On Saturday, Feb 13th, 11 kids originally from Cape Verde, Africa and Manuel from the St Peters High School along with ICO volunteers Chris Cooper, Rucker Alex and Laura Elliott went to the Eagle Festival in Newburyport, MA. The day started with an educational presentation from Tom Ricardi of the Massachusetts Bird of Prey Rehabilitation Facility featuring raptors such as a Golden Eagle, a Turkey Vulture, a Peregrine Falcon, owls and more.
After lunch at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Hdqrters, we joined a tour that stopped at spots along the Merrimack River with the objective of spotting the Bald Eagles that migrate into the area this time of year. Unfortunately, the Bald Eagles were elusive and we did not get a chance to spot them. But the kids enjoyed the opportunity to use the binoculars and telescope along the river. After the tour, we went back to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Hdqrters and saw an owl presentation, some exhibits and a movie about the Bald Eagles.
One of the highlights for the kids was playing an eagle fishing game where a Ranger pushed the kids in a chair one at a time over the top of a rectangular box filled with styrofoam noodles and a handful of rubber fish. The person in the chair had kitchen tongs which were intended to simulate their eagle talons and needed to pick up as many fish as possible as they were pushed over top of the box. The Ranger had great humor about his role and it gave everyone a good laugh to watch the competitors try to beat the record of 5 rubber fish.
All in all, it was a lovely day out for all and the kids seemed to really enjoy themselves.