We stopped at a Petit Jean State Park overlook on our way back from Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge. It’s gorgeous even during the height of winter.
Petit Jean, established in 1923, is the first state park in Arkansas. It covers 2,658 acres on Petit Jean Mountain between the Oark and Ouachita Mountain ranges in west-central Arkansas. It includes woods, ravines, streams, springs, amazing views and neat geological formations.
January is Eagle Awareness Month in Arkansas. To celebrate, I attended the Eagle Awareness Weekend at Petit Jean State Park. Bald Eagle numbers in the lower 48 states have now increased from 417 nesting pairs in 1967 to more than 10,000 nesting pairs in recent years. However, this still hasn’t helped me reach my goal of seeing an adult Bald Eagle.
The Bald Eagle gained federal protection in 1940 and its population was severely threatened by the widespread use of the pesticide DDT after World War II. DDT caused Bald eagles to lay eggs with weakened shells.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service changed the Bald Eagle’s status from endangered to threatened in 1995. In 2007, the Bald Eagle was taken off the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.
I previously worked as a news and sports photographer. Recently I have been enjoying wildlife photography. My approach toward bird photos is similar to sports photography. I attempt to capture mostly action and hopefully a unique perspective.