Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock

by Ryan Anderes

For us living in the Illinois Valley, we are blessed to have one of the seven wonders of Illinois right here in our own backyard, Starved Rock State Park. Every season provides enjoyment to tens of thousands of tourists each year.

I must say, we do get quite a bit of business from this area attraction, and it is always nice to hear the families that dine here talk about their trips throughout the park. Although the winter season may not offer ideal conditions for hiking the many park trails along the Illinois River, it is the perfect time of year to view the many American bald eagles that call this area home.

Every year, the park hosts its Eagle Watch Weekend, which falls on this coming Saturday and Sunday, January 30-31. Thousands of bird lovers and photographers (both amateur and professional) will flock to the rock during this time to catch a glimpse of our nation's bird. It has become one of the park's most popular events, and both the number of eagles and the people that watch them seem to grow every year.

Photo courtesy of Ron Misjack
This bird was once on the endangered species list from 1967 to 1995, but they seem to love to call our area home during the winter. More and more of these birds seem to find their way to our area to build nests in the trees and prey on fish in the Illinois River near Starved Rock. Guests are invited to view from the Veranda, the riverfront, Eagle Cliff and The Illinois Waterway Visitor's Center to best catch a glimpse. This yearly event will run from 9 am to 5 pm and will also include lectures and exhibits at the lodge.

Your visit to the Illinois Valley would not be complete without a lunch or dinner at the Uptown Grill. We will be serving all day, as always, for you to stop in and break from the cold for a warm meal. Share stories and photos in our warm dining room and choose from our amazing food and drink menu to bring your eagle watching weekend to a perfect end. It is amazing we have something so wonderful right here close by. 

For more Eagle Watch information and tips for viewing, visit the following link.

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