Thursday, January 13, 2022 - Tenkiller State Park and Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge will once again be conducting their annual eagle and loon watch tours. The tours will take place every Saturday from January 22–March 5. Each Saturday, the eagle watch will begin at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 9:00 a.m.
Leann Bunn, a naturalist at Tenkiller State Park, will serve as the tour guide for the upcoming watches. Bunn has served as the tour guide for the eagle and loon watches for 21 years.
"This conservation story is probably one of the most successful re-introductions of a native species back into its historical range in our state," Bunn said.
The Southern Bald Eagle lays its eggs during the months of December and January. "They have a gestation period of approximately 35–38 days before hatching and remain in their nest for approximately 12 weeks before they fledge (leave) the nest," Bunn added.
This process takes place over a three-month period and sets the stage as a prime viewing time for Eagle spectators. During the tour, visitors are able to see the eagles in action while caring for their eggs, pursuing food sources, attending to their nest, and soaring through the air.
Bunn said, "This year's tour is most likely going to be held by a caravan with everyone listening via their own car radio. We will have two scopes and a few binoculars available for viewing purposes, but we encourage spectators to bring their own."
The eagle tour will end at 12:30 p.m., and spectators will be able to take a break before meeting back up at Tenkiller State Parks' Driftwood Nature Center for the loon watch at 2:00 p.m. The loon watches are
weather-pending, and your tour guide will verify whether or not this watch will occur.
The scheduled tours present a great opportunity for families to get out of the house and spend some quality time together in a safe and fun learning environment. Those attending need to remember to dress according to the weather, and make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks.
The Eagle and loon watches are held every Saturday from January 22-March 5. Each event requires registration, which can be completed by calling the Driftwood Nature Center at 918-489-5025 ext. 6.
To learn more about the eagle watches, you can visit the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge or Tenkiller State Parks Facebook page.
Lindsie Dyer, Staff Writer
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