Eagle Fest, Emory
One of the most sought after native birds in Texas to see and photograph are the Bald Eagles! These amazing birds nest and raise their young here from fall to late spring, then migrate north to escape the hot summers, proving that these animals are intelligent as well as beautiful! While we’ve been lucky enough to encounter several eagles over the years, some by accident and some after hours of waiting, one of the most festive ways is the annual Eagle Fest in Emory!
Know Before You Go
If possible, purchase your tickets for bus and barge tours ahead of time, but there will still be room when you arrive.
Our bus tour took us around Lake Fork on a school bus, with several stops to look for eagles! One of the stops, along the bridge on 154, we saw an eagle nest on a little island, but not any birds. There have been many sightings here, and it’s one of the stops on the barge tour.
But the BEST part of the tour was a trip onto private land to see an Eagle nest! There are a pair of nesting eagles, and one of the two is always on the nest! This is the pair’s 4th year to nest here!
We stopped at Oakridge Marina for about 15 minutes, where we watched a man carve an eagle from a log with a chain saw for a few minutes. We also saw some of the white pelicans that are visiting the lake for winter. Oakridge Marina has a restaurant, RV sites and a small motel. Click HERE to visit their website.
We stopped along the road, just past the dam to take a look around. There were more white pelicans feeding here, see those little specks.
Lake Fork Creek is the primary water source for Lake Fork, and it continues to flow south of the dam. There have been several eagle sightings in this area, and they said there is an eagle nest just down a little ways.
There are also tours to Lake Tawakoni.
There are several entertaining shows held during Eaglefest, including the Blackland Prairie Raptor Show, click HERE to visit their website and see their current upcoming events, and the Last Chance Forever Birds of Prey Show, click HERE to visit their website.
The interactive dance was enjoyed by everyone, and many of the kids got up and participated! “The Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli Aztec dance company is a family of dancers plus relatives in the Dallas area who present full scale performances as well as workshops and school presentations. With authentic and stunning regalia, they dance with ceremonial dedication to this traditional art form, and deliver a stunning and energetic performance. Working with youth and children, the group engages these audiences by bringing them into the dance circle and helping them to learn danza steps. Professional and family friendly.”. Click HERE to visit the Indigenous Cultures Institute website for more information and their calendar of events.
Arts and Crafts
My son really enjoyed the arts and crafts offered during the festival, such as making his own eagle mask and making a clay sculpture by adding clay to a wire mold of different animals.
There were also many vendors there.
Annual Art Contest
There is also an annual art and photography contest.
Want to see more eagles?
Click HERE for a complete list of some of the best places to find eagles in Texas!
Each January, Texas Parks and Wildlife conducts eagle counts on several of the major nesting areas around the state, and are always in need of volunteers to count eagles and check on various known nesting sites. For more information, click HERE to contact Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Things To Do in (and near) Emory
Head out on Lake Fork with a boat rental from Ricky’s Lake Fork Boat Rental! Click HERE to visit their website.
Lake Fork Kayak & Canoes makes getting to those special fishing spots easy! Click HERE to visit their website.
Take a guided fishing trip on Lake Fork with Andrew Grills. Click HERE to visit his website.
The Governor Jim Hogg Park in Quitman offers visitors a tour into the Hogg home, as well as a 1/2 mile nature trail. Click HERE to read more.
Grab a burger at the Big Mouth Burger Company in Emory! The quirky interior makes for a fun meal, and be sure to save room for a fresh fried pie! Click HERE to visit their website.
Wind Point Park on Lake Tawakoni has cabins, RV sites and tent camping. Click HERE to visit their website.
Peninsula Ranch on Lake Tawakoni offers a lodge, chuckwagon tours, exotic animals and more! Click HERE to visit their website.
Click HERE to visit their website.
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