Bald Eagle Appreciation Days: The Migration of the Majestic Bald Eagles in Iowa & Illinois Along the Mississippi River by Sheri B Doyle
In 1984 the Iowa DNR created Bald Eagle Appreciation Days in order to bring awareness to the endangered bald eagles. As the species began to recover they started to come by the hundreds, and now thousands, to the Mississippi River in Illinois and Iowa every January.
The eagles seek out the spots where the locks and dams are located along the river. It is in these locations the river doesn’t freeze over, allowing the eagles to continue to feed. Last year I had the pleasure of taking my 93-year-old grandmother for her first trip to see the bald eagles.
To my surprise the river was covered in the beautiful birds perched on the ice. Their majestic stance was absolutely breathtaking against the intricate patterns in the ice. Bald eagles were perched in the trees lining the river, sometimes three of them per tree. Basking in the afternoon sun they sat still enough for me to photograph them at my leisure. Just the eagles sharing the grey winter sky.
Cities along the Mississippi in Illinois and Iowa have different events to celebrate the bald eagle migration. The events usually take place in January each year.
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