Eagle Days 2010 At the Old Chain Of Rocks Bridge, Jan. 16-17 They’re Back … The Eagles Are Landing

Those willing to brave a little cold weather will be rewarded with splendid views of America’s national symbol, the bald eagle, at the fifteenth annual Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.  This year the event takes place Saturday and Sunday, January 16 and 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge is located at 10950 Riverview Drive, just south of I-270.

Eagle Days features activities to entertain and educate the whole family about nature and history.

Bald eagles travel south each winter to the St. Louis area seeking their favorite meal—fish caught from the open waters of our big rivers.  The rapids south of the bridge offer the raptors ideal fishing waters.  Eagle Days visitors have an exceptional opportunity to view the birds up close through spotting scopes staffed by trained volunteers.  The historic Old Chain of Rocks Bridge—part of the legendary Route 66—provides an excellent vantage point accessible to all ages.

There will be a chance to see a bald eagle closer still at live eagle programs repeated every 20 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, presented by the World Bird Sanctuary.

New this year will be special presentations on bird photography by local wildlife photographers Danny Brown and Jim Stokes at 9:00 a.m. each day in the program tent at the Missouri Bridge entrance.

The event will also feature Lewis & Clark re-enactors set up in a living history camp.  Visitors can glimpse how the Corps of Discovery lived, cooked and made fire during their historic 1804-1806 voyage.  The Lewis & Clark State Historic Site will bring a replica of the boats used during the expedition to the Illinois entrance of the bridge.  Called pirogues (peer-ROWs), these craft were hand-carved out of massive logs.  The east side of the bridge will also offer an educational display by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources throughout the event.

Those planning to attend Eagle Days are urged to dress for cold weather, and for safety considerations, leave pets at home.


The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge is owned by the City of Madison, IL and was renovated in 1999 by Trailnet.  It is one of the longest bridges exclusively for pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the nation.  The bridge is one of the main attractions of The Confluence, a linked system of parks, historic sites, interpretive centers and multi-use trails developed in a unique partnership of public and private agencies.

Eagles Days is made possible annually by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), The Confluence Partnership and the City of Madison, IL .In addition to the partnering agencies this FREE program is produced in partnership with: Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, Metro-East Park & Recreation District, Illinois Conservation Foundation, Pettus Foundation and US Bancorp Foundation.

The Confluence is a network of conservation, heritage and recreation attractions along America’s Great Rivers in the heart of the bi-state St. Louis region. This linked system of parks, historic sites, interpretive centers and multi-use trails is being developed by a unique partnership of public and private agencies. The goal of the Confluence Partnership is to reconnect people to the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers.


more Eagle Viewing Sites:

The Confluence Observation Station at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is open 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, year-round. On January 16 & 17 spotting scopes will be set up and staff will be available to assist visitors in viewing eagles, 9:00 a.m. –3:00 p.m. In addition to being a great place to view wintering bald eagles, the Confluence Station offers a spectacular view of the internationally renowned Confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.  The Conservation Area is located at 801 Strodtman Road, St. Louis, MO 63138, two miles north of the I-270/Riverview exit on Columbia Bottom Road.

For more information, visit www.missouriconservation.org

The Alton Visitor’s Center will host their annual Eagle Meet and Greet on Saturdays during the month of January.  The program hours are 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Alton Visitor’s Center, 200 Piasa Street, Alton, IL 62202.  After the free live eagle demonstration grab your official All Around Alton Eagle Watcher’s Guide to observe eagles in their natural habitat along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway.  For more information, call 1-800-ALTON –IL or go to www.VisitAlton.com.

The Friends of Fort Belle Fontaine Park will host an Eagle Watch and Trail Hike on Saturday, January 23, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  A free program on eagles and other birds of prey will be presented noon – 2:00 p.m. and two 3-mile guided hikes will be offered to view eagles, meet at the Grand Staircase or complete the trek on your own.  This St. Louis County Park at 13002 Bellefontaine Road, Spanish Lake, MO 63138, offers panoramic views of the Missouri River and overlooks the location of the sites where Lewis and Clark camped in 1804 when they left on their Voyage of Discovery and their last campsite on their return trip in 1806.  For more information visit online at www.stlouisco.com/parks/FtBellefontaine.com