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Eagle migration brings large birds, larger lenses to Barr Lake State Park

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Posted at 6:54 PM, Jan 31, 2020

BRIGHTON, Colo. — “There’s eagles everywhere! There’s not one place you look around out here at Barr Lake that you don’t see an eagle,” Dionne Meidinger said.

She and several friends spent a sunny but chilly day exploring Barr Lake State Park, about thirty minutes northeast of Denver.

“It’s so much fun,” Meidinger added.

From December to February, the 2,000-acre reservoir becomes a winter home to dozens of migrating bald eagles. The lake has been home to at least one pair of nesting eagles every year since 1986.

“Barr Lake, we like to say, is the bed and breakfast for birds,” Park Manager Michelle Seubert said.

It’s become a very popular spot for photographers looking to capture eagles in action.

“This is easy pickings; this is amazing. Probably take 500 pictures out here today, and hope you get ten good ones,” photographer Dawn Key said.

Eagles can be seen “fishing” for food on the edge of the icy reservoir.

“This is so good! It’s like the best day,“ Martha McCannon exclaimed after watching several eagles fight over a fish. “This is the best day!”

McCannon said she had fun even though she doesn’t have a thousand-dollar camera.

“I don’t have one of those big old lenses, but I have this one, and I’ve gotten some good pictures.” McCannon said.

As many as 80 bald eagles can be spotted during the peak migration.

“The eagles migrate because they need food, so we have that all here for them…We’re the perfect spot for them to come and migrate and winter here,” Seubert added.

On Feb. 1, Barr Lake will host “Eaglefest 2020,” an event that invites visitors to learn more about the birds. There will be interactive displays for children, and people of all ages are encouraged to walk to spots in the park to observe the birds.

“We get people that are beginning birders all the way up to people that are experts, but it’s really about getting outside, enjoying nature, and seeing these birds.”

Many photographers look forward to sharing their images online or even selling them.

“Hopefully they are good. I will find out when I get home,” Key said.