An Awesome Way to Spend the Day –
A day at the National Eagle Center is a day well spent. Lots of learning! Lots of fun! The whole family will enjoy it. I promise.
Did you know that eagles weigh about 12 pounds? Or that an eagle can see over 2 miles away? Or that they may build their nests 75 feet up in the air?! I learned those things from Bucky, our Naturalist Educator and Angel, the Eagle Ambassador (She’s the one with feathers in the picture above.) The National Eagle Center is so awesome that we have visited twice this past year. The center is a hands-on, interactive museum comprised of an exploration area, an eagle room, and daily live eagle programs. On the second floor, you can walk out onto the observation deck, and may very well see eagles soaring above the Mississippi River.
One of the coolest things in the exploration area is a “human size” eagle’s nest. There are also “exhibits” that allow you to see how an eagle sees, as well as what it would be like to hold an eagle on your arm. You are also able to compare your grip strength to that of an eagle. (Good luck. Apparently, I am a wimp; I am about 1/10 as strong as an eagle.)
Bring your list of questions along with you to ask the experts, many of which are volunteers, into the eagle room. The eagle room is really, really amazing. You are truly within feet of these beautiful birds. Donald, a golden eagle, Angel, Was’aka, and Columbia, all bald eagles, are very patient with visitors watching them and taking lots of photos. You can learn about each feathered friend, as well as about the new eagle that will be coming to the center, and about Harriet, the now “retired from teaching” bald eagle here. The eagles that live at the center are there because something, like an injury, prevents them from surviving in the wild. They are well taken care of. They go outside everyday and feed on the tastiest of foods…ummm…well, at least in their opinions.
The live eagle program is the best part of the trip to the National Eagle Center. Don’t miss this. They offer three shows a day. I recommend sitting close to the front, so you can see better, hear better, and learn more. Both a human and eagle instructor will spend some time sharing with you about the many factual and fascinating aspects of eagles. They pass around lots of items for you to look at up close and you will also witness the eagle eating his lunch….bones and all.
Plan on spending a few hours at the center. Admission is very reasonable; they offer day passes or yearly memberships. (Which may end up being more cost effective, depending on the size of your family.) If you live too far away to visit, you can check out their website http://www.nationaleaglecenter.org/ for great photos and learning opportunities, including lesson plans.
A few last tips:
- There is a nice gift shop with a variety of items.
- Remember your camera!
- Check their hours and days open – they vary by the season.
- Most of their parking is about block away, but it is free parking.
Have an awesome day with your family, learning all about awesome eagles!
NATIONAL EAGLE CENTER
50 Pembroke Ave
Wabasha, MN 55981
More fun eagle activities:
Watch live eagles via an eagle cam (You may want to give a quick glance before sharing with kids….just in case there may be some of the eagle’s “lunch” still laying around the nest.)
Minnesota Bound http://mnbound.com/live-eagle-cam/
Minnesota DNR Eagle Cam http://www.webcams.dnr.state.mn.us/eagle/
Learn how to draw an eagle by Art Projects for Kid http://artprojectsforkids.org/portfolio/bald-eagle/
Create a life size eagle and measure your wingspan by Brimful Curiosities
WANT TO CHECK OUT SOMETHING ELSE REALLY FUN NEAR THE EAGLE CENTER?
Lark Toys in Kellogg, MN is giant toy store, fudge shop, and much more! It also has mini golf and and indoor carousel!
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