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Whittington, Melissa
Education Director

Nature Center Locker

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Hay Bale Gardening at the Nature Center

Eagle 2015



On May 14, 2015, a gentleman informed the Nature Center Staff that one of our Eagles caught a fish in the cove and was eating it on the bank of the lake across from the Nature Center.  Upon investigation we found him still enjoying his fish but a crow had joined him on the ground. The crow made enough noise that other crows showed up and the Eagle finished his fish and flew away. The crows enjoyed his leftovers. Hmmmm! So glad to see them around the nature center.


A mature bald eagle was sighted this morning around 10:00 am circling the nature trails. He was on a continuous climb high into the clouds.  The picture above is the closest we could zoom during his flight.


November 6, 2011 some of the parks RV visitors spotted three mature bald eagles around the RV cove.  On Monday, November 7, 2011 local birders spotted two adult eagles around a freshened-up nest, while walking their dogs on the nature trails.  We are very excited to know they have returned for another season.  The drought conditions have created problems for the animals that find their food and homes around our lake.  Come on rain! RAIN! RAIN! RAIN! RAIN!  


Some of our regular bird watchers, spotted the top of an eaglet's head in the nest in the last few weeks.  Spring is here for our favorite predatory birds "The Bald Eagle".  If you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of this magnificent bird soaring in the dusk and dawn hours of day.  Happy Watching!


The Eagles apprear to be adding onto the current nest, indicating the possibility of eggs very soon.  No one has documented sightings of the birds since December but the changed apprearance of the nest would indicate they are not far away.  If we spot them we will let you know.


Two lucky classes have seen one of the Bald Eagles ove the past week.  One was spotted on October 1, 2010 and the second sighting was on October 6, 2010.  Keep your eye to the sky in the evenings if you are on Cypress because I have had numerous reports that the eagles have been active at this time of day.  Happy Bird Watching.


I took several snapshots of the bald eagles on the lake this summer.  Even one when he was catching his dinner.  So glad to see them active.  Will continue to monitor since the water levels are dropping due to the draw down.



Our Cypress Lake resident Bald Eagles have been spotted on their nest since the beginning of the New Year.  Both adult eagles have been seen flying over the coves and open water looking for a meal to feast on.  This is great news because they have been very elusive over the last few months. The nature center staff will be posting when visitors catch a glimpse of the beautiful birds.  If you happen to see one or both on a visit to the park please let us know.


Last week two of my favorite non-poisonous snakes appeared by the back door of the nature center sending Ms. Jan running for identification help.  As soon as I spotted his mottled black body with a white belly, his rounded eyes, I knew he was a friendly sort.  The only problem with him was he wanted to come into the (air conditioned) animal lab and I wanted him to continue to guard the outside.  With some encouragement (my hiking stick) he moved back into the cool forest where I met another non-poisonous snake that was black with yellow speckles, commonly known as the speckled bellied Kingsnake.  I am always happy to see this snake and it was the second one I have seen this year.  The snakes are on the prowl this time of year due to the warm weather and little rain.  Just remember snakes are not all bad.


Environmental Science Students from Benton High School Utilize Trails for Study

Students in Kellie Harpers AP Environmental Science classes are being challenged to learn more about their environment this semester. These youth are stepping outside the classroom to explore their natural world and what is found there. Camilla Weber and Samantha Taylor will conduct an indepth study of the biotic components of a forest/wetland plot exploring plant and animal life that are found on the nature trails. They will also examine the environmental factors of these plots to determine what components have an impact on the area. The staff is looking forward to working with these students to help them become aware of the world around them with an excitement that they will walk away being better stewards to this earth.

Senior Projects can be extremely helpful to the Nature Center

The nature center has been very fortunate to have students partner with us to create a project that they learn from and the center benefits from. Stream side assessment and endangered species brochures have been a couple of the projects from Bossier Parish students to benefit the center. The latest project was the development of an Endangered Species brochure that is being adapted for print and will be available for visitors to our facility. Our thanks goes out to those students who impact our facility.

Bat Boxes are assembled at the Nature Center


Boy Scout, Stephen Bass from Troop 113, has been working on his Eagle Project for over a year.  This project was developed from an idea Stephen received after visiting with Cypress Nature Study Center Education Director, Melissa Whittington.  Stephen was very interested in constructing bat houses for the purpose of educating the public on the benefit of bats in natural areas.  The project involved making a plan for construction, then finding a way to fund the project, and presenting the idea to the Cypress Nature Study Center Director and the Norwela Council for approval.  After many months of planning, presenting, and preparing Stephen implemented his project on August 3-4, 2012 at Cypress Nature Study Center. His hard work will benefit the thousands of visitors to Cypress Nature Study Center for many years.  Check out Stephen’s hard work at Cypress Nature Study Center.