Hundreds were taking advantage of the winter weather on Sunday, getting in some outdoor physical fitness, in a scenic way.
Although it’s only eight degrees here at Starved Rock Lodge, people came out for a number of reasons. Whether it be eagle watching, hiking, or just to come here for a weekend getaway. Some were here just to have fun.
“We saw the waterfall, ‘yeah, a gigantic waterfall!’ Icicles, a lot of snow. And we were eating snow,” said the Nervis siblings who were on vacation with their family.
Others came to learn about the beautiful birds that are often seen at Starved Rock, and are also popular around the United States and Canada.
“This is Big Mac, it’s my partner in crime. One of my hunting partners. It’s a redtail hawk, large female redtail hawk, VERY large female redtail hawk,” said hawk expert Richard Escutia.
Escutia was at the park to teach about history of falconry, as one of the state park’s main attractions is to see hawks and eagles in their natural habitats.
“I really talk about how the sport started, 4,000 years ago to put food on our table. It’s evolved into a sport now not so much to put food on our table but as kind of a hunting sport, and passing down of the history and etiquette of the sport,” said Escutia.