17th Annual Merrimack River Eagle Festival

February 8–12, 2022

Presented by Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats Education Center & Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Many Thanks to Our Sponsors


Bald Eagle adults on shoreline driftwood at Joppa Flats © Victor Cole
Bald Eagles at Joppa Flats © Victor Cole

February 8–12, 2022

Virtual & In-Person 

When winter returns to the lower Merrimack Valley, so do Bald Eagles and Snowy Owls and other exciting winter wildlife. Every year we host a grand event marking their return.

This year, we hope you'll join us online and in-person for programs in the Newburyport and Amesbury area to celebrate our very special winter residents! The 17th Annual Merrimack River Eagle Festival events will be held Tuesday, February 8 – Saturday, February 12, 2022.

While the banks of the Merrimack River will not be lined with crowds of eagle spotters this season, we rejoice in recognizing the wonders of the natural world as our local habitats welcome winter's animal visitors.

Activities

Our virtual and special in-person activities are designed to keep all participants safe. Online pre-registration is required for all Eagle Festival events—both in-person and virtual. Note that registration instructions for Parker River National Wildlife Refuge presentations are included in each program's description.

→ Programs will be added to this list as they become available for registration. ←

On Silent Wings: The Magic of the Snowy Owl (Online)
Tuesday, February 8 • 7:00-8:00 pm

with Peter Christoph, Wildlife Photographer & Author
FREE, register through Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Peter spent 14 full days following the movements of a few Snowy Owls during their 2013-2014 winter migration to the beaches of Salisbury, Hampton, and Plum Island. Learn about the rare and intimate moments he witnessed of the owls in their winter habitat. To Register: Send an email to PRNWR with a subject line of "On Silent Wings" and include your name in the body of the message.

Winter Raptor Identification (Online)
Wednesday, February 9 • 7:00-8:30 pm

with Kathy Seymour, Mass Audubon Metro West | Jane Sender, Expert Birder
$10/person
Register today >

Friday Morning Birdwatching in Winter
Friday, February 11 • 8:30-11:30 am

with Dave Williams, Naturalist & Birder's Certificate Graduate
$6/person
Register today >

Friday Field Trips for Homeschoolers: Bald Eagles are Coming Back!
Friday, February 11 • 10:00 am-12:00 pm

(for ages 6–12 w/an adult)
with Johanna True, Teacher Naturalist | Dave Dishaw, Teacher Naturalist
$6/adult, $6/child
Register today >

Tweaking Bird Images with Basic Edits in Photoshop (Online)
Friday, February 11 • 1:00-2:00 pm

with Ranger Matt Poole, Visitor Services Manager at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge & Photography Teacher
FREE, register through Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
All digital photographs, whether taken with a smartphone or professional grade camera, can be improved (sometimes vastly!), with just a few basic edits on a computer. Ranger Poole will demonstrate six simple editing techniques using Adobe Photoshop. To Register: Send an email to PRNWR with a subject line of "Photoshop" and include your name in the body of the message.

Marsh Owls (Online)
Friday, February 11 • 7:00–8:30 pm

with Scott Santino, Mass Audubon North Shore | Sean Riley, Forest & Park Supervisor for DCR's Belle Isle Marsh Reservation/Rumney Marsh
$10/person
Register today >

Eagle Festival Field Trips
Saturday, February 12 • 9:30-11:00 am or 12:30-2:00 pm

(for adults & families w/children ages 8+)
with David Moon, Dave Williams, or Scott Santino | Mass Audubon North Shore
$6/adult, $6/child
Register today >

Outdoor Adventures for Families: Bald Eagles on the River
Saturday, February 12 • 10:00 am-12:00 pm

(for ages 6–11 w/an adult)
with Lisa Hutchings, Mass Audubon North Shore
$6/adult, $6/child
Register today >

Bald Eagle Walk Along the Neponset River
Saturday, February 12 • 10:30 am-12:00 pm

(for adults, families, & children ages 10+)
with Adam Leiterman, Mass Audubon Boston
Members $10/person, Nonmembers $13/person
Meets at the Neponset River Reservation in Milton, MA
Register today >

Teen Naturalist Training: Bald Eagle Behavior
Saturday, February 12 • 1:00-3:00 pm

(for ages 11–13)
with Lisa Hutchings, Mass Audubon North Shore | Johnny Owens, Teen Naturalist
$6/person
Register today >

Nature & Wildlife Photography in Winter (Online)
Saturday, February 12 • 3:00-4:30 pm

with Ranger Matt Poole, Visitor Services Manager at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge & Photography Teacher
FREE, register through Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Ranger Poole will present an overview of time-tested tools, tips, and techniques for creating more successful images at a time of year when many have stowed their cameras away until the arrival of warmer weather. To Register: Send an email to PRNWR with a subject line of "Winter Photography" and include your name in the body of the message.

Family Owl Prowl
Saturday, February 12 • 7:00-8:30 pm

(for families w/children ages 6+)
with Cori Brauer, Mass Audubon North Shore | Maura Genova, Ipswich River Nature Preschool
$6/adult, $6/child
Register today >