Your chances of seeing an eagle or two at Hobbs State Park are pretty good at this time of year. Eagle cruises run now through February and interpreter at the park Steve Chyrchel says the worse the weather the better the odds.
Eagles fly to Arkansas avoiding the colder weather up north and when it gets cold here, Chyrchel says the birds hide in trees, giving bird watchers an eagle eye view of our nation’s favorite avian. He says he’s seen as many as 32 eagles on one trip. “We’ve been averaging five-point-two eagles per cruise so far, but when we go out we don’t just see eagles. We see king fishers, and great blue herons, and all sorts of other wildlife,” says Chyrchel.
Eagles generally have two or three eggs at a time. Chyrchel says the birds become more interesting the more you learn about them. He says it all starts at birth because eagles grow so fast once born. He says, “The eggs don’t all hatch at the same time, so if one egg hatches, that eaglet is going to grow bigger than the next one that hatches. Okay, so who get’s most of the food? The bigger one. A lot of times what happens is the bigger one picks on the young one and can actually kill it.”
Eagle watch cruises at Hobbs State Park depart from the Rocky Branch Marina. The cruises run through February and your next chance to catch one is this weekend on Januray 7th. If you want to go, make sure you get tickets in advance. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and tickets for children ages 6-12 are $5.00.
If you’re planning on going, Chyrchel says the lake is typically 10 degrees colder than it is outside, so bundle up!
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