By Nick Luebrecht
As everyone along the Clarksville riverfront holds their binoculars up wanting to get a better look at the American bald eagles feasting on fish below the Lock and Dam, one swoops down and snags a fish in the water, putting on a show for hundreds of Eagle Days.
Many Eagle Days attendees witnessed similar feats as they learned and celebrated Eagle Days, Jan. 27 and Jan. 28.
The event programs were held at the Apple Shed in Clarksville, just off Hwy. 79. The event also brought in many vendors from the area. This allowed attendees to do a little shopping and support small, local businesses. The American Legion Post 349, based in Clarksville, was also selling food during the event out of their building.
The event ran from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Those who attended got the chance to sit in on a presentation by the staff of the Wild Bird Sanctuary located near St. Louis. The two speakers talked about the importance of eagles and the incredible history of these birds of prey.
As part of the program, the Wild Bird Sanctuary also brought in two eagles—one was a golden eagle and the other was a bald eagle—to show off during their presentation. The audience got to witness these massive birds up close and were even able to ask questions of the presenters about the two birds.
Spotting scopes had been set up by the Riverfront Park’s main pavilion, allowing visitors to look across the river to see the eagles in their natural habitats.
Event staff reported that at least 17 eagles were spotted on Saturday. They noted that the raptors had migrated from the north.
Unique tours were also given of Lock & Dam 24 during the Eagle Days festivities. Park Rangers and USACE volunteers led the free tours to see the historic structure, which allowed visitors to walk across the lock to the top of the tainter gates and get a view of the Mississippi River at peak eagle season.