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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.

2014 Eagle Watching Events

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  • Outdoor viewing at Lock and Dam 11 from 9:00–4:00
  • Live Eagle & Bird of Prey Programs by the University of Minnesota Raptor Center at 9:30, 12:15 & 3:00
  • Pella Wildlife Co. will present on the differences between coyotes and wolves at 11:00 & 1:45
  • Indoor Exhibits from 9:00 - 4:30 at the Grand River Center - Port of Dubuque
  • Trolley rides from Grand River Center to the National Mississippi River Museum and the outdoor viewing area 10:00 - 3:00
  • For more information call the Dubuque Ranger office at 563-582-0881 or visit this website


  • Combination eagle watches and historical clock tower tours
  • Saturday and Sunday times are: 9:00-10:30 and 12:30-2:00
  • 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, Lock & Dam 16, and Muscatine Boat Club

  • 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
  • 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: 8:00 - 3:00 each day
  • For more information call the Quincy Ranger office: 217-228-0890