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Eagle-viewing season begins Dec. 23 in several areas

File photo (Wisconsin DNR/Photo credit: Herbert Lange)

The public will have eagle-watching opportunities this winter in several areas in Nebraska, according to the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District.

The regular viewing season will begin at Central’s J-2 Hydroplant on Dec. 23 and will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST on Saturdays and Sundays through the last weekend in February. The hydroplant is located south of Lexington near the intersection of county roads 749 and 750.

The eagle-viewing facility below Kingsley Dam will open for the season Dec. 23 and will remain open until the last weekend in February. The Kingsley Dam facility is open for eagle-viewing from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. MST on Saturdays and Sundays.

At the Kingsley facility, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Lake McConaughy Park Naturalist Alison Bleich will give presentations about bald eagles on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. and noon MST. She will also provide some hands on activities and crafts for kids at the eagle viewing center.

A limited number of binoculars are available at the facilities, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own viewing equipment.

The eagles are attracted to feed on fish in the open water below the plants, particularly when rivers and lakes in the area are covered with ice.

Several factors influence the number of eagles seen from the facilities on any given day, including climatic conditions, ice coverage on area bodies of water, how many eagles are wintering in the area, and whether the hydroplants are on-line. The best viewing time is normally earlier in the day. There is no charge to visit the facilities.

For more information about eagles and viewing opportunities, visit Central's website or call 308-995-8601.

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