Iowa’s midwinter bald eagle surveys indicate high numbers of eagles in areas of open water where gizzard shad are plentiful, but the Mississippi River has the greatest concentration.
The Mississippi from Fort Madison to Keokuk reported as many as 2,300 eagles. During Keokuk’s Annual Bald Eagle Appreciation Days, upwards of 900 eagles were in the area, many perched on the giant cottonwoods and oaks along the bluffs.
Bald eagles will provide spectacular eagle viewing until the spring thaw. Bald eagle watch events are scheduled into mid-March.
2014 Bald Eagle Watch Events
*events with asterisk have a school day on Friday
Mississippi River Visitor Center, Arsenal Island, Rock Island, Ill.
Saturdays and Sundays, through Feb. 15, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Combination Eagle Watch and Historic Clock Tower Tours
- Reservations are recommended as group size is limited.
- For more information contact Visitor’s Center Staff at 309-794-5338
Coralville Bald Eagle Watch
- Outdoor viewing at Tailwater West Picnic Shelter downstream from the dam at Coralville Lake
- Indoor programs 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at North Central Junior High, 180 Forevergreen Road, North Liberty
- For more information call 319-338-3543 ext. 6308
Grays Lake Des Moines Bald Eagle Watch
Des Moines Parks and Rec will be hosting a Valentine’s Day Bald Eagle Watch at the eagle nest at Grays Lake on Fleur Drive in Des Moines on Feb. 14, and viewing with indoor live eagle at 6th St. on Feb. 15.
- Outdoor viewing and replica nest 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Grays Lake, Friday
- Outdoor viewing, replica nest, live eagle indoors 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 6th bridge, Saturday
- For more information call 515-283-4294
Effigy Mounds Bald Eagle Watch
- Outdoor viewing at Prairie du Chien Visitor’s Center on the River
- For more information call 563-873-3491
Saylorville Bald Eagle Watch
Feb. 23, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Outdoor viewing at selected sites around reservoir, start at Visitor’s Center
- For more information call 515-276-4656
O’Brien County Bald Eagle Watch
March 1, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Prairie Heritage Center, 4931 Yellow Ave., Peterson
There will be spotting scopes and binoculars available.
Ty Smedes will be presenting his book “The Return of Iowa’s Bald Eagle” at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
For more information call Charlene Elyea 712-295-7200
American Legion Building, 200 Main Street, Sioux Rapids
Registration from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
Speakers from 10 a.m. to Noon
Refreshments will be served in the morning. There will be a free will offering lunch at 12:15 p.m.
- Outdoor viewing at selected sites.
- Can pre-register by contacting Wonders of Nature
- For more information call: 712-296-4920 or 712-295-7200