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2016 Eagle Watching

Every year tens of thousands of people flock to the Mississippi River to take part in Bald Eagle Watches. They have come to catch a glimpse, perhaps for the first time, of our national symbol.

Up to 2,500 bald eagles winter along the Mississippi near the lock and dams. Turbulence created below the dams provide open water and a smorgasbord of stunned fish for eagles to feast upon. In addition, the wooded bluffs that overlook the Mississippi are excellent habitat for roosting and an increasing number of cases nesting.

Bald Eagle Watches occur throughout January and February, but eagles can be seen from mid December through early March. It all depends on the weather. As warm weather arrives, most eagles will begin their journey back north to northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Canada to prepare for the nesting season.

2016 Eagle Watching Events

All About Eagles Program

Saturday, January 30, 2016: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday, January 31, 2016: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Apple Shed, Clarksville, MO 63336

Did you know that Ben Franklin wanted the turkey as our national symbol instead of the Bald Eagle? Get an up close and personal view of a Bald Eagle and learn the reasons it was chosen instead of the turkey.

All events at Clarksville Eagle Days are free. The annual celebration of winter wildlife watching is hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the City of Clarksville.

Clarksville is located south of Louisiana, Mo., on Missouri Highway 79.

The Kaskaskia Eagle Fest will be held Saturday, March 5, 2016 from 9am – 3pm at the Jerry F. Costello Lock & Dam in Modoc, IL. (4800 Lock and Dam Road)

Join us for eagle-watching with spotting scopes and meet some of our feathered friends from the World Bird Sanctuary at 10, 11, and 1. Also be sure to catch the Physic of Flight presentation given by the Natural History Education Co. of the MidSouth at 12 and 2. Tours of Lock and Dam will be available and short interpretive walks will be given both upstream and downstream from the Lock and Dam. Viewing of a nearby eagle-nest with a mated pair of eagles will be available throughout the day from 9 am - 3pm. Lunch from a local eatery will be available for a suggested donation of $5/person to cover lunch expenses. This event is free to all -- families and leash-trained dogs welcome for the hike.

Thanks to our partners for this event: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Randolph County Economic Development, Lower Kaskaskia Stakeholders, Inc., Randolph County, Chester Tourism, North County Savings Bank, Evansville Booster Club, Horse Prairie Mutual/FarMutual, CLIFFTOP, Kaskaskia Valley Audubon Society and Kaskaskia River Port District.

For more information and directions contact the Kaskaskia River Project Office at (618) 284-7160 or e-mail us at KaskyL&D@usace.army.mil.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Carlyle Lake in partnership with the Case-Halstead Library in Carlyle, IL will be hosting an Eagle Watch on Saturday, February 13, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 1p.m at the library. At 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., the World Bird Sanctuary will present “All About Eagles” and will bring a live bald eagle to demonstrate the majestic flight and nature of this beautiful bird. Everyone attending the event will have the opportunity to listen to a story about bald eagles, make crafts, and observe replicas of a bald eagle skull, egg, talons and feathers to get a better understanding of the bird. Participants can also pick up a map at the library during the event and drive to various viewing locations at the lake. Park Rangers will be at these locations with spotting scopes to assist and answer questions. Everyone is encouraged to bring binoculars and dress accordingly for the weather.

For additional information on this presentation or on bald eagles please contact the Carlyle Lake Project Office at (618) 594-2484 or email at carlylelake@usace.army.mil.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's Lake Shelbyville & the Illinois Raptor Center are hosting Bald Eagle Day, Saturday, February 13, 2016.

Visitor Center hours for the event are from 9:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. During that time, visitors will have many opportunities to experience a bald eagle up close and learn interesting facts about birds of prey. A 30-minute bald eagle program for kids is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., and at 11:00 a.m., there will be a 1-hour “talk & gawk” session where the live eagle will be on display for photographs and visitors can ask the Illinois Raptor Center staff any questions they may have. At 12:30 p.m., there will be a 1-hour live birds of prey program that will feature appearances from many different North American birds of prey.

This event is offered FREE of charge, however seating is limited. Anyone interested in either the eagle program for kids or the birds of prey show, please contact the Lake Shelbyville Project Office to reserve your free tickets by phone at (217) 774-3951 X 2 or in person at the Lake Shelbyville Project Office. The Project Office is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Masters of the Sky event at the National Great Rivers Museum in Alton, Ill. The two-day eagle extravaganza will be held February 13 and 14, 2016. Each year, this event promises to amazing and entertain audiences of all ages.

The weekend will feature six opportunities to see the Masters of the Sky show featuring live birds from the World Bird Sanctuary. These one-hour long spectacles highlight birds of prey and offer an opportunity to view eagles, owls, falcons, vultures, and hawks. The program will describe the challenges and obstacles these majestic creatures face on their annual migrations. While these rehabilitated birds may no longer soar in the wild, they provide an unforgettable opportunity to educate us about their role in the Mississippi River ecosystem. Spectators can look forward to specially trained birds that fly before their eyes! Shows are available at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on both Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14.

The museum will be full of crafts and activities for the kids, opportunities for photos with “Eric the Eagle”, and more. Visitors will also enjoy free tours of Melvin Price Locks and Dam for a chance to see wild eagles from a bird’s eye view!

While admission to the museum activities is free of charge, tickets for the Masters of the Sky show are $5 for adults, $3 for children 4-12 years of age, and free for children 3 and under who can sit on a parent or guardian lap. Seating is limited to 250 people per show. Shows are conducted in a heated tent just outside the museum doors. Tickets may be purchased by visiting the National Great Rivers Museum, by calling 618-462-6979, or online at www.mtrf.org.

This program is made possible by the Meeting of the Rivers Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the importance of Great Rivers. The National Great Rivers Museum is located off River Heritage Parkway (IL Hwy 143) at #2 Lock & Dam Way, Alton, IL 62024, adjacent to Melvin Price Locks & Dam. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has free admission and tours of the locks and dam. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GreatRivers.

Eagle Watch Sundays! January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 and February 7, 2016 from 10 am – 2pm. We guarantee you'll see one eagle, up close and personal, during the eagle meet and greet with eagles from the World Bird Sanctuary. Learn about eagle watching - how to spot eagles, where to look and what brings the eagles here each winter.

Admission is free to all events! For questions or to schedule a group, please call 636-899-0090.

Afterwards, cross the river and enjoy a warm beverage and good eats in the riverfront town of Alton, IL.

Raptor Saturdays: January 9, 16, 23, 30 and February 6, 2016 from 10am – 2pm. See a raptor, up close and personal! Treehouse Wildlife Center will be at the Center with a rehabilitated raptor. It could be an owl, hawk or falcon - stop by the Center to see who shows up!

Admission is free to all events! For questions or to schedule a group, please call 636-899-0090. 

Afterwards, cross the river and enjoy a warm beverage and good eats in the riverfront town of Alton, IL.