At Starved Rock State Park, the bald eagles now have some competition.
Friday, March 9, through Sunday, March 11, Starved Rock Lodge near Utica will sponsor Owl Prowl, a weekend dedicated to the other kind of big bird that lives in and around the state park.
“The Eagle Watch Weekend goes over very well,” Edna Daugherty, Lodge activities director, said about the annual January fest that draws people to La Salle County. “We have owls around here, too, and people are fascinated by them.”
Steve Bailey, an ornithologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, will lead the 6 p.m. programs, followed by owl walks from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 10. During the program, he will have some owl specimens, feathers and pellets and will try to call in different owls.
Those programs are sold out, but “Hoo” Haven Wildlife and Education Center of Durand will present live owl programs at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Lodge. Admission will be $5 for adults and $2.50 for children ages 10 and younger.
The Lodge will offer a history trolley ride combined with a hot lunch in the dining room Saturday and for Sunday brunch. The trolley also will stop at the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center for a special presentation on owls.
Tours will begin with lunch at 11 a.m.; the trolley will board at noon and be back at the Lodge at 2:30 p.m. On Saturday, the cost will be $25 for adults; Sunday, adults will be charged $30. Children 10 and younger will be charged $5 less both days. Call 800-868-7625 ext. 386 for reservations.
“We’re looking forward to having a great weekend,” Daugherty said. If everything goes well, we’ll be putting it on the schedule for next year.”