The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 9, 2014

Eagle watching set at library

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CAMANCHE — Bald eagles are in the air and Camanche Public Library Director Beth Thilmany is ready to get in on the eagle-watching action.

For the first time ever, the library will host eagle-watching events during the month of January to promote their ideal viewing location and celebrate the beauty of the native bird.

“The library’s been here for 49 years so we’ve always had this spectacular view of the river,” Thilmany said. “And especially this winter, with the cold stretch of weather we’ve been having and the ice on the river, the eagle viewing is just incredible.”

The first bald eagle watch will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and will continue every Saturday until Feb. 1.

People of all ages are invited to take part in the bird-watching event, and for those who are not interested in standing in the cold, an indoor watching post is also available.

“The main looking area will be on the library lawn at the back of the library but, we will open early at 9:30 a.m. if people want to come in and view from the library windows,” Thilmany said. “I’m not sure what the weather is supposed to be like on Saturday so we thought maybe being able to view it from indoors would be an option people would like.”

Also, for people who get too cold while standing outside, library staff will offer hot chocolate and coffee to warm up with inside the library as well as eagle-themed crafts for those children who tag along.

Thilmany and other library staff are excited for the eagle watch, but also are using the first on Saturday, to test what works and what doesn’t for the future events.

“This is kind of a new adventure for us and it’s a trial and error so we may end up tweaking things as we go along from Saturday to Saturday,” Thilmany said.

But, even if everything doesn’t go as planned, the most important thing for Thilmany is that the heavy eagle activity they have seen at the library recently continues through the remainder of the month, giving people a reason to partake in the new offering.

“Kind of exciting because on Dec. 26 there were eight eagles sitting on the ice,” Thilmany said. “Six of them were fighting over one fish and there were two others, further away that just sort of watched. We had been talking about doing an eagle watch and then that happened so it was kind of a simultaneous thing. So, really all I hope for is that there are eagles to see. That’s what matters.”