On 20 June, 1782, US Continental Congress
adopted the bald eagle as our official national symbol.
Bald eagles are not actually bald; the name
derives from an older meaning of the word, "white headed". The
adult is mainly brown with a white head and tail. The sexes are
identical in plumage, but females are about 25 percent larger
than males. The beak is large and hooked. It takes four, five or
six years to reach this plumage, and the head is dingy white,
sometimes with a dark eye-line for immature eagle.
Bald eagles are renowned for their
excellent eyesight. They have two foveae or centers of focus,
that allow the birds to see both forward and to the side at the
same time. Bald eagles are capable of seeing fish in the water
from several hundred feet above, while soaring, gliding or in
flapping flight. This is quite an extraordinary feat, since most
fish are counter-shaded, meaning they are darker on top and thus
harder to see from above.
In Illinois, you can watch and photography
bald eagle in these pleases:
US Army Corps of Engineers Lock &
Dam 13, Lock Road, Fulton, IL
Mississippi River Visitor Center,
328 Rodman Ave. Rock Island , IL
Lock & Dam 14, Bettendorf, IA
Crab Orchard National Wildlife
Refuge, , 8588 IL-148, Marion, IL 62959
We may find bald eagle in 601 S State St,
Elgin, IL 60123. Quoted:
"I parked at the Elgin Continental Little
League lot behind the DMV on (Route) 31 just south of (Route)
20," Sheely said. "We walked along the shoreline south, roughly
no more than a quarter of a mile, to try and get a little closer
to the bigger numbers. Every time I tried to count them, a few
more would fly in from around the bend. But from where I was
standing just south of a boat ramp, I counted 60 just along the
eastern shoreline between the Route 20 bridge and probably about
a quarter of a mile south of that."
Brook McDonald, president and CEO for the
Conservation Foundation, calls himself both a birder and kayaker
and said as he travels down the south Fox River, he "never fails
to see bald eagles."
Other places to watch bald eagle in USA
1. KLAMATH BASIN, on the California-Oregon
2. UPPER SKAGIT RIVER WATERSHED in
3. UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER is jam-packed
with bald eagles in winter, and some of the best views are
available below the locks and dams. Visit Nelson Dewey State
Park in Cassville, Wisconsin, in December through February.
4. MISSOURI'S SQUAW CREEK NATIONAL WILDLIFE
REFUGE is festooned with bald eagles in November and December,
when the waterfowl population peaks.
5. WOLF LODGE BAY within Lake Coeur d’Alene
in Idaho is frequented by dozens of migratory bald eagles when
the kokanee salmon start to spawn.
6. QUABBIN RESERVOIR in Massachusetts is
one of the Northeast’s best-known winter eagle lookouts.
7. KARL E. MUNDT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
in South Dakota hosts anywhere from 50 to 200 bald eagles in
8. NEW YORK'S HUDSON RIVER AND SULLIVAN
COUNTY provide abundant opportunities to see congregations of
wintering bald eagles less than a two-hour drive from midtown
9. BLACKWATER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE in
Maryland is a place to see abundant eagles not only in winter,
but also throughout the rest of the year.
10. OKLAHOMA’S RIVER AND RESERVOIRS host
large numbers of bald eagles each winter.
11. Sequoyah State Park. Sequoyah State
Park, located on the shores of Fort Gibson Lake in northeastern
Oklahoma, is a fantastic location to spot the area’s bald eagles
12. Kaw Lake in northern Oklahoma is home
to one of the state’s largest populations of bald eagles.
13. Keystone Lake & Keystone State Park. A
favorite fishing area for migrating bald eagles, Keystone Lake
consistently attracts eagles each winter to its eastern shores.
Located on the Arkansas River about 23 miles west of
downtown Tulsa, Keystone Lake and Keystone State Park offer
numerous opportunities to see eagles as they dive for fish
around Keystone Dam or as they soar above the park’s lakeside,
wooded hiking trails.
14. Lake Thunderbird State Park, situated
within the bald eagle migration corridor in Norman, hosts
roosting eagles between the months of December and February.
15. The Chickasaw National Recreation Area,
a picturesque oasis of outdoor splendor in southern Oklahoma,
plays host to a remarkable number of bird species, including the
wintering bald eagle.
16. Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.
Northwestern Oklahoma’s 32,000-acre Salt Plains National
Wildlife Refuge includes 10,000 acres of salt flats, as well as
wetlands, prairies, woodlands and Great Salt Plains Lake.
17. Arcadia Lake located in central
Oklahoma between the cities of Edmond and Arcadia, Arcadia Lake
offers 26 miles of shoreline that attract bald eagles with
plentiful trees and woodland areas, as well as excellent fishing
beneath the lake’s still waters.
18. Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve
located in the panhandle of northwest Oklahoma, Black Mesa State
Park & Nature Preserve offers a glimpse of the golden eagle.
19. Quartz Mountain Nature Park.
20. Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge,
Union City, Tennessee
Before You Go: Eagle Etiquette
When you head out to see eagles, keep in
mind that human presence can stress the birds and cause them to
waste precious energy that they need to survive. To avoid being
disruptive, follow these basic tips:
• Stay in or near your vehicle at roadside
• Move quickly and quietly to observation
blinds, where you will be safely hidden from the birds’ view
• Avoid making loud noises, such as
yelling, slamming car doors and honking horns
• Use binoculars or a spotting scope to
view the birds from a comfortable distance
• Never attempt to make an eagle fly
Eagle Viewing Tips
The best time to observe eagles is around
sunrise or sunset.
Wear warm, neutral-colored clothing and
Winters in Oklahoma can be cold and windy, so bring along
a warm coat, gloves, hat and scarf.
Bring binoculars, a camera (preferably with
a zoom lens), and a field guide to help you identify eagles and
other bird species you may find along the way.
For some of the eagle-viewing events, a
portable camp chair or lawn chair is recommended.