{destination} Eagle Watching on the Upper Mississippi River

A late winter trip to the Upper Mississippi River Delta is a perfect time to spy Bald Eagles.  Up to 2,500 bald eagles winter along the Mississippi. When the river freezes over, many can be found along the dams where open water provides a smorgasbord of fish for the eagles to feast upon. In addition, the wooded bluffs that overlook the Mississippi (where the picture below was taken) are an excellent habitat for roosting and nesting. As warm weather arrives and the ice breaks up, the eagle migrations begin.  It is mesmerizing to watch the eagles fish in the open ice on the Mississippi; and, it is even more amazing how large and yet graceful these birds are.  Once on the endangered list, they have made a comeback and are thrilling to see in person and very difficult to photograph without a long zoom lens.

There are numerous state parks in Illinois along the Upper Mississippi and the Mississippi Palisades where you can see eagles and other migratory birds.

And who would have thought the frozen Mississippi could be so beautiful with ice that looks like Italian marble.

The wetlands and marshes are home to many birds in warmer months.  And while the bird migrations have not yet gotten into full force, there are already flocks of geese staking their claim, as wells as woodpeckers and cranes.  In a few weeks this entire area will be flooded with migrating birds ... truly a site to see.

Happy Weekend!

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