Celebrating its 21st year, Eagles & Agriculture kicked off Thursday bringing in more than 100 people, mostly locals, during the reception at the Douglas County Community and Senior Center.
“There are a lot more locals instead of the usual we get from all over like Sacramento, Reno and surrounding areas because many are watching the forecast and basing what they want to attend on that,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Alicia Main. “So, we have mostly locals, which is good. It’s good to have locals come and learn about the birds and environment that we live with.”
The reception is part of a four-day birding and agriculture event that teaches about the benefits agriculture provides to wildlife and the community while showcasing raptors common to the area.
The stars of the reception were Duracell, an American kestrel; Arthur, a Gyrfalcon; Olaf, a Siberian Eagle owl; and Louise, a Eurasian eagle owl.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the different birds of prey and it’s for my enjoyment too,” said Gardnerville resident and Duracell’s handler Cody Peterson.
Peterson said this is his first year participating in Eagles & Agriculture. He’s only been handling birds since acquiring a falconry license in March and getting Duracell in November.
“I’ve always been interested in falconry as a sport and a way of hunting,” he said. “It’s been an interesting experience.”
Father-son handlers Mark and Ryan Moglich have been regular presenters with Eagles & Agriculture, said Ryan.
“We’ve been doing it for a long time,” he said. “It’s great to be a part of the community and for people to see birds of prey up close and being able to educate them about the types of birds they’ll see this weekend.”
Gardnerville resident Lee Mercado learned a lot about Louise.
“I wanted to know how she is so soft, and I learned that they have to be healthy, eat the right kinds of food and that they only groom themselves when they are happy,” she said. “I thought that was interesting because she is beautiful, and you can tell that she is really happy.”
Mercado attended the reception with her daughter and granddaughter.
“I have always wanted to do it ever since I visited here once and saw a raptor perched on a fence,” she said. “It’s been amazing to learn all about the different birds in the area. We plan to come to Eagles and Ag again and hit different events each year.”
Reno resident Debbie Penrod is an amateur bird watcher and enjoys traveling into the area to experience the different birds.
“This is such a beautiful area we live in and it’s neat to see all the creatures that live here too,” she said. “I enjoy coming to Eagles and Ag because you get to be up close and learn a lot from their handlers.”
Penrod also brought her son and grandchildren to the reception.
“It’s been really cool,” said Katie Penrod. “I really like birds and being able to get close to them has been a neat experience.”
More events are scheduled through the weekend including the Eagle and Ranch Tour, Owl Prowl & Historic Barn Tour, photo workshops and the Raptor Highway and Byway Tour.
For more information and to register for an event visit https://www.carsonvalleynv.org/eagles-ag/