Friday, February 4, 2011

On a wing...

And in the air...

Did you know?
American Bald Eagles have been wintering in the Litchfield Hills for decades because the running waters of the Shepaug Dam on the Housatonic River in Southbury prevent ice from forming, insuring a ready supply of fish, the eagles’ favorite dish.
"To make matters even better, when the fish come through the dam turbine, they're a bit stunned and tend to lay on top of the water, making for easy picking," according to a statement from the Western Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Every year eagles travel to Connecticut and "eagle-eyed bird lovers - 4,300 strong in 2010 - flock to watch them at the Shepaug Eagle Observation Area operated by FirstLight Power Resources," the statement said.
Some 130,000 people have visited the observation area since it was opened to the public in 1986.
Telescopes provide close-ups and volunteers from Connecticut Audubon are on hand to help spot the eagles and to answer questions about the birds, the statement said.
The viewing station is 1,000 feet from the river, insuring safety for the eagles while providing an excellent vantage point for visitors, the statement said.
"With a wingspan that can be almost seven feet, eagles are fascinating to observe as they soar overhead to spot their prey with eyesight many times stronger than human. The flight speed of a bald eagle can range from 36 to 44 miles per hour."

The Observation Area is open until mid-March from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Admission is free, but advance reservations are required to insure that the observation site is not overcrowded.
Call (800) 368-8954 Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through March 7, or visit

For information on the eagles and other winter activities and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills, contact the Western Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, check Facebook or visit their web site at

Editor's Note: All information and photos in this post were contributed and are posted here as a public service.

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