Bald Eagle Watch Weekend

Bald Eagle Watch Weekend

January 25 & 26, 2020

Starved Rock Lodge
Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
Starved Rock Visitor Center

Presented by
Illinois Audubon Society in partnership with
Illinois Raptor Center

Sponsored in part by Ameren Illinois


Bald Eagle Watch Weekend celebrates the American bald eagle in Illinois.  The two-day event offers many programs, activities and exhibits occurring simultaneously at three locations, the Starved Rock Lodge, Illinois Waterway Visitor and the Starved Rock Visitor Center. They are all within a short driving distance or take the trolley which conveniently connects all venus.  Hop-on and hop-off with a $2.00 All-Day armband available for purchase on the trolley.

2020 Lineup of Programs & Events

Tour Dayton Bluffs Preserve (SOLD OUT)

Sponsored by the Conservation Foundation
A tour and birding trip of The Conservation Foundation’s Dayton Bluffs Preserve led by President/CEO Brook McDonald.
January 25, 2020 from 9 – 11 a.m.

Programs at Starved Rock Lodge in the Great Hall West

Illinois Birds of Prey; including a live Bald Eagle Presented by Illinois Raptor Center
Saturday & Sunday at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. FREE.  (No admission fee for this show, however a ticket is required for entrance. Free tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 8 a.m. in Starved Rock Lodge, Great Hall West.)

Exhibitors at Starved Rock Lodge Great Hall West

Ameren Avian Protection Program
Certified Bird & Butterfly Sanctuary Program
Flying WILD
Illinois Beach State Park Hawkwatch
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Illinois River National Wildlife & Fish Refuges
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Millikin University
The Conservation Foundation
The Wetlands Initiative
Uof I Extension Master Naturalists (LaSalle County)


Programs & Events at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock & Dam)

Feathered Soldiers; Enemies & Allies presented by Tammy Hanley
Saturday & Sunday at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.  FREE. (No admission fee for this show, however a ticket is required for entrance. Free tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 a.m. in the Waterway Visitor Center for this presentation.)

Cameras in Conservation by Chris Young, Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Take great photos with the camera you have. Part of this session is presented outside, please dress accordingly.
Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.

Eagle Watching
Starved Rock Audubon Society members will be on hand to provide high powered scopes and answers to all your eagle questions.


Programs at Starved Rock Visitor Center

The Art & History of Falconry presented by Rich Escutia, Master Falconer
Learn about the history of falconry and how falconers today participate in this ancient sport. Rich will be accompanied by his amazing falconry birds.
Saturday at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m

Who’s Who? presented by Mark Spreyer, Executive Director, Stillman Nature Center
To some people, owls are symbols of wisdom but to others their hoots are harbingers of death and doom. Join award-winning naturalist Mark Spreyer as he reveals the truth about many of our North American owls and other raptors. Owls’ amazing hunting adaptations are explained. Special feathered guests illustrate just who’s who!
Sunday at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m

FREE. No admission fee or tickets required for either show.


Will You see Bald Eagles?

Yes. Usually and the numbers vary year to year and even day to day. Cold weather tends to concentrate the birds by the open water at the dam. When the weather is warmer, birds will hunt up and down the river and there will be fewer to view.

Bald Eagle Watch Visitor Hints

  • If you drive from one side of the river to the other (and back) you can expect to find parking becomes more difficult by mid-day. This means you should budget your time carefully if you are planning to attend various programs.
  • The trolley is a good transportation option. It runs continuously. But you may have to wait for the trolley and therefore you should leave plenty of time before you have to make it across the river and back.
  • Live bird exhibitions do NOT permit entry after the program has begun to insure safety of birds and people. Programs begin on time.
  • Children are welcome and encouraged, of course. Children under two may find the 1 hour live bird presentations too confining. You know your child best. Please be considerate of other attendee