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Eagle Watch returns this weekend in Sheffield Mills

SHEFFIELD MILLS, NS – The 24th annual Eagle Watch in Sheffield Mills, Nova Scotia got underway last weekend and continues again this weekend. They hold the event over two weekends, just in case they get bad weather and last Saturday wasn’t very nice, weather-wise.

At the Eagle Watch bald eagles soar through the sky at Sheffield Mills, a beautiful sight for just about anyone, but especially bird watchers and photographers from near and far.

Yves Goillot came all the way from Sherbrooke, Quebec.

“I came here because of the possibility to make great bald eagles photographs,” says Goillot, an award-winning photographer, who has been coming to the Sheffield Mills Eagle Watch for the past three years. He particularly enjoys shooting pictures of young bald eagles.

“When they are immature they have different colours,” says Goillot. “They are fascinating birds. Their symbolic side is also quite interesting.”

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Another professional photographer, David Elliott, lives nearby. He’s been coming to the event for ten years and never tires of seeing the bald eagles.

“They’re just majestic,” says Elliott, “how fast they travel, their smell, their eyesight, the soaring.”

A bald eagle was first spotted in the Annapolis Valley in the 1960’s by Cyril Coldwell. The eagle population swelled to about 400 and remains steady. It’s the largest population of eagles in one place in all of eastern North America, this side of the Rockies.

During this time of year, farmers in Sheffield Mills place chicken and other birds out to entice the bald eagles.

“Here they can come and literally roll down their window and stay in your car and look at them,” says Richard Hennigar, an Organizing Committee member of the Sheffield Mills Eagle Watch. He adds, “It’s a really unique, easy opportunity for people to view them. ”

The Eagle Watch attracts not only photographers, but bird watchers throughout Eastern North America.

“It’s good to have this as an anchor for other people to build some events around,” notes Hennigar. “It certainly brings some people to the area during the Winter.”

All you need are your binoculars and your camera. “Mid-morning when we suggest the best viewing is,” says Hennigar. “If you’re here around 9:00 o’clock, and have some patience.”

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Chicken farmers feed the birds around 9:30 A.M. and that’s why the birds gather in the area.

There’s also a pancake breakfast at the Sheffield Mills Community Hall where they’ve served close to 2-thousand annually for the event. There’s also musical entertainment in the hall. The event runs both Saturday and Sunday.

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