"Baseball" Spotting"
(or Where to Watch Bald Eagles)

in the Middle Mississippi River Valley Area


Baseball spotters at the Chain of Rocks Eagle Days event
and on the road near Hardin with the staff of Pere Marquette State Park

Bald Eagles are also known as "baseballs" by experienced eagle watchers because from a distance that's what the eagle's white head looks like. It's amazing how an experienced eagle watcher can spot eagles from a distance. When searching for Bald Eagles look for the white "baseballs" in the trees along the river. Eagles can also be spotted taking advantage of the tows churning up stunned fish as they move up and down the river, riding chunks of ice, or kettling (soaring) the thermals in the afternoons.

There is an abundance of places in the region where visitors can watch our national symbol. You can use the Bald Eagle Location Maps to determine their general locations. Because eagles aren't nesting at this time of year, they aren't territorial and tend to move around from day to day looking for the best places to find food. If you want to be sure to see a significant number of eagles, it is advisable to plan on visiting several different areas. The eagles will start arriving in small numbers in late December and will start to leave in late February or March depending on weather conditions in Canada and the Great Lakes region. The largest numbers will be in the area during January and February.

 

  Northern Region
This region covers the Middle Mississippi Valley from Nauvoo, Illinois to Quincy, Illinois. It points out locations such as the Keokuk and Montrose, Iowa riverfronts, the Montebello Access Area in Hamilton, the bluff overlook in Warsaw, Illinois, and the Canton, Missouri riverfront. It also includes the locations in Quincy such as Lock and Dam #21, the Villa Kathrine, Quinsippi Island, and the Microtel Motel observation deck.
   
  Central Region
This region covers the Middle Mississippi Valley from Louisiana, Missouri to St. Louis, Missouri and Granite City Illinois. It points out locations such as the Clarksville, Missouri and Hardin, Illinois riverfronts, Lock and Dam # 25, The Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, the Brussels Free Ferry, Pere Marquette State Park, the Grafton riverfront. It also includes the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, and the Riverlands Environmental Demonstration Area.
  Southern Region
This region covers the Middle Mississippi Valley below St. Louis, Missouri to the Kentucky/Tennessee Border.  It points out locations such as Sainte Genevieve-Modoc Ferry, Kaskaskia River Recreation Area, Trail of Tears State Park, Cape Girardeau River Bank, and the Horseshoe Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area.
   
FEATURED ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE GREAT RIVER ROAD
Lewis and Clark
State Historic Site
Cahokia Mounds
State Historic Site
Foundry Art Centre
St. Charles, MO
Mastodon
State Historic Site
     




 
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Gateway to the West
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