Rock Island District Header Image


Home > Missions > Recreation > Mississippi River Project > Education > Eagle Watching

Eagle Watching on the Mississippi River

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

Collapse All Expand All

  • Outdoor viewing: Lock & Dam 13, 8:30-2:30
  • Live Bird and Nature Programs: Clinton Community College, 9:00-2:00
  • Free bus service from college to the outdoor viewing area
  • For more information contact the Thomson Ranger office at 815-259-3628 or visit this website
  • Click Here for the Clinton Eagle Watch Event Poster    


    • Tours begin at 9:30am and 12:00pm and last approximately 90 minutes
    • Combination eagle watches and historical clock tower tours  
    • Reservations required. Group size is limited.
    • For more information or to make reservations call the Visitor Center: 309-794-5338

    • Outdoor viewing from 9:00 to 3:00 at Pearl City Station and Lock & Dam 16

    • Live Eagle programs at 9:30 & 11:00 at the Pearl City Station in Riverside Park

    • Environmental exhibits inside the Pearl City Station

    • For more information call the Muscatine Ranger office at 563-263-7913

    • Indoor programs and Environmental Fair at the River City Mall, Keokuk, Iowa from 9:00-4:00
    • Live Eagle Programs Saturday 10:00-3:00 and Sunday 11:00-3:00
    • Outdoor viewing along the River Front 8:30-4:30
    • For more information call the Keokuk Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-383-1219 or visit this website

    • Indoor exhibits and events from 9:00 - 5:00 both days at the Oakley Lindsay Civic Center
    • Outdoor viewing at Lock and Dam 21: All outdoor viewing prohibited this winter due to construction 
    • For more information call the Quincy Ranger office: 217-228-0890