Eagle Festival Wings Clipped

Economy cancels eagle festival

Not the eagles, too!

The economy has set its sights on those majestic birds that top flagpoles across the country.  The birds are still around, of course, but you can no longer see them for free.

The Connecticut Audubon Society is canceling its 2009 Eagle Festival.

Corporate sponsorship has dried up, organizers said. Gone with the sponsorship is the ability to offer visitors the chance to see the eagles in the wild, enjoy live birds of prey demonstrations and attend lectures by experts, all for free, said Robert Martinez, president of the Connecticut Audubon Society.

The Eagle Festival was scheduled for Feb. 14 and 15 in Essex.  In the past, it has drawn thousands of spectators to the town to celebrate the return of the winter population of bald eagles to the lower Connecticut River.

"We do not have the level of corporate sponsorship we have had in the past. As soon as the economy allows we plan to put on the tenth anniversary Eagle Festival," said Mara Neville, of the Audubon Society.

Don't worry.  The birds will be here, just as sure as spring always rolls around.  And birdwatchers will surely still be around, too.

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