With nesting Bald Eagles making the news all over the country, you can be sure that this group in Essex, Connecticut wants everyone to know that there are eagles right here in our backyard. Connecticut River Expeditions of Haddam is ready to cruise on the lower Connecticut River this February and March for the 14th year of Winter Wildlife Eagle Boat Cruises. This year they have teamed up with the Connecticut River Museum and will be departing from the Museum’s dock in Essex. With this partnership, passengers not only get to enjoy the river and it’s wildlife from the water, but also the entire Museum including their special “Eagles of Essex” exhibit.
Cruises are held through March 19th. Departures on Fridays are at 10:00 m and 12:30 pm.
Departures on Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 am, 11:30 am and 2:00 pm. Cost is $40 per person.
Winter Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10AM to 5PM
As the river, lakes and ponds to our north freeze, eagles and other wildlife make their way to the lower CT River for their favorite food – FISH. Eagles have made a huge comeback over the past few decades and depending on the year, more eagles than ever are being sighted in this area. On past cruises, we have spotted up to 41 Bald Eagles, three types of grebe and swan and merganser, golden eagle, many different gull and hawk species, loons, coyote, fox, deer feeding from the deer feeders we installed in the area, three types of seal, and even a bobcat.
“Winter is such a special time on the river, it is serene and scenic and there is a sense of tranquility. With no leaves on the trees, the river’s edge offers a much different view, making it easier to find and see our winter wildlife. On this cruise we will search for the majestic Bald Eagle and other winter species.” said Mindy, Captain Mark’s wife, crew and co-owner of RiverQuest. “Each cruise is different and you never know what we will find!”
RiverQuest has a heated cabin, but it is suggested that you dress in warm layers since the best views will be from the open decks. Don’t forget your camera and recommended field glasses! No binoculars? No worries, there are plenty on board for you to borrow during the cruise!
“We are excited to be working with the Connecticut River Museum. We feel that our mutual interest in the river is a perfect match.” Captain Mark of the quiet, friendly eco-tour vessel says. “RiverQuest is already docked in Essex at the Museum and we are ready to go. We are hopeful that relocating RiverQuest from her home berth in Haddam further south this winter will increase our chances of running every trip.”
“There are few places as breathtaking or as tranquil as the Connecticut River in winter. We look forward to working with RiverQuest and sharing this experience with visitors.” quoted Chris Dobbs, Executive Director of the Connecticut River Museum.
In the Museum you can brush up on your Bald Eagle facts and field identification. With life size comparisons of local raptors you will get a close up idea of how large these birds really are. You can also try your nest building skills and enjoy all the other exhibits the Connecticut River Museum has to offer. Additional eagle related public programs will be offered at the Museum during the Winter Wildlife Cruise season.