Each year approximately 100 bald eagles visit the Bull Shoals area. Visitors will enjoy festivities centered on our national symbol.
Activities include lake and river tours, guided bird walks, guest speakers, and live bird demonstrations. All activities are free, except lake and river cruises.
The eagles are coming to the Twin Lakes Area, and residents are encouraged to make plans now to
catch a glimpse of the majestic creatures. ❚ Arkansas State Parks will host its annual Eagle Awareness
weekend at Bull Shoals-White River State Park on Friday, Jan. 11 and Saturday, Jan. 12, offering visitors
the chance to enjoy water cruises, guided bird walks, falconry demonstrations and exhibits of a live bald eagle.
There are believed to be about 150 nesting pairs of eagles in the Natural State, but that number can
double in the wintertime as birds migrate south to Arkansas, Park Interpreter Julie Lovett said.
“When the lakes and rivers up north freeze for the winter, the eagles migrate south to feed,” she said.
“Once things begin to thaw out, those birds will fly back north and return home.”
A guided boat tour down the White River and two boat tours of Bull Shoals Lake are offered Friday, Jan. 11.
Participants will see wintering waterfowl and hopefully catch sight of a bald eagle.
“In years past, most visitors to (the Eagle Awareness weekend) have spotted eagles in the wild,” an Arkansas
State Parks news release announcing the event states. “Other common sightings on the tours include ospreys,
waterfowl, herons, loons, owls and other winter wildlife.”
River cruise participantswill meet at 9 a.m. at the State Park Trout Dock. The river cruise costs $20 per person
with a two-person minimum and a four-person maximum per boat. There are no reservations andseats are limited.
Lake cruise participants will meet at either 9 a.m. or 2 p.m. at the Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock office.
Admission is $15 for adults, $7.50 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and under.
Friday, Jan. 11, Eagle Awareness events at the James A. Gaston Visitor Center include two presentations by
nature photographer and author Tim Ernst at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., two “Owl Prowls” —
guided walks through the Bull Shoals-White River State Park in search of the nocturnal birds —
at 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and a live raptor meet and greet at 7 p.m.
Several owls, hawks and a bald eagle from the Little Rock Zoo will be displayed at the meet and greet,
with visitors able to get within arm’s reach of the animals. “Friday night’s meet and greet, that may be
my favorite part of the event,” Lovett said. “You see these birds at a distance, and you don’t realize how large these birds are.”
Saturday, Jan. 12, water events include a river cruise at 9 a.m., and three lake cruises scheduled for 9 a.m.,
noon and 2 p.m. Van tours visiting strategic places to view eagles, ospreys and other wildlife will be offered at 9 a.m.,
noon and 2 p.m. as well. Van riders may sign up in the Visitor Center lobby.
The park will also offer two “Avian Adventure Walks” at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12. Participants will
take a guided bird walk on the banks of the White River to search for wildlife. The walks will start on the Gaston’s River Trail at Gaston’s Resort;
would-be participants are encouraged to ask park staff for directions to the trail.Expert falconer Howard Davis will
conduct a falcon flying demonstration at 1 p.m. at the Visitors Center.
Final events scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 12, will be held at the Bull Shoals Theater of the Arts, where Rehab of
Central Arkansas staff members will give visitors a chance to meet some of the birds in their care at 2:30 p.m.
Davis will present a falconry demonstration at the theater at 3:45 p.m., and the Little Rock Zoo will hold a birdsof prey
demonstration at the theater at 5 p.m. The zoo’s presentation will include both a bald eagle and a golden eagle,
and visitors will have an opportunity to have their picture made with the animals following the demonstration.
For more information, contact the park at (870) 445-3629, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
Friday, Jan. 11 and Saturday, Jan. 12 Bull Shoals-White River State Park
Friday, Jan. 11 9 a.m. White River cruise 9 a.m. Bull Shoals Lake cruise 2 p.m. Bull Shoals Lake cruise 3 p.m. Tim Ernst
presentation 4:30 p.m. Tim Ernst presentation 5:30 p.m. Owl Prowl 7 p.m. Live raptor meet and greet 8:30 p.m.
Owl Prowl Saturday, Jan. 12 9 a.m. White River cruise 9 a.m. Van tour 9 a.m. Bull Shoals Lake cruise 9:30 a.m.
Avian Adventure Walk 10:30 a.m. Avian Adventure Walk Noon Van tour Noon Bull Shoals Lake cruise 1 p.m.
Falcon flying demonstration 2 p.m. Van tour 2 p.m. Bull Shoals Lake cruise 2:30 p.m. Raptor rehabilitation* 3:45 p.m.
Howard Davis falconry* 5 p.m. Live eagle and birds of prey demonstration*
* — at Bull Shoals Theater of the Arts