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Eagle Watch marks 10th


   Eagle Watch 2005 will celebrate Lake Billy Chinook's population of bald eagles and other raptors Feb. 26 and 27.
   Typically, the area around Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon hosts the state's second largest gathering of winter migrant bald eagles.
   "These migrant birds primarily from Canada and Alaska, join the eight pair of year-round resident bald eagles providing a spectacular opportunity to observe and learn about these majestic raptors," said state park event coordinator Paul M. Patton.
   The 10th Annual Eagle Watch will feature a wide array of speakers, activities and organized viewing sessions at various locations around the reservoir from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday, Feb. 26, and beginning at 10 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 27.
   The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Portland General Electric (PGE) and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs are the event's primary sponsors.
   "Eagle Watch appeals to all age and interest levels," said Tony Dentel, PGE park operations manager. "Ranging from those seeing their first eagle to veteran raptor biologists, Eagle Watch visitors always enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and vast array of fascinating activities."
   A visitor orientation will be offered at PGE's Round Butte Overlook Park before the first of two Saturday eagle viewing sessions scheduled from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Overlook Park and other selected viewpoints around the lake. Interpretive presentations by raptor experts from throughout the region will precede the second viewing session from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
   Activities on both days will include live birds-of-prey presentations and special programs focusing on the bald eagle population of the tricounty area.
   Recent studies and developments in prey species for both bald and golden eagles will be presented at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, and 11:30 a.m., Sunday. The High Desert Museum will give Saturday birds-of-prey presentations at Overlook Park from 11:30 a.m. to noon, and 2:30 to 3 p.m., with a repeat on Sunday from 10:30 to 11 a.m.
   Author and naturalist Charlotte Corkran will be at the event site all day Saturday for a special book autograph session, sponsored by Willow Creek Books of Madras.
   At 7 p.m., Saturday, the Sunriver Nature Center will sponsor an astronomy presentation "The Wonders of the Night Sky" at Overlook Park. Stargazing activities will follow, weather permitting.
   The annual Sunrise Eagle Tour, sponsored by Raven Research West, will launch Sunday's activities at 5:30 a.m., at The Cove Palisades State Park. Formal eagle viewing sessions from 10 to 11:30 a.m. will follow the tour. Visitors can sign up for the Sunday sunrise tour at the event information area on Saturday.
   Sunday afternoon activities will include Native American eagle-related legends and stories and a performance of the eagle dance by Native American drummers and dancers. Those activities, sponsored by Warm Springs Power Enterprises, will be from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., at Overlook Park.