Bald Eagle Awareness Days celebrates its 21st year of entertainment and education by emphasizing the need for conservation and appreciation of bald eagles and other birds of prey.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed February 18-23, 2013, as Bald Eagle Awareness Week in South Dakota. Interested persons will have three free events to choose from to learn more about birds of prey.

On Thursday, Feb. 21, The Outdoor Campus-East in Sioux Falls will have an open house at 6 p.m. CST, followed by a 7 p.m. program featuring live birds of prey presented by educators from The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota.

The Outdoor Campus-West in Rapid City is hosting a “drop-in” day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. MST on Saturday, Feb. 23. All ages can participate in hands-on stations featuring all things birds-of-prey. Black Hills Raptor Center will participate in the drop-in day and conduct a public presentation with live birds of prey at 1 p.m. MST.

Also on Saturday, Feb. 23, educators from The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota will present programs featuring live birds of prey at the Pierre Ramkota in Theatre II, in conjunction with the KCCR Farm, Home and Sports Show. Pierre Ramkota programs begin at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. CST. Those programs will feature raptor arts-and-crafts for younger children.

Bald Eagle Awareness Days activities will also feature presentations on Friday, Feb. 22 for students in Madison. Winners of the Bald Eagle Awareness Days Bookmark Art Contest will be announced and winning entries displayed at the Ramkota Inn on Feb. 23.

The annual event is a joint effort sponsored by conservation and outdoor recreation organizations, and merchants and conservation agencies to increase public involvement and awareness about bald eagles and other birds of prey. All ages are encouraged to attend.

For more information about Bald Eagle Awareness Days, visit online: http://gfp.sd.gov/outdoor-learning/bald-eagle-awareness-days/default.aspx or contact Eileen Dowd Stukel with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks at 605-773-4229.

Logo courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks

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