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.

2021 Eagle Watching Events

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  • For more information call the Dubuque Ranger office at 563-582-0881

  • For more information contact the Thomson Ranger office at 815-259-3628


  • For more information  call the Mississippi River Visitor Center: 309-794-5338

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