The Merrimack River Eagle Festival

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Merrimack River Eagle Festival


Frequently Asked Questions

Presented by Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Come to Newburyport and Amesbury on February 7 for a full day of free activities celebrating the return of our Bald Eagles!

Visit Eagle Hotspots    9:00 am–4:00 pm

Naturalists will show you Bald Eagles from sites along the Merrimack River. Maps will be available the day of the event at all festival headquarter sites. All ages welcome.

Go on an Eagle Tour    9:00 am–2:00 pm

Tours start every half hour and take 90 minutes to complete. Departure point: The Newburyport Chamber of Commerce. Advance registration required (978-462-9998). Adults and children age 6 and over. Suggested donation: $5.00 per person.

See a Raptor Show    10:00–11:00 am or 1:30–2:30 pm

Tom Ricardi of the Massachusetts Bird of Prey Rehabilitation Facility presents two educational programs at Newburyport City Hall featuring raptors great and small. First come, first served. Recommended for adults and children age 6 and over.

Pose for a Photo with a Raptor  11:15–11:45 am or 12:30–1:00 pm

Hunt’s Photo & Video will take your photo with a raptor for a $10 donation. to the Eagle Festival. Newburyport City Hall. Limited availability. Advance registration recommended (978-462-9998). Otherwise, first come, first served.

Have Fun with Your Family   10:00 am–3:00 pm

At the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters:

Make an eagle magnet, dissect an owl pellet, or contribute to the eagle habitat mural! Special features: Live owls from Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm (11 am – 3 pm).

At the Joppa Flats Education Center:

Make an eagle mask, color and take home a button, learn about eagles across the globe, or test your skill with the eagle feeding talon challenge! Special feature: Live hawks from Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm (11 am – 3 pm).

Find Eagle Festival Information   8:30 am–4:00 pm

Eagle Festival information will be available at all festival headquarter sites:

  • Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats Education Center: 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport 978-462-9998
  • Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters: 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport 978-465-5753
  • The Newburyport Chamber of Commerce: 38R Merrimac Street, Newburyport 978-462-6680
  • Newburyport City Hall: 60 Pleasant Street, Newburyport
  • Lowell’s Boat Shop: 459 Main Street, Amesbury 978-834-0050

Eagle Eye Scavenger Hunt   January 16–February 7


Use your eagle eyes in our scavenger hunt. Visit Newburyport merchants who are Eagle Festival Friends and find hidden eagle facts inside. You can download a hunt form or pick one up at any of the Scavenger Hunt participants. 

Additional Winter Bird Programs

Call Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats at 978-462-9998 for information or to register.

Wednesday Morning Birding
Wednesdays, 9:30-12:30. For adults. Preregistration not required.

Saturday Morning Birding
Saturdays, 9:00-11:30. For adults and children age 8 and up. Preregistration not required.

Bald Eagles of the Merrimack River
Sunday, February 1, 9:00-noon or Sunday, February 15, 9:00-noon. For adults. Preregistration required.

The Wonder and the Wow: Bald Eagles Along the Merrimack River
Saturday, February 14, 9:30-noon. For adults. Preregistration is required.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Bald Eagles
Sunday, February 15, 1:00-3:30 pm. For families with children ages 7 and up. Preregistration required.

Book Signing: Dianne Benson Davis, Eagle One
Sunday, February 22, 2:30-4:00 pm. For adults and families with children age 8 and up. Preregistration not required.

  Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats Education Center, located at One Plum Island Turnpike in Newburyport, is a natural history education center that is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday and Monday holidays, 8:30 am–4:00 pm. Call 978-462-9998 for additional information, or visit the website at
  Operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over two-thirds of Plum Island and consists of 4,662 acres of critical coastal habitats, including dunes, maritime forest, and salt marsh. The Refuge Visitor Center and Headquarters, at Six Plum Island Turnpike in Newburyport, is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am–4:30 pm. Exhibits are open 11:00 am–4:00 pm. Call 978-465-5753 for more information, or visit the website at

Merrimack River Eagle Festival Founding Sponsors


The Daily News of Newburyport       Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank   

Additional Funding by


Merrimack River Eagle Festival Cooperating Partner

Hunts photo & video

Hunt’s Photo & Video

Newburyport Chamber of Commerce

Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce


Where to Eat/ Stay/ Shop

17 State Street Café – 17 State Street, Newburyport  978-358-8664 

Amy Williams – 46 Pleasant Street, Newburyport 978-462-0020

Angie’s Food & Diner – 7 Pleasant Street, Newburyport  978-462-7959

Annie’s – 11 Pleasant Street, Newburyport 978-462-5577

Audubon Shop at Joppa Flats – 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport  978-462-9998

Bird Watcher’s Supply and Gift – 190 State Street, Newburyport 978-462-0775

Black Duck Market and Deli – 13 Federal Street, Newburyport  978-462-0323

Bob Lobster – 49 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport  978-465-7100

Comina – 55 Pleasant Street, Newburyport  978-499-1775

Denise’s Flower & Sock Shop – 35 Pleasant Street, Newburyport  978-462-3409

Essex Street Inn – 7 Essex Street, Newburyport 978-465-3148

Fair Trade Treasures – 1 Merrimac Street, Unit 4, Newburyport  978-255-4843

Flukes & Finds & Friends – 70 State Street, Newburyport 978-463-6968

Fowles Market – 341 High Street, Newburyport  978-465-9028

The Grog – 13 Middle Street, Newburyport  978-465-8008

Middle Street Foods – 25 Middle Street, Newburyport 978-375-1906

The Natural Grocer – 334 High Street, Newburyport 978-463-8713

Newburyport Lighting Company – 38R Merrimac Street, Newburyport 978-499-9777

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt – 35 Market Square, Newburyport 978-462-3400

Paper Moon – 1 Merrimac Street, Unit 10, Newburyport  978-255-6650

Plum Island Coffee Roasters – 54R Merrimac Street, Newburyport 978-465-1444

Pottery Isle – 50 Water Street, Mill No. 1, Newburyport 978-499-3999

Riverside Café- 260 Merrimac Street, Newburyport  978-225-6999

Revitalive Café – 50 Water Street, Newburyport 978-462-1488

Merrimack River Eagle Festival Contributing Friends        

Acting Out Productions  

Eastern Mass Hawk Watch  

Essex National Heritage Commission


Sarah Gnerre and Chris Mulligan

Newburyport Boat Basin

Old South Church

Yankee Landing Marina