August 3, 2020

Connecticut River Museum and Project Oceanology Team Up Again for EagleWatch 2011

Passengers board Project Oceanology’s Enviro-lab III at the Connecticut River Museum’s dock for eagle viewing boat tours every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in February through mid-March.

Essex, CT — Every year as the temperature drops below freezing and the last holiday decoration is packed away, a new season begins on the Essex waterfront.  Bald Eagles from as far north as Canada migrate to the open waters of the Connecticut River where the fishing is good and the nesting is easy.  In fact, the lower Connecticut River boasts one of the largest concentrations of these majestic birds from mid-January through mid-March, a natural phenomenom which sets the stage for the Connecticut River Museum’s continued expansion of its annual EagleWatch programming.  After a highly successful season last year with first-year partner Project Oceanology, the Connecticut River Museum will again team up with the Groton-based marine science and environmental education organization to provide a dynamic on-water experience.     

Connecticut River Museum Educator Bill Yule guides eagle viewers aboard Project Oceanology’s 65-foot research vessel Enviro-lab III.

Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting on February 4 and running through March 13, Project Oceanology’s vessel Enviro-lab III will depart from the Museum’s docks for an up-close view of winter wildlife, Bald Eagles, and other big birds of prey.  Educators from the Museum and Project Oceanology will provide narration while passengers can enjoy viewing from the heated cabin or outside deck area.  In addition, there’s an opportunity to assist in collecting water samples and compiling data for water-quality monitoring programs that are part of an ongoing environmental study with the Museum.  Every boat tour ticket includes free admission to the Museum where the story of the Bald Eagle continues to unfold in the Eagles of Essex exhibit.   

Opening on February 5 and running through March 13, Eagles of Essex tells the full story of why so many bald eagles winter here and how they went from near-extinction to becoming one of the greatest environmental come-back stories in history.  In addition to an interactive eagle nest, exhibitry will illustrate how to identify birds of prey and where the best land-viewing spots are located.  An eagle sighting scoreboard and a “real-time” community photography display will also be featured.  Amateur photographers are invited to submit their digital shots of eagles or other river raptors for inclusion in the exhibit. 

Special programming events will round out EagleWatch 2011.  On Saturday, February 5, drop-in arts and crafts, eagle nest building activities, family gallery tours, birdwatching with binoculars and scopes, and more will be happening from 12 noon to 4 pm in the Eagles of Essex gallery. 

On Saturday, February 12 and on Saturday, March 5 at 1:30 pm, international nature photographer Stan Kolber will present the do’s and don’ts of photographing birds in the wild during a one-hour “Introduction to Bird Photography” workshop.   And on Sunday, February 13 at 3:30 pm at Essex Town Hall, the Connecticut River Museum, together with the Essex Garden Club and the Potopaug Audobon Society, will host a Wind Over Wings live birds of prey demonstration.  Admission is free but seating capacity is limited. 

For a full listing of event details, go to or call 860-767-8269.  The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open Tuesday – Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm.