Shiloh plans eagle program, hikes

Shiloh plans eagle program, hikes

Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 8:02 pm

Shiloh National Military Park will be hosting several events in March, according to superintendent Woody Harrell.
Among them will be a bald eagle interpretive program and in-depth guided hikes.
“The public will have an opportunity to observe Shiloh Battlefield’s two most popular wildlife residents,” Harrell said. “We are fortunate to have this nesting pair of bald eagles return to the park for a fourth consecutive year to raise their young.”
Named after Gen. Ulysses Grant and his wife by park staff, Hiram and Julia have made Shiloh Battlefield their home since the fall of 2007.
“Their nest site is easily accessible to the visiting public, offering perhaps one the finest eagle viewing and photographic opportunities in the southeastern United States,” Harrell said, adding this year’s clutch of two eggs should hatch soon.
The bald eagle interpretive program, scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m., will be presented by park resource management specialist Marcus Johnson.
“This program is designed to be a short introduction to Shiloh’s nesting pair of bald eagles, offering insight on their history at the park and discussing the present stage of their eaglets’ development,” Johnson said. “It is also designed to be an informal question and answer session for those who may not know much about the natural history and behavior of bald eagles.”
The presentation will be conducted near the nest tree in historic Cloud Field and should last about one hour. Those wishing to participate in the eagle program should dress appropriately for weather conditions and wear footwear suitable for a short walk. Severe weather conditions will cancel this activity. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars and cameras and arrive at Cloud Field at least five to 10 minutes prior to the start of the program.
The park will be offering in-depth guided hikes in commemoration of the 149th anniversary of the battle on April 6, 7 and 8 — the actual dates of the battle.
“We are excited to be able to offer visitors to the park the opportunity to participate in detailed battlefield hikes on the actual ground where the events occurred and at the actual times of day they occurred 149 years after the fact,” Harrell said.
Park rangers and volunteers will lead various hikes throughout the three day period. Those participating in more than one hike are encouraged to have food and water available and to wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
Those wishing to participate in either program will need to purchase the park entrance permit at the Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center. Admission to the park is $3 per person or $5 per family, with children 15 years of age and younger admitted free. The entrance fee is valid for seven days.
To sign up to attend one of the eagle programs, contact the Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center, open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (731) 689-5696, or e-mail Marcus Johnson at Marcus_Johnson@nps.gov.
For a complete list of hikes being offered, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/shil or call the visitor center.
Participation in the historical hikes is by registration only. To participate in one or more of the hikes, contact the park visitor center.

Published in The Messenger 3.16.11

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