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1/27/2015 - 2015 Eagle Fest expected to be bigger than ever

2015 Cumberland County Winter Eagle Festival Expected to be Bigger than Ever 

The Cumberland County Winter Eagle Festival is scheduled for Saturday, February 7th, and this year’s event more than any other is gearing up to be a spectacular show of nature’s majesty.  Headquartered at the Mauricetown Firehall, 2544 Noble Street, Mauricetown, the festival is a nature learning experience like no other in the region.   

With more trail walks than any previous year, and new presentations and trail walks geared especially for children, this 15th Annual Eagle Festival will be one to remember.  Quinn Whitesall of American Littoral Society will conduct a workshop for kids at noon on building and learning about the anatomy of wings and flight.  Then, at 3 PM Quinn will lead a kids’ trail walk where participants will be able to interact and learn about the habitat of eagles, owls and other raptors.

But this is not the only additions for this year’s Eagle Festival.  Participants 18 years and younger can try their hand at the “birding passport,” by visiting all five of the staffed viewing sites along the bayshore and having their passports stamped at each site, then returning to the Festival headquarters at the Mauricetown Firehall to receive a special prize.     

“We wanted to add activities which would bring the whole family into the Eagle Festival experience and to better connect them to the bigger story of the event – that Cumberland County is an environmental paradise filled with rare and endangered animal species,” said Leslie Ficcaglia, Chair of the Eagle Festival Committee.  “Right here, in the most densely populated state in the nation, you can see dozens of Bald Eagles, numerous varieties of owls, and many other types of raptors all thanks to the carefully preserved open spaces of Cumberland County and the people who dedicate their lives to nurturing them.”

New this year to the festival is the use of a live Twitter feed to track sitings during the day’s events.  A screen in the firehall will project the latest reports and anyone can track what is being seen and where by checking #cceaglefest.

Organized by the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders and numerous environmental non-profit partners, the Cumberland County Winter Eagle Festival begins at 7 AM with a sunrise walk and culminates at 5 PM with an owl watch.  Start your day by registering at the Mauricetown Firehall and receive your identification as a registrant.  Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.  At time of registration you will receive a festival brochure detailing all the activities throughout the day.  Simply decide which of the six presentations, eight guided trail walks and five staffed viewing sites along the bayshore you want to experience.  Break up your day by trying your hand at sculpting or drawing a raptor at the Cumberland County Cultural & Heritage Commission’s activity table, or experience live raptors up close at the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge area of the firehall.  Grab some fried oysters or other lunch for sale by the firehall volunteers and enjoy all that Cumberland County has to offer.

For more information, call Cumberland County at (856) 453-2175, or visit it’s website at www.co.cumberland.nj.us