Eagle Watching in Kentucky and Missouri

We have a healthy eagle population here in Wisconsin. If you’re in a state that offers eagle watching you should definitely go and experience it.

“Eagle Watch Weekends Coming to Kentucky State Parks”
FRANKFORT, Ky. – A unique Kentucky State Park tradition – Eagle Watch Weekends – will be offered once again in January and February 2015.

The park system will sponsor this wildlife-watching opportunity as bald eagles gather around the major lakes of western Kentucky looking for food. The park tours allow guests to observe and learn about these beautiful birds of prey.

For four decades, the Kentucky State Parks have offered Eagle Watch Weekends, a chance to view the eagles from land and water and learn about the national symbol and other wildlife.

The tours take place at three state resort parks during weekends in January and February, on an excursion yacht and by van. They are led by state park naturalists and Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources biologists.

New this year is a field trip cruise for students on Jan. 30 for $15 a person. Also new is a luncheon cruise on Jan. 31 for $65 a person. For reservations for the school and lunch cruises, which will leave from Kenlake State Resort Park, contact Lisa Deavers at 502-564-8110, ext. 246, or email lisa.deavers@ky.gov

Ticket prices for the weekend tours range from $25 to $50 a person. Most tours last from three to 3½ hours. The weekend tours include evening programs on Friday and Saturday.

The parks, phone numbers and dates for the 2015 Eagle Watch Weekends are:

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park (800-325-0146): Jan. 9-11. Yacht tours and van tours to the Ballard Wildlife Management Area.
Lake Barkley State Resort Park (800-325-1708): Jan. 23-25. Yacht tours and van tours to the Land Between the Lakes.
Kenlake State Resort Park (800-325-0143): Feb. 6-8. Yacht tours only.

Guests should bring warm clothes, rain gear and binoculars. These trips can take place under extreme weather conditions. The resorts offer lodges, cottages and restaurants. Registration is required for the Eagle Watch Weekends. Call the parks for registration, details and fee information or visit: www.parks.ky.gov

The Eagle Watch Weekends at Kentucky Dam Village, Lake Barkley and Kenlake will include an option to view eagles from the CQ Princess, a 96-foot yacht. Guests can view eagles from inside the CQ Princess or from outside decks.

Any group or organization interested in a special cruise on the CQ Princess should call Tammy Nanney at Kenlake State Resort Park at 1-800-325-0143.

The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 49 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges — more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our website at http://www.parks.ky.gov.


“Missouri Eagle Days Event at Old Chain of Rocks Bridge”

Visitors to Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge enjoy a live eagle program in a warming tent, courtesy of the World Bird Sanctuary. By: World Bird Sanctuary

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and its partners offer anyone eager to see eagles the chance to discover a close connection with our nation’s emblem bird. The Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 17 and 18.

Visitors can view eagles through spotting scopes staffed by trained volunteers at any time from the vantage point of the historic Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. On both days, the World Bird Sanctuary will be presenting an educational program, repeated every 20 minutes from 10 a.m. to 2:40 p.m., featuring a live eagle. Programming includes a hands-on exhibit of local birds presented by St. Louis Audubon, a full-size replica of an eagle’s nest, and warming tent activities, including children’s art courtesy of The Green Center on Saturday.

Guests will also enjoy Lewis and Clark living history demonstrations at both sides of the bridge. The Missouri Bridge entrance will feature re-enactors from the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Mo. Visitors can see how Lewis and Clark and their crew lived, cooked, and traveled more than 200 years ago. Demonstrations will also include a flag raising at 10 a.m. and lowering at 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The Illinois side will feature re-enactors from the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site in Hartford, Ill.

Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly, wear comfortable shoes (eagle viewing occurs at the center of the Bridge, a half-mile walk from each Bridge entrance), and leave their pets at home. Hot food and drink will be available onsite for purchase.

Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge is produced through a partnership of MDC and Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and is sponsored by Great Rivers Greenway.

During the winter, the Mississippi River hosts one of North America’s largest concentrations of bald eagles; they are drawn to areas of open water in search of fish, their preferred food. The Chain of Rocks rapids to the south of the Bridge create open waters which are ideal fishing waters for eagles. This is a unique opportunity to watch them fish, ride ice floes, soar overhead and roost in nearby trees while having access to an educational program featuring a live eagle and warming tent activities.

Directions to the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge from St. Louis: Take I-270 east toward Illinois. Exit at Riverview Drive exit and turn right. Turn left into the entrance of the Confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Park/Missouri Bridge. Parking at the Missouri Bridge entrance costs $5. (See below for free parking information.)

From Illinois: Take I-270 west towards Missouri. Exit at IL Route 3, go south to Chain of Rocks Road and follow west to the bridge entrance parking area (free). OR to park on the Missouri side, continue on I-270 west, over the Mississippi River; exit at Riverview Drive and turn left. Turn left into the entrance of the Confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Park/Missouri Bridge. Parking at the Missouri Bridge entrance costs $5.

Free parking is available at two satellite lots in Missouri, the St. Louis Welcome Center at Riverview and I-270 and North Riverfront Park, off of Riverview south of the waterworks. A free shuttle will be available from both locations. Free parking is also available at the Illinois Bridge entrance.

For eagle lovers wanting to see still more, MDC also sponsors another free Eagle Days event the following weekend at Clarksville Lock and Dam Number 24. It takes place Saturday, Jan.24 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 25 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Clarksville is an exceptional location for eagle viewing. Visitors can see bald eagles through spotting scopes and at live eagle programs, along with many other educational activities. For more information on the Clarksville Eagle Days event, call 660-785-2420.

To learn more about bald eagle viewing opportunities throughout Missouri, go to http://mdc.mo.gov/events/eagledays.

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