Enjoy a day or weekend along the mighty Mississippi River from December through early March, and you will be amazed by the bald eagles that come to winter in the Quad Cities. There are a variety of bald eagle spotting sites that will give you the best vantage point to view these beautiful birds of prey.
Unfrozen water near locks & dams make the Mississippi River a prime location for bald eagle spotting. Be sure not to disturb the eagles by getting too close - they need to conserve their energy in cold weather.
The waters of the river remain unfrozen near the locks & dams; fish is plentiful, and trees on the riverbanks provide prime sites for perching and roosting. You don't need a reservation. Just be sure not to disturb the eagles by getting too close. They need to conserve their energy in the cold weather.

Here are the best viewing sites in the Quad Cities:
  • Lock & Dam 15, Schwiebert Riverfront Park, 17th St. & 1st Ave., Rock Island, Illinois
  • Sunset Marina, 10 31st Ave., Rock Island, Illinois
  • Lock & Dam 15, 101 W. 2nd St., Davenport, Iowa
  • Lock & Dam 14, 25549 182nd St., Pleasant Valley, Iowa
  • Illiniwek Forest Preserve, 836 State Ave., Hampton, Illinois
  • Hampton Heritage Center, 251 S. State Ave., Hampton, Illinois
Eagle Location Map

Eagle safaris: make your reservation now!

Get a guaranteed view with a bald eagle safari with local guide Bob Motz beginning in January and running through March. Bob's schedule fills up fast so make your reservation now. He provides spotting scopes that magnify the eagles 15 to 45 times their size. Cost is $20 per hour for one to four people. Two or three-hour safaris recommended. Call Bob at 309-269-3922 or email him at eaglemotz@aol.com to arrange a safari.

Bald eagle events

The Mississippi River Visitor Center on Arsenal Island offers four eagle watch tours in January and February. From the top of the historic clock tower, you will have a great vantage point to view eagles near Lock & Dam 15. The visitor center is also a great place to stop anytime to see the exhibits, and they have spotting scopes set up. Take a look at their live eagle cams!
Bald Eagle Days is an annual festival at the QCCA Expo Center. See live birds of prey demonstrations, eagle tours, educational entertainment and lots of information booths.
In January, the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island celebrates the arrival of the bald eagles with their annual Bald Eagle Days Environmental Fair and Wild Life Art Show. This year's event is January 5-7, 2018. The fair is open Fri. 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The fair features live birds of prey demonstrations, Quad Cities Audubon eagle tours, Jim Nesci's Cold Blooded Creatures show, hundreds of information booths, fun activities and more. Admission is $6 adults; $1 kids 6-15; Free for kids under 6.

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