Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
For Immediate Release
The eagles are back. Once again, large numbers of our national bird, the bald eagle, are visiting in Litchfield Hills, where they like the winter menu. As lakes and rivers freeze in winter, the disappearance of open water poses a problem for the birds, which live largely on a diet of freshly caught fish. The Shepaug Dam, on the Housatonic River in Southbury, holds special appeal because the turbulence of the pools at the base of the 147-foot dam keeps the water from freezing and also pushes fish to the surface where eagles can easily dive for their dinners.
As it has since 1985, the Shepaug Eagle Observation Area near the Shepaug Hydroelectric Station offers spectators a perfect view of the graceful birds. The viewing station is located 1000 feet from the river, insuring safety for the eagles while providing an excellent vantage point for visitors.
As many as eight eagles may be seen on an average day swooping from perches in the trees to feed at the dam. With a wingspan that can be almost seven feet, they are fascinating to observe as they soar overhead to spot their prey with eyesight many times stronger than human. Telescopes provide a close-up view and volunteers from Connecticut Audubon are on hand to help spot the eagles and to answer questions about the birds.
The eagles are the draw, but not the whole show. Other birds that may be seen in the area include red-tail hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, goshawks, great blue herons and a variety of waterfowl.
The observation area is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 26 through March 12. Admission is free but reservations are required. They can be made by calling 1-800-368-8954 Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning in early December.
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 of Northwest Connecticut, contact the Northwest CT Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506 or or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.