Eagle Expo celebrates Bald Eagle in Louisiana _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- The return of the American Bald Eagle will be celebrated at this weekend's Eagle Expo and More in Morgan City.

This weekend’s Eagle Expo and More in Morgan City again celebrates the return of the American Bald Eagle to Louisiana.

The eagle was removed from the endangered species list in June 2007. Laws banning the use of harmful pesticides such as DDT and greater public awareness and education have increased the bald eagle population throughout Louisiana and the United States. Currently, there are 284 active nests in Louisiana with a large concentration in the St. Mary and Terrebonne Parish areas, according to the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau.

Visitors can take in seminars from wildlife and nature experts, boat tours to view eagles, a photography exhibit and meet fellow birders.

The Bureau’s Eagle Expo photography exhibit runs through Sunday at its new Welcome Center, 900 Dr. MLK Blvd. Viewing hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

A photography workshop, taught by wildlife photographer C.C. Lockwood, will run Friday. The workshop includes a seminar at 9 a.m. at the Welcome Center, with a field trip to Bayou Black beginning at noon. A boat tour on Bayou Black will focus on birding and marsh landscapes. The workshop requires separate registration and payment of $195. Contact C.C. Lockwood at cclockwood.com or call (225) 769-4766 to register. Space is limited.

Space is still available on tours to view eagles in their natural habitat. Those will take place Friday and Saturday. Featured waterways include the Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Black, Turtle Bayou and Bayou Long. Tours will be 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and 1 p.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday. Each featured boat tour offers something different to attendees.

Friday evening will feature a dinner and presentation, A Life Gone to the Birds, by Al Batt, at the Petroleum Club of Morgan City from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Al Batt of rural Hartland, Minnesota, is a writer, speaker, storyteller and humorist. Cost is $40. Contact info@cajuncoast.com or (985) 380-8224 to purchase tickets for the dinner and presentation.

Saturday will include a breakfast and a variety of speakers in the morning with boat tours in the afternoon.

For a complete event schedule, costs, registration forms and listings of hotel rates, call the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau at (985) 380-8224, visit cajuncoast.com/eagleexpo or email info@cajuncoast.com.