Oklahoma’s bald eagle population soars each winter, offering prime eagle watching opportunities! Nearly two dozen public watches have been scheduled at conservation areas this winter. Take advantage of these tours to see the nation’s symbol at lakes and rivers and learn more about bald eagle ecology and their recovery story.
Get watch details at travelok.com
Eagle Tour and Loon Watch
Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge and Tenkiller State Park, Vian
Visit the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge and see southern bald eagles in their natural habitat. You will begin the tour by watching eagles from the refuge's webcam before taking off on the 25-person tour bus. Guests are encouraged to bring binoculars. Stops will be made at two nesting sites as well as other points of interest where eagles frequently appear. Two spotting scopes will be provided for a close-up look at these incredible birds.
After spending the morning at the refuge, take a break and have a leisurely lunch in Vian. Then, make your way to Tenkiller State Park's Driftwood Nature Center to continue your bird-watching adventure with more eagles and lots of loons, including the common loon, the red-throated loon, the pacific loon and the yellow-billed loon. Come out and catch sight of this famed winter migrant of the northeast and beyond. Tours will occur unless there is a travel advisory for the area.
The tours will be held:
Eagle Tour and Loon Watch: Jan 26, 2019
Eagle Tour and Loon Watch: Feb 2, 2019
Eagle Tour and Loon Watch: Feb 9, 2019
Eagle Tour and Loon Watch: Feb 16, 2019
Eagle Tour and Loon Watch: Feb 23, 2019
Eagle Tour and Loon Watch: Mar 2, 2019
As the chilly veil of winter spreads across the plains, hundreds of bald eagles make their way to Oklahoma. The winter months are the perfect time to head out on a crisp, clear day in search of the approximately 800-2,000 magnificent eagles that call the Sooner State home during the season’s peak. Migrating south to Oklahoma from Canada and the northern states in search of warmth, these noble birds join nearly 80 pairs of bald eagles that are year-round residents of Oklahoma, creating a birder’s paradise filled with boundless eagle-viewing opportunities.
The bald eagle’s trek into Oklahoma begins in November and early December, and peaks in January and February, when numerous bald eagle watching events pop up around the state to take advantage of the increased numbers. Primarily a fish-eater, the bald eagle prefers to settle near Oklahoma’s lakes and rivers for easy access to food. Groups of eagles will rest together, or “roost,” in trees along the shores, with the same roost trees being used each year. With seven foot wingspans and bright white crowns, the grand size and distinguished appearance of these birds make them easy to spot and watch. As birders have long known, watching a bald eagle in its daily routine is awe-inspiring.
Eagle Viewing Tips
The best time to observe eagles is around sunrise or sunset.
Wear warm, neutral-colored clothing and appropriate outerwear. Winters in Oklahoma can be cold and windy, so bring along a warm coat, gloves, hat and scarf.
Bring binoculars, a camera (preferably with a zoom lens), and a field guide to help you identify eagles and other bird species you may find along the way.
For some of the eagle-viewing events, a portable camp chair or lawn chair is recommended.
Always call ahead to state parks or wildlife management areas for up-to-date eagle viewing information before your trip.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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