, the bald eagle, are beautiful to behold, and there's no better place to see these welcome winter visitors in action than Southbury, Connecticut. Every year eagles fly down from more frozen northern climes in search of food, which they find in plentiful supply near the Shepaug Dam on the Housatonic River near Southbury. Running water from the dam prevents icing and assures a ready supply of fish, the eagle's favorite dish. An organized eagle watch allows visitors to view these graceful birds every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through March 16, weather permitting, at the Eagle Observation Area near the Shepaug Housatonic Hydroelectric Station. The area is located 1000 feet from the river, affording safety for the eagles while providing an excellent vantage point for visitors. Seeing these fleet fishermen in action is a thrill. Eagles can fly between 36 and 44 miles per hour and move even faster when diving for their dinner. Though still an endangered species, their numbers are increasing each year, and on average, 90 birds arrive along the Connecticut River. Ranging in length from 34 to 43 inches, with a wingspan that can be in excess of seven feet, they are easy to observe as they soar overhead to spot their prey with eyesight many times stronger than human. Admission to the Observation Area is free, but because of limited space, it is by reservation only. Information, driving directions and reservations are available by phoning (800) 368-8954 from Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program is managed by Northeast Utilities with volunteers from the Nature Conservancy, who are usually on hand to answer questions. Guidance is also provided by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. For more information on special packages and a free copy of UNWIND, a 40-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the area, write to the Northwest Connecticut Visitors & Convention Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, call (860) 567-4506 or visit their web site at www.litchfieldhills.com.