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Bald Eagles at Starved Rock


Mark K
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I took my son to Starved Rock today to see the Eagles. It was incredible. There were at least 6 (probably more) mature adults adults and a quite a few young ones.

They were extremely active, diving for fish, fighting etc. I usually make a trip out once a year. This was the best I've ever seen them. It was as if they were showing off for the crowd. We had a great time. The local firehouse was selling chili and hot dogs and they had lots of kid activities too. This is a great place to bring the little ones.

Across from the park is a viewing center, here is a link for more info:

http://www.illinoisraptorcenter.org/index.html

You get a close up look at the lock and dam and the tug boats that push barges, which really struck my son's interest.

There are also bird watchers that have really spiffy telescopes and spotting scopes set up and they are pretty cool about letting anyone there take a peek, especially kids.

The eagles will be there for a little while yet. It's worth the drive. I typically hike into the interior of the park, but is was mighty freakin' frigid today. There was also a fairly big crowd, especially at the viewing center. Still worth it though.

 

On sobering note, I passed by the spot in Utica where all the people got killed when the tornado hit that bar in '04. There is a line of white crosses and a commerative plaque. What a sad thing to happen to a great little town.

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It is a great place to go to view our Bald Eagles. When I was in Illinois I made the trip out to Keukuk, Ia. for the Bald Eagle Days they had in the middle of January every year. It was a weekend celebration and they would open the Dam area so you could walk out and watch the Eagles fish below the power plant discharge. The first time I went it was extemely cold and that had the Eagles gathered in huge numbers at this open water site. I have pictures where they are gathered like crows in the trees accross the River in Illinois and many close up shots of them in the trees along the Iowa side. I would then drive up along the Great River Road to Savanna, Il. to view some more before heading home on Interstate 80. It is a great trip especially when we have very cold weather as that gathers them closer to the open waters below the dam.

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