By Susan Monteleone
NARROWSBURG January 20, 2004 It was a standing-room-only crowd at Saturdays presentation of the Live Birds of Prey, which kicked off the third annual Eaglefest in Narrowsburg.
The crowd packed the Sullivan West/Narrowsburg school gym to view the Opening Ceremonial Dance by the Leni Lenape Native Americans, followed by the bird demonstration.
The presentation was performed by Thomas Ricardi of the Massachusetts Bird of Prey Rehabilitation Facility located in Conwat, Ma. Ricardi travels to various schools and events to raise awareness for the protection of what else? the bald eagle.
So he was a perfect fit for Saturdays festival dedicated to the majestic bird.
I enjoy traveling to the different events, and I am glad to be here today. It is important that people appreciate nature and the bald eagle, stated Ricardi.
The bald eagle that travels with Ricardi is seven years old and came to Ricardi after flying into a power line.
I currently help out over 100 birds a year, he explained. I am basically based in the New England area, and I always have about 30 to 40 birds in the rehab facility at a time. They are a precious animal, and they need to be appreciated.
Tusten Supervisor Ben Johnson was also on hand.
I am pleased to see so many people here today and that they can reap the work of all the people involved in todays event, he said. Eaglefest is a true community event and a day for families to gather together and enjoy a learning experience about nature. I further hope that the many people here today will be able to catch a glimpse of the bald eagles around the area.
That was a pretty good bet for most attendees, as this time of year hundreds of bald eagles call the Upper Delaware River Valley home.
State Senator John Bonacic was also in attendance.
Sullivan County is getting bigger and bigger, and we are continuing to invest in it. Sullivan County will remain beautiful and will grow even larger and beautiful every year, he remarked. This is my third Eaglefest, and I enjoy coming here every year trying to catch a glimpse of one of the many bald eagles in the area.
Sullivan County Legislature Chair Chris Cunningham added, This is a beautiful area, and I truly enjoy coming to Eaglefest. All the people here are great. This is a great family, educational event, and I am proud to be a part of it and commend those that do such a good job.
The days events included exhibits, an eagle art poster auction, ice sculpting, wood carving, educational seminars, and eagle viewing opportunities throughout downtown Narrowsburg which was just fine with the local chamber.
Narrowsburg Chamber of Commerce representative John Grund stated, I am truly happy that Mother Nature has blessed us with such a beautiful day and weekend. Hopefully, the eagles will decided to make a few appearances during the day, and I want to thank all our sponsors and volunteers who helped make todays event such a success.
It was estimated that over 2,500 people visited throughout the day.
The Third Annual Eaglefest was made possible by the following sponsors: Natures Art LLC, the Narrowsburg Chamber of Commerce, Fleet Bank, Dinkeys Gifts, Roto-Rooter Septic Tank Service, Eagles Nest Estates LLC and Narrowsburg Fine Wines and Spirits.
Eaglefest was created by John and Yoke DiGiorgio of Natures Art LLC, who have a great love for the bald eagles, who migrate to the area from Canada and other points north to feed on the open water of the Delaware River.
In the spring, the eagles return to their nests and breeding habits, but recently some pairs have made their permanent home in the Narrowsburg area. Currently, there are 60 known eagle nests in New York and Pennsylvania.