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SOUTHBURY — FirstLight Power Resources, which owns and operates the Housatonic River Project hydroelectric system, has scheduled an opening day event for Saturday, December 16, at its bald eagle observation post near Shepaug Dam.
The event will run from 9 am to 1 pm at the observation post at 2225 River Road. Attendance is free. Advance registration is required, however.
Opening day activities will include educational displays, access to the Shepaug interpretive walking trail, and guided bald eagle viewing at the observation post. The Connecticut Audubon Society and Horizon Wings, a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation center, will present programs on birds of prey, habitat protection, and restoration efforts.
A short ceremony will be held to mark the 31st season of the eagle observation area and light refreshments will be served. The public can register for the December 16 event online at bookeo.com/shepaug-eagle-viewing.
The Shepaug Dam Bald Eagle Observation Area, which is owned and maintained by FirstLight, is open to the public on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 9 am to 1 pm, from December through March of each year.
In 2016, FirstLight improved the observation area, including site and building improvements, and acquired new spotting scopes and binoculars for the public’s use. Individuals and groups can register to visit the observation area during the 2018 season online at the website.
The Shepaug Hydroelectric Station, the largest hydroelectric dam in Connecticut, serves as an important winter feeding site for bald eagles. The movement of water below the dam prevents ice from forming, providing the majestic birds easy access to an abundance of fish. Nearly 150,000 people have visited the observation post since it first opened.