Seminars, tours, live raptor presentations return with Eagle Expo
The WINGS to SOAR program will be presented to the public at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Patterson Area Civic Center.
Private, parochial and home-schooled students will have the opportunity to attend a presentation at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Patterson Area Civic Center. WINGS to SOAR also will visit Franklin Junior High, Morgan City Junior High, Berwick Junior High and Patterson Junior High. Here, in the 2012 edition of the program at Berwick Junior High, Dale Kernahan presents a bald eagle to students.
(The Daily Review File Photo)
The ninth annual Eagle Expo and More, scheduled Thursday through Saturday in Morgan City, will feature seminars from wildlife and nature experts, a live raptor presentation, boat tours to view eagles and opportunities to meet fellow birders.
The Eagle Expo is a tribute to the return of the American Bald Eagle to Louisiana, which was removed from the endangered species list in June 2007. Laws banning the use of harmful pesticides, such as DDT, and greater public awareness and education have increased the bald eagle population throughout Louisiana and the United States. Currently, there are 284 active nests in Louisiana with a large concentration in St. Mary and Terrebonne parishes.
This year’s expo will include a presentation by WINGS to SOAR at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Patterson Area Civic Center. The presentation showcases a variety of live raptors including a falcon, hawk, owl, black vulture and bald eagle. Private, parochial and home-schooled students will have the opportunity to attend a WINGS to SOAR presentation at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Patterson Area Civic Center. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are required.
WINGS to SOAR also will visit Franklin Junior High, Morgan City Junior High, Berwick Junior High and Patterson Junior High.
A photography workshop taught by renowned wildlife photographer C.C. Lockwood will be held Friday. Lockwood is known for his numerous publications, especially his 11th book Marsh Mission, which brought attention to the crisis of the vanishing Gulf Coast wetlands. His photography has been featured in prominent publications such as the Smithsonian Magazine and National Geographic Magazine.
The workshop includes a seminar at 9 a.m. at the Atchafalaya at Idlewild Golf Course’s club house, with a field trip to Bayou Black beginning at noon. A boat tour in Bayou Black will focus on birding and marsh landscapes. The workshop requires separate registration and payment of $195. Contact Lockwood at www.cclockwood.com or call 225-769-4766 to register. Space is limited.
Tours to view eagles will take place Friday and Saturday. Featured waterways include the Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Black, Turtle Bayou and Bayou Long. Tours will be 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, and 9 to 11 a.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Each featured boat tour offers something different to attendees.
Friday evening will feature a dinner and a presentation, Nature Photography and Writing, by Kathy and Gary Clark at the Petroleum Club of Morgan City from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The presentation is part of the educational series sponsored by the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, a program of the National Park Service and the Office of Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.
Programs in the series increase awareness and appreciation of the natural, historic and cultural resources of the Heritage Area. Presentations are posted at www.atchafalaya.org. The cost to attend is $35 per person.
Kathy Adams Clark has been a professional nature photographer since 1995. Her photos have been published in many places including AAA Journey, Nature’s Best, New York Times, Birder’s World, Family Fun and in numerous books and calendars. She is the past president of the North American Nature Photography Association. She teaches photography and is a speaker at local and national events. She leads photo workshops to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Africa, Italy, Peru and Morocco.
Along with the many publications her photos have been featured in, every week her photos appear in the “Nature” column in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News written by her husband, Gary Clark.
He has published feature articles in state and national magazines and has written four books including Texas Wildlife Portfolio, Texas Gulf Coast Impressions, Backroads of the Texas Hill Country and Enjoying Big Bend National Park. He has won eight writing awards and is the recipient of the 2004 Excellence in Media Award and the 2010 Synergy Media Award for Environmental Reporting.
He has been active in the birding community for over 35 years. He founded the Piney Woods Wildlife Society in 1982 and founded the Texas Coast Rare Bird Alert in 1983. He currently sits on the board of advisors for the Houston Audubon Society and Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and is a professor at Lone Star College.
Together, the couple has published six books and has one more in the works that combine their photography and writing skills.
Saturday will feature a variety of speakers in the morning with boat tours in the afternoon. Speakers for the morning seminars will include Michael Sealy, “Louisiana and the American Bald Eagle;” Bill Clark, “Eagle Quest;” Jane Patterson, “Birds of the Atchafalaya;” and Dr. Aaron Pierce, “Breeding Waterbirds on Louisiana’s Barrier Islands.”
Full registration includes the seminars Saturday morning, breakfast Saturday morning, a T-shirt, one boat tour and the WINGS to SOAR presentation on Thursday evening. Registration fees start at $110 for adults and $60 for children for full registration.
One-day registration starts at $85 for adults and $50 for children and includes seminars, one boat tour and Saturday breakfast. Boat tours only start at $55 for adults and $35 for children.
The Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau has partnered with the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, LSU Museum of Natural Science, Conrad Industries, Johnny’s Propeller Shop, the Audubon Society, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, America’s Wetland Foundation, Buquet Distributing, B&G Foods, Louisiana Office of Tourism and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area to showcase not only the American bald eagle, but also the numerous species of birds and wildlife found within the Atchafalaya Basin and surrounding areas.
For a complete event schedule, costs, registration forms and listings of hotel rates, contact the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau at 985-395-4905, visit online at www.cajuncoast.com/eagleexpo or email firstname.lastname@example.org.