2006 WINTER

Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release Ph: 800-663-1273 Email: lhcvbnwct@aol.com On-line pressroom: http://www.litchfieldhills.com

They're back! Every year our national bird, the great American bald eagle, takes off from Canada and Northern New England for a favorite wintering outpost, the Shepaug Dam on the Housatonic River near Southbury, in Connecticut?s Litchfield Hills. The lure is the dam, where running water prevents icing and assures a ready supply of fish, the eagle's favorite dish. On average, eight or so eagles feed at the dam daily.

Once again this year, spectators can flock together with a front row seat to watch this swooping, diving birds in action at the viewing station set up by Northeast Generation Services Co, near the Shepaug Hydroelectric Station. This is the 21st consecutive season for the observation station, where over 110,000 visitors have enjoyed the rare opportunity to observe the birds at the eagle watches.

An organized eagle watch takes place every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through March 15 by reservation only. Telescopes are set up in the viewing area and viewers also are welcome to bring their own binoculars. Volunteers from Connecticut Audubon Society and staff from the Department of Environmental Protection are present to help spot the eagles and to answer questions about America?s National Symbol. The area is located 1000 feet from the river, affording safety for the eagles while providing an excellent vantage point for visitors. Warm clothes are suggested, since the shelter area is not heated.

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. With a wingspan that can be in excess of seven feet, they are fascinating to observe as they soar overhead to spot their prey with eyesight many times stronger than human.

Sponsored by Northeast Utilities, admission to the Eagle 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. To be sure as many people as possible get the chance to view the eagles, families are limited to one viewing session per season.

For more information on winter activities, skiing, sleigh rides, antiquing and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills, contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (800) 663-1273, or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.