A Winter Highlight

Eagles on the Road to Mississippi Lock and Dam 18 in Gladstone, Illinois

Today I had to drive about 65 miles from my home in Monmouth to an appointment in Peoria, Illinois. On the way I think I saw at least two bald eagles flying overhead. Eagle sightings are not uncommon in this area at any time of year, but eagles are especially visible here in winter. Many of the birds winter along the locks and dams along the Mississippi because the river rarely freezes just below the dams where the eagles are easily able to catch fish.

If we time carefully our visit to the nearest lock and dam (#18 at Gladstone, Illinois), we can see hundreds of the birds flying around the dam or resting in the trees along the river. The ideal time to go is in the morning on a very cold day. For several years Anne and I have gone eagle watching to welcome the new year. I took the picture at the top of this blog in early January of 2018. This year, however, it was not very cold in early January and I wasn’t even sure that the river would be frozen enough, but February has come in like a lion and we have now had more than a week of temperatures in the single digits, so I suspect that the eagles are now congregating at the dam.

It is time, I think, for a trip to the river…….



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Tom Sienkewicz

I taught Classics for 40+ years and am now Capron Professor Emeritus of Classics at Monmouth College in Illinois. Read more about me at www.tomsienkewicz.com.