Bald eagles are found throughout North America, and the Northern Mississippi Valley is a great winter viewing spot. Up to 5,000 bald eagles winter on the Mississippi River between Cairo, IL and St. Paul, MN. Bald eagles prefer habitats near open water where there is an abundance of fish, as well as old-growth forest and mature trees for perching, roosting and nesting.
Viewer Tip: Bald eagle watches occur along the Mississippi throughout January and February, and eagles can be seen into early March. Watches occur at the Mississippi River Visitor's Center in Rock Island, IL on weekends through mid-February and watches take place on Saturday, January 28 in Quincy, IL and Muscatine, IA. When viewing eagles, it is important to stay in your car unless you're visiting a manned eagle observation deck. A car acts as an excellent blind, whereas walking around or toward a perched eagle will chase it off its roost.
Learn more about eagle watches here.
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This information is provided by Living Lands and Waters. Learn more at www.livinglandsandwaters.org.
(Sources: Bald Eagle Viewing Directory; Mississippi River Project; Image courtesy of the USGS.)