Eagle Watching
in Carroll County Illinois

Bald Eagles | Carroll County IllinoisEagle population rising...  From the US Army Corps of Engineers
"The Eagle count has more than doubled from 2006 to 2007".
Count of adults and immature is at 2,746 Enjoy a winter retreat at one of Carroll County’s many hotels and bed & breakfasts while viewing the splendor of the American Bald Eagle.

First Weekend in January
Annual Bald Eagle Watch

8am-4pm Eagle Watching at Lock and Dam 13 along the Great River Road. Educational Programs at Clinton Community College from 10am—2:30 pm
Savanna-Sabula Backwaters—The Miss. River backwaters between Savanna, IL, and Sabula, IA, are excellent spots to view eagles from your car or a quiet spot. Eagles are found in the tall island trees and often sit on the ice catching their favorite food in pockets of open water. Savanna is located on Hwy. 84 north of Thomson, IL, and Sabula, IA is located north of Clinton, IA on Hwy. 67 / 64. Mississippi Palisades State Park—The high bluffs of Miss. Palisades State Park, located one mile north of Savanna, IL, offer a great opportunity to view eagles soaring in the air on warmer winter days or sitting in island trees on colder days. Several overlooks exist within the park to give the visitor a panoramic view of the Miss. River Valley. Note: The overlooks are closed during bad weather. The park is located north of Savanna on Hwy 84.

Eagles in Carroll County Illinois Lock and Dam 13

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lock and Dam 13, located north of Fulton, IL, off IL Hwy. 84, is an excellent spot to view eagles. At the Lock and Dam, look at raceway behind the dam where the river waters remain open even in the icy winter months. Look over the river; check the tall trees where eagles often roost; check the ice, small islands and rocks for eagles also. Special care should be taken not to enter the Iowa shore of Lock and Dam 13 as human disturbance will frighten the birds off and they will lose badly needed energy – which they need to survive the winter. PLEASE NOTE: Due to security concerns, vehicle access to the Lock & Dam facility is restricted, but vehicle access via a newly constructed road, will take visitors to the Visitor Overlook. Walk in access is permitted. Limited parking is available.

Eagles along the Mississippi River in Northwest Illinois.

100’s of eagles make their nests along the river each year from November through February. Important Eagle Watching Tips

  • The best eagle viewing occurs when it is cold enough to freeze large stretches of river so that eagles must concentrate at specific feeding areas. Mild winters mean eagles are more widely dispersed and spotting them is that much more difficult.
  • For eagle watchers, the combination of guides, equipment, and an opportunity to view "up close and personal" the many wintering eagles along the Mississippi River has proven irresistible.
  • Watch, but do not disturb. Eagles spend about 98% of their time roosting or perching. Loud noises, movement, trying to approach too closely will cause the birds to fly away, thus wasting valuable energy needed just to hunt and survive.
  • Use spotting scopes and binoculars so you can stay a good 100-400 feet away from the birds. They are visible with the naked eye, but to really view their bright yellow beaks and piercing eyes, the truly beautiful white head and tail feathers, binoculars are best.
  • Stay in a parked car when viewing so that your movements don’t frighten them. Birds are most susceptible when roosting and roosting areas must not be disturbed at night.
  • If you find an injured or dead eagle, leave it where you found it and call your local DNR. Though no longer endangered, eagles are still listed as threatened, and it is against the law to kill them for any reason.

When planning your next Eagle Watching trip to Carroll County to view all the spectacular sites and wildlife,
be sure to check our Lodging section to find
relaxing accomodations for overnight or weekend stay.