“On Eagles’ Wings” Coming This Saturday at BVC


Learn all about the animals that call Southern Iowa home as Meet Ottumwa and Wapello County Conservation team up to bring you On Eagles’ Wings: Wapello County’s Wildlife Weekend this Saturday, February 24, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bridge View Center. 

It will be a full day of watching Bald Eagles and other bird species on the Des Moines River, talking with experts in wildlife and conservation, seeing animals up close and personal, and learning more about what species are native to Wapello County. 

The event starts at 8 a.m. with bird watching on the Des Moines River, led by bird specialist Kelly McKay. Watch Bald Eagles, Canada geese, and many other bird species from the Wapello County Trail System right behind Bridge View Center.

From 9:30 a.m to 1 p.m., local conservation groups, museums, and businesses will have booths of information and kids’ activities to explore. Be on hand for a special sneak peek of the new Wapello County Adventure Book – A Sustainable Travel Workbook. This free guide doubles as a travel journal specific to Wapello County and how important it is to conserve and protect our natural resources.

At 10 a.m., bat specialist Russ Benedict will present in the Wapello County Children’s Alliance Room, and bird specialist Kelly McKay will give a presentation in the Wapello County Heritage Foundation Room. Each workshop is 45 minutes long.

The Iowa State University Insect Zoo will have hands-on demonstrations in the First Choice Family Practice Room at 11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Seating will be limited, so get there early. The insects will be available to watch anytime from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and experts will be on hand to answer questions.

Also at 11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR) will have a live Bald Eagle presentation in the Bridge View Center Theater. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to the rehabilitation, education, and research of raptor species, and they will share fascinating information about these beautiful birds who call Wapello County their winter stopover home.

The second set of workshops will begin at 12:15 p.m., with a Story Time with the Ottumwa Public Library and Wapello County Conservation in the Wapello County Children’s Alliance Room and Wildlife Photographer David Yunker in the Wapello County Heritage Foundation Room. The storytime is perfect for families with children, and the photography workshop is geared toward adults.

This day of activities is free, family-friendly, and open to the public. Concessions will be available for purchase throughout the day.

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