BRIGHTON, Colo. – Join Barr Lake State Park’s celebration of the hatching of this spring’s clutch of eaglets. For over 25 years, bald eagles have nested in Barr Lake’s wildlife refuge. The habitat of Barr Lake is perfect for one pair of nesting bald eagles because of the park’s large old cottonwoods, rich food sources, and little disturbance.
A pair of bald eagles has attended a nest in the wildlife refuge since 1986. During that time, eagles have survived severe storms, loss of nesting trees, and several changes of mates. As of 2011, the Barr Lake bald eagle pair had fledged 42 young from eight different nests. Each year since 1988, volunteers from the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory’s Bald Eagle Watch have anxiously awaited the signs of hatching eaglets in early spring.
This year, on March 31, volunteers observed restless parents exhibiting typical hatching behavior. Usually one or two eaglets hatch. The bald eagle pair will be busy feeding their eaglets a variety of prey, including fish, waterfowl and prairie dogs. If all goes well, the juveniles will fly from the nest in late June and remain in the area with their parents most of the summer.
Visitors are invited to celebrate the newly hatched eaglets by walking out to the gazebo to view the eagles. The 2 1/2 mile walk takes you to an excellent viewing area of the eagle nest. Binoculars are available to borrow at the Nature Center.
If you can’t make the walk, Barr Lake State Park will be running their shuttle, the Eagle Express on Saturday, April 21, as part of their Earth Day celebration. Please call the Nature Center for times and to make reservations. Starting Sunday, May 13, the Eagle Express will run Sundays at 11 a.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. Reservations are strongly recommended.
The Nature Center is open every day from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Visitors can purchase park passes and registrations at the Nature Center. They carry a wide variety of children’s books, puzzles, and gadgets; field and hiking guides; natural history books; stuffed animals and puppets; numerous and unique bird items and ornaments; fabulous Barr Lake clothing; and much more. Your purchases support educational programs at Barr Lake. A portion of the retail sale proceeds goes back to the park.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife gets everyone outdoors! Attracting more than 12 million visitors per year, Colorado’s 42 State Parks are a vital cornerstone of Colorado’s economy and quality of life. Colorado State Parks encompass 224,447 land and water acres, offering some of the best outdoor recreation destinations in the state. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a leader in providing opportunities for outdoor recreation, protecting the state’s favorite landscapes, teaching generations about nature and partnering with communities.
Colorado State Parks also manage more than 4,300 campsites, and 63 cabins and yurts. For more information on Colorado State Parks or to purchase an annual pass online, visit www.parks.state.co.us.