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 Eagles Along The Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers
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By: HikerBikerGram (offline) on Sunday, January 17 2010 @ 08:59 PM EST (Read 256886 times)  
HikerBikerGram

Welcome Eagle and Wildlife Watchers,

This thread is dedicated to the Bald Eagles and other birds that migrate south to the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers along the Great River Road in the Alton, Hartford, and Grafton Illinois areas during the winter months. Also to all the Eagles and wildlife that live year round along the rivers. The rivers are a great source of food and water for wildlife, therefore the population and variety are great.

This thread will include observations and photos of a eagle nest on the Mississippi River and while viewing allows, due to leaf growth, another nest near Alton that I can reach on foot. I will also be including observations and photos of the wintering over eagles along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers on the Great River Road. At times I would like to introduce other birds of these areas also, when the opportunity rises.

I'm very lucky to live near three large rivers. Where there is water there is animal and bird life. Wildlife is abundant. The Duck Island eagle nest is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, on the east side of the Mississippi River. I observe with a spotting scope from the west side of the river. The island is only accessible by boat. I'm able to take photos with a 22 zoom camera and a cropping tool on my computer. The site I observe and take photos from is the Historical Lewis and Clark expedition launch site to the Missouri River.

The Missouri River heads west and the Mississippi River continues north along the Great River Road, which begins in Alton. The Great River Road has rocky cliffs on the north side, which the eagles perch in trees on the cliffs. There they can watch the river on the south side of the road for fish. The tugboats and barges keep the river from totally freezing in the winter and also brings up the fish for the eagles.

The Illinois River joins in at Grafton, on the Great River Road. Grafton is know as the Home of the Wintering Eagle, due to the large population in the area during the winter months. The eagle start arriving in November and depart in March. The nesting pairs of eagles stay in their territories year round.

I have attached photos of the Duck Island nest and the lock and dam nest. In one of the nest photos there are three adults. That is very rare, since the parents are so protective of their territory and young. I spoke with a person who has knowledge of eagles and she thought the third eagle may have been a grown eaglet from the parents past. I have also include some photos of wintering eagles from the past winters.

This past year of 2010, I was very fortunate to be able to observe an Eagles Nest up close. The pair had two chicks that I watched them mature from a fussy little chicks to fledging and soaring high in the sky. You will find photos here starting in April of 2010 with the parents at the nest, to July the fledged eaglets soaring. Here is a link to a You Tube slideshow I made of the months I spent observing the Bald Eagle family in 2010.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBryFiwS ... plpp_video

This is the link to a satellite map of the "Meeting Of The Great Rivers Scenic Route". I though it may be helpful in understanding the location of the three rivers and where I travel to see the eagles and other wildlife along the rivers. There is a road summary below the map with mileage markers at special areas.
Satellite Map of the Great River Road and the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers confluences.

This is the link to the eagle thread at the old forum. There are more photos at that site.
More Eagle Photos From The River Road At The Old Forum.

This a link to a slide show video on You Tube, of some of my favorite eagle photos from this past winter 2009-2010.
Some of my favorite Eagles photos from the winter of 2009-2010.

Come along with me on my adventures in the Great Outdoors January through December along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers.

Enjoy,
Linda


Map of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers
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Wildlife Photography, Nature Provides It And We Pass It On

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By: HikerBikerGram (offline) on Sunday, January 17 2010 @ 09:36 PM EST  
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A action filled photo of life on the river.
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By: HikerBikerGram (offline) on Sunday, January 17 2010 @ 09:42 PM EST  
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The beautiful American White Pelicans in flight and sunning.
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An adult eagle drinking from the river, while an immature eats its prey.
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Wildlife Photography, Nature Provides It And We Pass It On

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By: HikerBikerGram (offline) on Sunday, January 17 2010 @ 11:11 PM EST  
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The sun setting behind the river.
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By: HikerBikerGram (offline) on Sunday, January 17 2010 @ 11:41 PM EST  
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Adult taking to flight
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By: HikerBikerGram (offline) on Sunday, January 17 2010 @ 11:53 PM EST  
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Then off to flight
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By: HikerBikerGram (offline) on Sunday, January 17 2010 @ 11:58 PM EST  
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A barge and Tug boat going down the frozen river at dusk.[/b]
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By: HikerBikerGram (offline) on Monday, January 18 2010 @ 12:03 AM EST  
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The big catch at the dam.
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