For 25 years, families have gathered at Round Butte Overlook Park each winter (rain, snow or shine) for a chance to observe and celebrate Central Oregon’s spectacular birds of prey. Eagle Watch – a festival of high desert wildlife – returns to the park this March for a special anniversary.
The event is put on by PGE, in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Bureau of Land Management, and Crooked River National Grassland. Join us again in 2020 for educational activities and crafts that highlight the significance of raptors in the Lake Billy Chinook Area.
Last year, historic February snowfall interrupted Eagle Watch, cutting the festivities short by one day. In hopes of better weather, this year’s event has moved to later in the spring. The family-friendly fun will take place on Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
"Eagle Watch has been a long-standing tradition in the Culver and Madras area, one that families have returned to year after year,” said Erin Bennett, park ranger at the Cove Palisades State Park. "We’re thrilled that this event has meant so much to people over the years, and we’re looking forward to another year of learning and celebrating together – hopefully in warmer conditions."
The event will take place at Round Butte Overlook Park, a PGE park that overlooks Lake Billy Chinook and the Pelton Round Butte Project. In addition to enjoying the stunning view, attendees can meet organization mascots, build birdhouses, enjoy a presentation from the Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers, and of course, look for eagles with the help of expert guides and provided birdwatching equipment.
Lake Billy Chinook is a popular gathering spot for birds of prey in Oregon and one of the best places to see both bald eagles and golden eagles in the same location.
"This part of Oregon is home to numerous species that deserve our recognition and protection,” said Bennett. “Eagle Watch is a great opportunity for kids and adults to develop a connection to these animals, whether it’s their first time holding a pair of binoculars or their 25th year attending the event.”
Admission into Eagle Village and parking at Round Butte Overlook Park are both free, but attendees should bring cash or checks to purchase food and souvenirs (there is no ATM on site). Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize, helping fund future educational events near Lake Billy Chinook. Or try some tasty fry bread – proceeds will support local youth participation in the Simnasho Rodeo.