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 The best places to watch and photography bald eagle in America

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:

1.       US Army Corps of Engineers Lock & Dam 13, Lock Road, Fulton, IL

2.       Mississippi River Visitor Center, 328 Rodman Ave. Rock Island , IL

3.       Lock & Dam 14, Bettendorf, IA 52722

4.       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 border.

2. UPPER SKAGIT RIVER WATERSHED in Northwest Washington.

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 winter.

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 Manhattan.

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 in action. 

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 viewing areas

• 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 appropriate outerwear.  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.

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