Wonders of Winter Wildlife

My Tuesday blogs are dedicated to experiencing nature. I’ll feature everything from park events to Natural State destinations worth seeing. Join me each week to get back to nature.

Jill M. Rohrbach
jillsjourneys@gmail.com

Whatever you’re plans are for this weekend, make sure they include a visit to Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area in Rogers for the Wonders of Winter Wildlife program. Park staff members, Friends of Hobbs, and guest program presenters have scheduled a weekend of wildlife-oriented activities that begin Friday, Jan. 15 and run through Sunday, Jan. 17.

Here’s a detailed schedule from the park:

Friday, Jan. 15
2 p.m. Winter Wildlife Hike (Pigeon Roost Trail head)
Bring some gorp (Good old raisons and peanuts) with you to the Pigeon Roost Trail head, and join Docent Diane on a 3-mile hike to an idyllic spot of the Van Winkle arm of beautiful Beaver Lake. Surely the bald eagles will be waiting to show all their majesty. Free of charge

3 p.m. Eagle Watch Cruise (Rocky Branch Marina)
For those who wish to explore more of Beaver Lake while looking for the wonderful bald eagles, join Hal and Dennis at Rocky Branch Marina on Highway 303N. In addition to eagles; herons, geese, ducks, kingfishers, deer, turtles, and other winter wildlife are often seen on this cruise. Reservations must be made in advance by calling the park office at 479-789-5000. Adults – $10.00: Children 6-12 -$5.00 Cruise length – approximately 1 ½ hours.

7 p.m. Raptor Rescue (Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area Visitor Center)
Family fun! Bring everybody to the new Hobbs visitor center, and join Lynn Sciumbato, owner of Morning Star Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Lynn, accompanied by several of her rehabilitated raptors, will provide an hour of great entertainment while sharing interesting facts about these stately birds. (Lynn’s critters love to get their pictures taken) Free of charge

Saturday, Jan. 16
9 a.m. Eagle Watch Cruise (Rocky Branch Marina)
For those who wish to be on Beaver Lake while looking for the grand bald eagles, embark on the park’s new 28’ pontoon boat at Rocky Branch Marina on Highway 303N. In addition to eagles; herons, geese, ducks, kingfishers, deer, turtles, and other winter wildlife are often seen on this cruise. Reservations must be made in advance by calling the park office at 479-789-5000. Adults – $10.00: Children 6-12 – $5.00 Cruise length – approximately 1 ½ hours.

9 a.m. Winter Bird Walk (Meet at the Hobbs visitor center front desk, and then carpool to the birding site)
Northwest Arkansas bird expert Joe Neal leads “Birders” on a leisurely quest to see some our feathered friends who spend the winter in this area as well as those who stay here year ‘round. Bring your binoculars. Telescopes will be provided. This is a very informative program. Free of charge

10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Winter Fur Coats (Hobbs visitor center)
Stop in at the Hobbs visitor center any time between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to learn more about Northwest Arkansas mammals. Staff members and docents show pelts and explain interesting things about critters we see every day and night. It’s a “Hands on” experience, and free of charge.

10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. How Do You Measure Up? (Hobbs visitor center)
Bring the kids! Stop in at the Hobbs visitor center any time between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. We measure your arm and arm span, and then explain what Northwest Arkansas birds have a wing span that big. It’s a fun way to learn. Free of charge.

11 a.m. Winter Wildlife Hike (War Eagle Loop to Lookout)
Hike part of the War Eagle loop, the newest loop of the Hobbs Hidden Diversity Multi-Use Trail. This 2-mile walk originates at the main parking lot of the Multi-Use Trail on Townsend Ridge Road, two miles south of Highway 12. The destination of the hike will be the new overlook of the lovely War Eagle valley. Free of charge

Noon Wildlife Tracking (Hobbs visitor center)
What are the signs that there is wildlife in an area? Tracks – nests – bones – scat – scrapes – rubs – trails – dens – holes – etc. Join our wildlife detectives Bob and Al and find the signs left by our Northwest Arkansas winter wildlife. What fun! Free of charge

2 p.m. Birds of Northwest Arkansas (Hobbs visitor center)
Take a break and enjoy a beautiful and informative PowerPoint presentation by Northwest Arkansas bird expert Joe Neal. If you have a bird question, Joe has the answer. (This program is part of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series) Free of charge.

3 p.m. Eagle Watch Cruise (Rocky Branch Marina)
For those who wish to be on Beaver Lake while looking for the grand bald eagles, embark on the park’s new 28’ pontoon boat at Rocky Branch Marina on Highway 303N. In addition to eagles; herons, geese, ducks, kingfishers, deer, turtles, and other winter wildlife are often seen on this cruise. Reservations must be made in advance by calling the park office at 479-789-5000. Adults – $10.00: Children 6-12 $5.00 Cruise length – approximately 1 ½ hours.

Sunday, Jan. 17
9 a.m. Eagle Watch Cruise (Rocky Branch Marina)
For those who wish to be on Beaver Lake while looking for the grand bald eagles, embark on the park’s new 28’ pontoon boat at Rocky Branch Marina on Highway 303N. In addition to eagles; herons, geese, ducks, kingfishers, deer, turtles, and other winter wildlife are often seen on this cruise. Reservations must be made in advance by calling the park office at 479-789-5000. Adults – $10.00: Children 6-12 – $5.00 Cruise length – approximately 1 ½ hours.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. How Do You Measure Up? (Hobbs visitor center)
Bring the kids! Stop in at the Hobbs visitor center any time between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. We measure your arm and arm span, and then explain what Northwest Arkansas birds have a wing span that big. It’s a fun way to learn. Free of charge.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Winter Fur Coats (Hobbs visitor center)
Stop in at the Hobbs visitor center any time between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to learn more about Northwest Arkansas mammals. Staff members and docents show pelts and explain interesting things about critters we see every day and night. It’s an enjoyable “Hands on” experience, and free of charge.

Noon Wildlife Tracking (Hobbs visitor center)
What are the signs that there is wildlife in an area? Tracks – nests – bones – scat – scrapes – rubs – trails – dens – holes – etc. Join our wildlife detectives Bob and Al and find the signs left by our Northwest Arkansas winter wildlife. What fun! Free of charge

1 p.m. Wild Kayak Eagle Watch Tour (Meet at the Hobbs visitor center front desk to carpool to the launch site)
Only experienced kayakers please. There is a limited number of available slots for this tour. Call the Hobbs visitor center for reservations. 479-789-5000 Bring your own kayak, or the park has a limited number of kayaks to loan.
2:00 p.m. Winter Wildlife Hike (Pigeon Roost Trail head)
Bring some gorp (Good old raisons and peanuts) with you to the Pigeon Roost Trail head, and join Docent Diane on a 3-mile hike to an idyllic spot of the Van Winkle arm of beautiful Beaver Lake. Surely the bald eagles will be waiting to show all their majesty. Free of charge

3 p.m. Eagle Watch Cruise (Rocky Branch Marina)
For those who wish to enjoy Beaver Lake while looking for the grand bald eagles, embark on the park’s new 28’ pontoon boat at Rocky Branch Marina on Highway 303N. In addition to eagles; herons, geese, ducks, kingfishers, deer, turtles, and other winter wildlife are often seen on this cruise. Reservations must be made in advance by calling the park office at 479-789-5000.
Adults – $10.00: Children 6-12 $5.00 Cruise length – approximately 1 ½ hours

 
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