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Annual Eagle Watch event is canceled due to coronavirus

Times Observer file photo The 2021 Eagle Watch, a tradition since the 1990s, has been canceled due to COVID-19 this year.

In the middle of winter each year, when the waters of the Allegheny River and Reservoir tend to be largely frozen, hundreds of visitors gather at locations around Kinzua Dam to get a look at eagles.

Lining dozens or hundreds of people up shoulder-to-shoulder is a no-no this year. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Resource Manager Doug Helman said the 2021 Eagle Watch has been canceled due to COVID-19.

The Eagle Watch has been a tradition since the 1990s.

Sometimes, 500 people have braved freezing temperatures to watch bald eagles, golden eagles, osprey, and other creatures.

As more waterways freeze, the tailwaters become one of the few areas these birds, that feed extensively on fish, can find a meal.

In years past, visitors have spent time at the Visitor Center for eagle programming and congregated at the Riverside Watchable Wildlife Trail and Viewing Platform and on top of the dam to watch with experts there to help, guide, and explain.

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