Last weekend Miss Carol and I attended the 18th Annual Eagle Fest Celebration. It was put on by the Emory Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by many of the local businesses here. It was an all day event on Saturday. The first thing we did upon entering the building was to go sign up for the Boat Tour. The boat tour lasts for an hour and a half and tours the lake to spot known Eagle nests that are in the tops of the many trees around and on the lake. When we found out it was $25 per person, we opted for the hour and half bus tour for $5 per person. I figured since we have our own boat here on Lake Fork we could do our own boat tour for a lot less.
We had a good time riding on the bus with about 25 other participants all loaded down with cameras, tripods, lenses, and the works. The bus was a school bus and the seats were not positioned for adults as was the isle down the middle. With 30 people and all that gear getting off and back on that bus at each stop, it was a show within itself.
For 18 years, the small town of Emory, Texas has been holding a weekend-long celebration of America’s national symbol – the American Bald Eagle. The 74th Legislature of the State of Texas passed a resolution declaring Rains County “The Eagle Capital of Texas” as an effort to protect and preserve the American Bald Eagle.The resolution was adopted by the Senate on May 24, 1995 and by the House on May 29, 1995. It was signed by the Honorable George W. Bush, Governor of the Great State of Texas, on June 16, 1995 thus officially proclaiming Rains County as the “Eagle Capital of Texas”.Eagle Fest was started in 1996 as an educational effort to expand our knowledge of nature and our heritage.
Eagles can fly up to 30 m.p.h. and can dive at speeds up to 100 m.p.h. Their keen eyesight allows them to spot fish at distances up to 1 mile. Eagles swoop down to seize a fish in their talons and carry it off, but can only lift about five pounds. Bald Eagles have also been known to swim to shore with a heavy fish using their strong wings as paddles. Under certain circumstances, eagles have been known to drown trying to lift a fish that weighed too much.
This festival, which began as an educational event, is still heavily laden with educational seminars and displays aimed at enlightening attendees on the eagle and its habits and habitat. Additionally, Eagle Fest features Native American art and performances, live music, nature watching tours and children’s activities.
LAST CHANCE FOREVER - Outdoor demonstration: An interactive exhibition that incorporates staff members and flying and non-flying raptors. Knowledge of basic raptor biology
and natural behaviors, insights into the plight of the natural world and the human effects in the balance of living things.
Since its incorporation in 1978, LCF has been responsible for treating thousands of birds of prey, including endangered species. An average of 65-80% of all cases is successfully returned to their natural home, the wild! Birds which are deemed non-releasable and are not suffering, when possible, are held to be placed in propagation projects, natural science centers for educational purposes, or humane research projects.
Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
There's no better way to learn about the birds of prey in North Texas than to meet them in person! Blackland Prairie Raptor Center’s birds of prey have many years of experience introducing children and adults to the world of raptors. These hawks, owls and falcons are well trained, and with the assistance of BPRC education specialists, show you what makes them an important part of our environment.
Here are some pictures we took of the Eagles and Birds of Prey:
This is a young female Bald Eagle. Her head feathers are just beginning to turn white. Her wingspan was near 5’.