Sue Hallock | Democrat
BILL STREETER OF the Delaware Valley Raptor Center shows off a horned owl during his Live Birds of Prey Demonstration.
EagleFest keeps going
By Susan Hallock
NARROWSBURG Despite cold temperatures and the threat of snow showers, the eighth annual EagleFest celebration went off without a hitch and the streets of Narrowsburg were packed with busy eagle watchers, it was estimated that over 2,500 people braved the cold to participate at EagleFest.
EagleFest was the creation of the Delaware Valley Eagle Alliance, which committed itself to the focus of a program of education and entertainment. Each year the event is enhanced with new speakers and presentations, and provides an opportunity to see and experience new programs.
Organizer John DiGiorgio stated, “This year it was a close call, we almost did not have EagleFest due to the economic times. However, the Delaware Valley Eagle Alliance got together and decided we need to do EagleFest and here we are today. We have many new programs and now we are in the process of launching a new wildlife series that will be presented in Narrowsburg each month.
“We know that times are tough and tight right now but we all need to be a part of EagleFest and it is great to see so many people here today,” DiGiorgio added. “ Wildlife and environmental conservation and preservation are always challenging and they touch all of our lives. EagleFest just brings it all together. We all have to be aware of our environment and how to conserve it and EagleFest teaches that to both young and old and when you stand out on the deck, and hopefully catch a glimpse of the eagles here, that is truly what makes it all worth it.”
“Catskill Hudson Bank is proud to be a corporate sponsor for such a great event. We are part of the community and the community gives us so much during the year, we also want to give back,” said Mary Ann Popek, the Bank Administrator for the Narrowsburg Catskill Hudson Bank branch. “We are now in our second year of EagleFest and we just love being a part of it… the eagle is part of this community as well, and whatever we can do to help out to protect the eagles, we are there.”
EagleFest 2009 included many events including Bill Streeter of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center with his well known program, “Live Birds of Prey.” Streeter packed the Narrowsburg School Gym as he brought out over five different varieties of birds, including “Benson” the Bald Eagle.
Streeter noted, “ All of the birds you see here today have come to us because they were hurt either by a car or by humans. Benson was shot by a person and a young man managed to rescue him out of the water and if he didn’t, Benson would be gone. In Alaska one person went and shot up 25 Bald Eagles and it is against the law to shoot these animals, but people still do it and they need to stop. These animals cannot go back to the wild because they have been injured, and if it wasn’t for people helping to save them and our group healing them, many of these birds would be gone.”
Streeter added, “Education is vital in today’s world and I hope today that you leave with more appreciation for the environment and the animals that live in it. Look around your environment and you will really see what is out there. Many of these birds are right in your area just take a moment and look and you will see them.”
Some of the events happening during the day included a Falcon Lecture by Tim Gallagher, Editor of Living Bird Publications, Eagle Updates by Don Hamilton of the National Park Service, Bird Migrations talks by Robert Smith of the University of Scranton, arts and crafts and even a poster auction. There were also numerous children’s programs, movies, exhibits and eagle viewing from the deck on Main Street in Narrowsburg with two ice carvings being displayed by Ice Works of Lakeville, PA.