Eagle Watch To Be Held At Kinzua Dam

An American Bald Eagle is pictured at the Kinzua Dam. This year’s Eagle Watch event will be held Saturday, Feb. 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kinzua Dam tailwaters’ wildlife viewing platform. Photo by Rocky Holland

WARREN, Pa. — It’s that time of winter when American Bald Eagles, young and mature, congregate at the tailwaters of the Kinzua Dam to feed, and nature enthusiasts gather on the banks of the Allegheny River to view them.

“Eagle Watch,” an organized event to witness the congregation, will be held Saturday, Feb. 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kinzua Dam tailwaters’ wildlife viewing platform.

On hand to help spot eagles and other birds and to educate visitors will be Don Watts, a federally permitted bird-bander, a member of the Allegheny Outdoor Club, and an Eagle Watch participant since its inception several years ago. Watts worked as a wildlife technician for the USDA-Forest Service and was a participant in the first PA Bird Atlas and the compiler in the second PA Bird Atlas.

The wildlife viewing platform was dedicated in 2010 as part of a larger project to attract year-round visitors to the Kinzua Dam. A new feature in 2023 is a four-space handicap accessible parking area and a short paved walking path in close proximity to the platform. Also an improved spotting scope was installed in the summer of 2022.

General parking will be in the large parking lot below the Big Bend Visitor Center building. Visitors can view interpretive signs on the paved path from the parking area to the platform. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the project, promises to have roadways and walkways plowed in the event of a significant snowfall. Light refreshments will be served until the supply is exhausted.

Visitors are advised to dress warmly and bring hand-warmers, depending upon conditions. Binoculars and cameras are suggested as well. Restrooms at the Kinzua Dam’s upper level, a half-mile distant, will be open.

Following initial encouragement by Watts, the Allegheny Outdoor Club agreed to organize 2023 Eagle Watch with its partner, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For further information, call Bill or Mary Massa at 814-723-2568 or Don Watts at 814-730-9204. The event is free to the public.

This year’s Eagle Watch will not be an official geomeet for geocachers as it has been in the past. There was insufficient time to publicize it to meet certification.


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