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National Eagle Day

Harpers Ferry Rafting

Increased Eagle Sightings by Paddlers at Harpers Ferry

Celebrate the return of the Bald Eagle on American Eagle Day this Saturday, June 20th with River & Trail Outfitters. “Paddlers on the Potomac & Shenandoah Rivers near Harper’s Ferry are reporting more frequent sightings every year says Lee Baihly owner and founder of River & Trail Outfitters near Harper’s Ferry, WV.  If you don’t own your own boat, R&T can outfit you with a canoe or kayak or put you on a rafting trip or tube where you have a good chance of seeing the nation’s bird in flight.

The Harper’s Ferry area offers an ideal habitat for Bald Eagles, according to Kristin Alexander executive director of the Potomac Valley Audubon Society. “The well treed parklands and the mountains coming right down to the rivers create air current upon which Eagles can soar in search of fish,” Alexander says. “Ten years ago Eagles in our area were seldom scene.  Today it is visually exciting to see the dramatic increase of Bald Eagles in flight.”  Alexander says.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bald Eagle populations started to decline in the late 1940’s coinciding with the introduction of the pesticide DDT.  Breeding pairs dropped to about 450 in the lower 48 states.  This led to their being designated as an endangered species in 1978.  This and other recovery efforts have helped the Bald Eagle to recover.  They were downgraded to threatened status in 1995.  On August 9, 2007, the Bald Eagle was removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species.  West Virginia state biologists believe there are about a dozen or so nesting pairs in the Eastern Panhandle.  These and other fun facts can be found on the National Conservation Center’s Eagle Web Cam.

At River & Trail on American Eagle Day, Dina Spanomanolis of the Trego Mountain Nature Center will be bringing some of her feathered friends to visit us.  Dina is a licensed wild life rehabilitator and will be talking about her experiences with birds of prey.  She will be at River & Trail Outfitters, 604 Valley Road, Knoxville, MD from 11am to 2:30 pm and at the Brunswick Family Campground, 100 South Maple Avenue, Brunswick, MD from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm.  The public is invited.

Paddlers who photograph Bald Eagles on the Potomac or Shenandoah are invited to share by posting on River & Trail Outfitters facebook or instagram.  You will have bragging rights for seeing Bald Eagles along the river on their national day!
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