The Merrimack River Eagle Festival

Come celebrate the return of the Eagles to the Merrimack Estuary!

Come to Newburyport to celebrate the return of migrating eagles back to the Merrimack River Estuary! The Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats Education Center and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge have teamed up to bring an entire day of free events centered around the wonders of the Bald Eagles that have come to take seasonal advantage of the Merrimack River habitat. 

Come to the Eagle Festival for a full day of fun indoor and outdoor activities, and learn more about these magnificent birds and the habitat they share with us. Festival features include:

  • Eagle-spotting locations along the lower Merrimack with on-site interpreters
  • Bus tours guided by expert birders starting in downtown Newburyport
  • Live raptor demonstrations at Newburyport’s City Hall
  • Children’s nature activities and live bird demonstrations at Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters

Visit Eagle Hotspots 9am-4pm

  • Naturalists will show you Bald Eagles along the Merrimack River. See Map for locations. All ages welcome.

Go on an Eagle Tour 9am–1:30pm

  • Tours start every half hour and take 1.5 hours to complete. Departure point: The Newburyport Chamber of Commerce. Advance registration required (978-462-9998). Recommended for adults and children age 6 and over. $5/person

See a Raptor Demonstration 10-11am or 12:45-1:45pm

  • Tom Ricardi of the Massachusetts Bird of Prey Rehabilitation Facility presents two educational programs for all ages at Newburyport’s City Hall featuring raptors great and small. First come, first served.

Pose for a Photo with a Live Raptor 11-11:30am or Noon-12:30

  • Hunt’s Photo & Video will take your photo with a raptor for a $10 donation to the Eagle Festival. Newburyport City Hall. Limited availability. Advance registration recommended (978-462-9998). Otherwise, first come, first served.

Have Fun with Your Family! 10am– 3pm

  • At the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters
    • Make an eagle button or dissect an owl pellet! Special features: owls from Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm, from 11:00 to 3:00; also, Henry Lappen uses masks, comedy, and audience participation to present “A Passion for Birds,” 12:00 to 1:00. First come, first served.
  • At Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center
    • Make an eagle nest and play nature games! Special feature: hawks from Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm, from 11:00 to 3:00.


Saturday, February 17, 2018