FULTON – As many as 2,500 bald eagles spend winter along the Upper Mississippi River in a range that stretches from St. Paul, Minnesota, to St. Louis.
But Lock and Dam 13 in Fulton just might be one of the best spots to view them. That’s why the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service holds its Bald Eagle Watch – now in its 39th year – there.
The Jan. 21 event included lectures, live birds of prey shows and viewing of bald eagles in the wild in Fulton and in Clinton, Iowa.
Naturalists and volunteers alike were equipped with spotting scopes.
The river below the dam is a good spot for visitors because that’s where the eagles forage for fish.
Exhibits and educational programs also were offered at Clinton Community College.
Programs included “Where the Wild Things Were,” a short history of wildlife in Iowa by Ryan Welch of Clinton Community College; “Live Birds of Prey” with bald eagles and other raptors by Karen Herdklotz of Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehab and Education Center; and “Who Lives with Eagles?” a program featuring songs, sign language, live animals, puppets and humor presented by David Stokes, a naturalist from West Berlin, Wisconsin.
Officials said the Bald Eagle Watch is dedicated to the understanding, appreciation and protection of the U.S. national symbol.
For information about eagles and the Mississippi River, contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 815-259-3628 or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 815-273-2732.