Pekin Main Street’s annual Eagle Census Day is Saturday, January 23, 2010, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. along the Pekin Riverfront Park and at the Union Mission Center, 203 Court St.
Eagle watchers, bird enthusiasts, and nature lovers can catch a glimpse of an American bald eagle in its natural habitat along the Illinois River during this free special event. Bald eagles flock to the river, where they set up nesting sites and fish the river for food. The greatest concentration of eagles in Illinois are along the Illinois River from Pekin to Havana, because the river is kept open and clear of ice for barges, and the water continues to become cleaner.
Pekin Main Street will offer free guided eagle viewing tours between the Pekin Riverfront and Wesley Road; tour buses will depart regularly between 10 a.m. and 12 noon from the Pekin Riverfront Park, at the foot of Court Street. Tour guides on the bus will have handouts with more information and be available for questions.
In addition to the bus tours, a variety of eagle-related activities will continue at the Union Mission Center’s auditorium. Free entertainment this year includes Midwestern singer/songwriter Barry Cloyd. Barry will perform ‘Musical River Road Folklore’ from 11 a.m.-11:45 noon. At 11:45, storyteller Jo Lakota will entertain all ages with a variety of Native American eagle stories and Bruce Clifton will showcase a wild eagle slide show starting at 12:30 p.m. Finally, a “Birds of Prey” presentation will be given by representatives from Wildlife Prairie Park at 1:00 p.m. The presentation will showcase several birds for viewing and educational information. Free admission to all eagle-related programs. Participants should dress warmly and bring spotting scopes, binoculars, and cameras for best viewing of the eagles. This event is sponsored by Pekin Visitors Bureau, Pekin Daily Times and Parkside Auto; for more information, please contact the Pekin Main Street office at 353-3100 or visit www.pekinmainstreet.com.