Watch bald eagles in their natural winter habitat here in Illinois

The fourth Saturday in January is designated at
Eagle Day in Illinois
Every winter, Illinois presents visitors with the opportunity to see more than 3,100 bald eagles in their natural habitat - more wintering American bald eagles, in fact, than in any other state outside Alaska. The first eagles of the season are spotted in Illinois in December and remain in residence until they migrate back north in March, with January and February the optimal time for visitors to see eagles.

To accommodate visitors who want to take advantage of the opportunity to experience the bald eagles' majesty and glory, towns and parks across much of the state will host specially planned eagle observation programs and exhibits throughout the prime-viewing season. For anyone interested in American history, bird-watching and the environment, bald eagle season in Illinois is a not-to-be-missed opportunity.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is pleased to highlight a number of eagle-watching locations and events planned for this winter:

Pere Marquette State Park Bald Eagle Days - Grafton, IL
January 17, 19, 20, 21, 23, 26, 27, 31; February 2, 6, 7, 9, 15, 21, 25; March 3

Bald Eagle Festival - Pere Marquette Lodge, Grafton
January 29 (11:00-3:00)
  • Festival will feature live music and entertainment by the World Bird Sanctuary as they showcase the Bald Eagle and several other raptor species in their Masters of the Sky Show at 11:00, 1:00 & 3:00.
  • $3 Tickets for the shows can be purchased on the web site in advance or at the Front Desk at 10:00 the morning of the Festival.
  • Unique vendor booths, grab a bite to eat in our restaurant, taste locally made wines.
  • The Bald Eagle Festival takes place indoors. Entry into the Festival is free, for more information visit

Mississippi River Visitor Center - Rock Island IL - Eagle Watch / Clock Tower Tours
January 14 & 28; February 4 & 11

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Eagle Watch, Marion, IL
January 21, 22, 28 & 29

Quincy Bald Eagle Watch – Lock and Dam 21, Quincy, IL
January 21-22

Carlyle Lake Eagle Watch
January 28 (9:00-1:00)
  • Case-Halstead Library
  • The World Bird Sanctuary will present a Bald Eagle demonstration at 10:00 & 12:00
  • Eagle viewing from Carlyle Lake Main Dam, bring binoculars & dress accordingly for the weather.
  • For more information;, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Carlyle Lake Project Office (618) 594-2484 or email

Bald Eagle Watch - Starved Rock State Park Lodge & Illinois Waterway Visitor Center - Utica, IL
January 28-29 (9:00-4:00)
  • Activities at the Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center, Starved Rock Lodge and Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock and Dam) with interpretive programs, spotting scopes, and family and children’s activities. Hosted by the Illinois Audubon Society, IDNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock Audubon and Starved Rock Foundation.
  • Children’s Activities
  • Live Illinois Birds of Prey 10:00, 1:00 & 3:00
  • Update: Osprey Recovery Project presentation; Sunday 1:00-2:00
  • Youth Owl Calling Contest; Saturday 4:30
  • Free Admission
  • Park & ride the trolley between Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock Visitor Center and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center - $1.00
  • For Event Information, call Illinois Audubon Society 217-544-2473
  • For more info

17th Annual Eagle Day Festival - Havana & Lewistown
February 4 (9:00-3:00)

Kaskaskia Eagle Fest, Jerry F. Costello Lock & Dam - Modoc, IL
February 4 (9:00-3:00)
  • Eagle watching with spotting scopes.
  • Meet feathered inhabitants of the World Bird Sanctuary 10:00, 11:00 & 1:00
  • Physic of Flight presentation given by the Natural History Education Co., of the MidSouth at 12:00 & 2:00
  • Event is free, lunch is available for a suggested donation of $5/person, to cover lunch expenses.
  • Families & leash-trained dogs welcome
  • For more information, contact the U.S, Army Corps of Engineers Kaskaskia River Project Office at 618-284-7160
  • For more info

Lake Shelbyville Eagle Day
February 11 (9:30-2:00)
  • Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center (off of Route 16 East of Main Dam) 9:30 - 2:00
  • Bald Eagle Program for Kids 10:00 - 10:30 (seating is limited)
  • Eagle Talk & Gawk (Q&A/pictures) 11:00 - 12:00
  • Birds of Prey Program 12:30 - 1:30 (seating is limited)
  • Tickets are first come, first served and can be reserved by phone or in person at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Shelbyville Project Office Monday - Friday from 8:00 - 4:30. Remaining tickets will be available the day of the event.
  • Free Admission
  • For more information call (217) 774-3951or

Family Eagle Watching Day/Open House at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge
February 11 (12:00-4:00)
  • Free Admission & open to the public
  • Live eagle presentation by TreeHouse Wildlife Center at 2:30
  • Junior Ranger nature hikes with refuge staff.
  • The bald eagle photography exhibit will highlight local professional and amateur photographers and will be on display at the refuge visitor center Feb. 10-17.
  • For more information about the refuge open house, call 618-883-2524 or email For More Information,

Masters of the Sky Eagle Events, National Great Rivers Museum - Alton, IL
February 18 & 19 (9:00-5:00)

Mississippi River Eagle Watching
January-February 2017

Friends of the Hennepin Canal ‘Hike the Canal’
February TBA
  • Family hike centers on eagle watching along the Hennepin Canal between Lock 30 and Lock 32 (4.6 mile hike). For more information Hikers will meet at the Steel Dam in Milan by 1:30 pm and will be shuttled to the Mississippi to begin the walk back. The event is free, dress weather appropriately.
Find the complete list here:

In addition to special events, bald eagles have been found wintering throughout Illinois at locations including the Illinois and Michigan Canal and Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in northeast Illinois; at locations all along the Illinois River; along open waters on the Du Page River and Fox River in northeast Illinois, including Moraine Hills State Park, McHenry; at Volo Bog State Natural Area, Ingleside; along the Des Plaines River near Channahon State Park, Channahon; near the I-88 bridge in North Aurora on the Fox River; on the Fox River at the Pleasant Valley Forest Preserve in Woodstock; and, along the Rock River at locations including Lowden State Park, Oregon, Illinois.