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Details on the 2019 Eagle Watch Weekend

Article originally published on FlockToTheRock.com.

Eagle Watch Weekend in the Starved Rock State Park area is an exciting time, a true celebration the majestic bald eagle.  With programs happening at Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center, the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center and Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center, you and your family will find enjoyable and informative programs that will increase your love of nature.  The event is presented by the Illinois Audubon Society in partnership with the Illinois Raptor Center.

Trolley Between Locations

All event locations are within a short drive of each other, but you can also jump on a trolley which connects all venues.  You can purchase a $2.00 all day armband right on the trolley, which will allow you to hop-on and hop-off all day!

Events

January 26

  • Tour Dayton Bluffs Preserve | 9:00am – 11:00am
    A tour and birding trip of The Conservation Foundation’s Dayton Bluffs Preserve.  Click here for more information and for registration information.
  • Have Your Picture Taken with Sadie the Starved Rock Eagle at Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 9:00am – 12:00pm
  • Guided Hike starting at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 9:30am 
    A spotting scope will be located at the top of Starved Rock State Park for eagle viewing
  • Illinois Birds of Prey (including a live Bald Eagle) at Starved Rock Lodge’s Great Hall West | 10:00am 
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 8:00am in Starved Rock Lodge, Great Hall West, for this presentation.
  • John Hames Audubon presents “The Washington Eagle, and other Raptors I Have Known,” portrayed by Brian “Fox” Ellis with live birds of prey at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock & Dam) | 10:00am
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9:00am in the Waterway Visitor Center for this presentation.
  • The Art & History of Falconry at Starved Rock Lodge’s LaSalle Room | 10:00am – 11:00am
    History of falconry and how falconers today participate in this ancient sport.  Rich will be accompanied by his amazing birds.
  • Guided Hike starting at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 10:00am 
    A spotting scope will be located at the top of Starved Rock State Park for eagle viewing
  • Program presented by SOAR (Save our American Raptors) | 11:00am
  • Cameras in Conservation at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock & Dam) | 11:00am
    Chris Young with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources shows you how to take great photos with the camera you have.  Part of this session of presented outside, so please dress accordingly.
  • Guided Hike starting at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 11:00am 
    A spotting scope will be located at the top of Starved Rock State Park for eagle viewing
  • Illinois Birds of Prey (including a live Bald Eagle) at Starved Rock Lodge’s Great Hall West | 1:00pm 
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 8:00am in Starved Rock Lodge, Great Hall West, for this presentation.
  • John Hames Audubon presents “The Washington Eagle, and other Raptors I Have Known,” portrayed by Brian “Fox” Ellis with live birds of prey at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock & Dam) | 1:00pm
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9:00am in the Waterway Visitor Center for this presentation.
  • The Art & History of Falconry at Starved Rock Lodge’s LaSalle Room | 1:00pm – 2:00pm
    History of falconry and how falconers today participate in this ancient sport.  Rich will be accompanied by his amazing birds.
  • Guided Hike starting at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 1:00pm
    A spotting scope will be located at the top of Starved Rock State Park for eagle viewing
  • Illinois Birds of Prey (including a live Bald Eagle) at Starved Rock Lodge’s Great Hall West | 3:00pm 
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 8:00am in Starved Rock Lodge, Great Hall West, for this presentation.
  • John Hames Audubon presents “The Washington Eagle, and other Raptors I Have Known,” portrayed by Brian “Fox” Ellis with live birds of prey at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock & Dam) | 3:00pm
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9:00am in the Waterway Visitor Center for this presentation.

January 27

  • Have Your Picture Taken with Sadie the Starved Rock Eagle at Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 9:00am – 12:00pm
  • Guided Hike starting at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 9:30am 
    A spotting scope will be located at the top of Starved Rock State Park for eagle viewing
  • Illinois Birds of Prey (including a live Bald Eagle) at Starved Rock Lodge’s Great Hall West | 10:00am 
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 8:00am in Starved Rock Lodge, Great Hall West, for this presentation.
  • The Art & History of Falconry at Starved Rock Lodge’s LaSalle Room | 10:00am – 11:00am
    History of falconry and how falconers today participate in this ancient sport.  Rich will be accompanied by his amazing birds.
  • Guided Hike starting at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 10:00am 
    A spotting scope will be located at the top of Starved Rock State Park for eagle viewing
  • Program presented by SOAR (Save our American Raptors) | 11:00am
  • Cameras in Conservation at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock & Dam) | 11:00am
    Chris Young with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources shows you how to take great photos with the camera you have.  Part of this session of presented outside, so please dress accordingly.
  • Guided Hike starting at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 11:00am 
    A spotting scope will be located at the top of Starved Rock State Park for eagle viewing
  • Illinois Birds of Prey (including a live Bald Eagle) at Starved Rock Lodge’s Great Hall West | 1:00pm 
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 8:00am in Starved Rock Lodge, Great Hall West, for this presentation.
  • John Hames Audubon presents “The Washington Eagle, and other Raptors I Have Known,” portrayed by Brian “Fox” Ellis with live birds of prey at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock & Dam) | 10:00am
  • The Art & History of Falconry at Starved Rock Lodge’s LaSalle Room | 1:00pm – 2:00pm
    History of falconry and how falconers today participate in this ancient sport.  Rich will be accompanied by his amazing birds.
  • John Hames Audubon presents “The Washington Eagle, and other Raptors I Have Known,” portrayed by Brian “Fox” Ellis with live birds of prey at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock & Dam) | 1:00pm
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9:00am in the Waterway Visitor Center for this presentation.
  • Guided Hike starting at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 10:00am 
    A spotting scope will be located at the top of Starved Rock State Park for eagle viewing
  • Guided Hike starting at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center | 1:00pm 
    A spotting scope will be located at the top of Starved Rock State Park for eagle viewing
  • Illinois Birds of Prey (including a live Bald Eagle) at Starved Rock Lodge’s Great Hall West| 3:00pm 
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 8:00am in Starved Rock Lodge, Great Hall West, for this presentation.
  • John Hames Audubon presents “The Washington Eagle, and other Raptors I Have Known,” portrayed by Brian “Fox” Ellis with live birds of prey at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock & Dam) | 3:00pm
    Free, however a ticket is required for entrance.  Tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9:00am in the Waterway Visitor Center for this presentation.

Exhibitors at Starved Rock Lodge’s Great Hall West

Will you see Bald Eagles?

According to the Illinois Audubon Society …

Yes.  Usually and the numbers vary from year to year and even day to day.  Cold weather tends to concentrate the birds by the open water at the dam.  When the weather is warmer, birds will hunt up and down the river and there will be fewer to view.

Bald Eagle Watch Visitor Hints (from the Illinois Audubon Society)

  • If you drive from one side of the river to the other (and back), you can expect to find that parking becomes more difficult by mid-way.  This means you should budget your time carefully if you are planning to attend various programs.
  • The trolley is a good transportation option.  It runs continuously.  But, you may have to wait for the trolley and therefore you should leave plenty of time before you have to make it across the river and back.
  • Live bird exhibitions to NOT permit entry after the program has begun to insure the safety of birds and people.  Programs begin on time.
  • Children are welcome and encouraged, of course.  Children under two may find the 1-hour live bird presentations too confining.  You know your child best.  Please be considerate of other attendees.