Growing up I don't remember ever seeing a Bald Eagle in the wild...In fact, I vividly remember my seventh grade science teacher telling us that within our lifetimes the Bald Eagle would be extinct. She also said we'd definitely run out of oil by 1980...Well we're still driving cars (whatever happened to "flying cars"?) and the Bald Eagle is thriving! And they're thriving here in the midwest! The best way I've found to see large concentrations of them in the wild is to visit the upper Mississippi River in the dead of winter. Baldies fish for most of their food and will travel great distances to find open water. When inland lakes and rivers freeze they congregate near power plants, locks & dams, etc...and fish for sustenance. When and if it gets cold enough this winter let's go shoot hundreds (yes, I said hundreds) of bald eagles at Lock & Dam #13 on the Mississippi. Fulton, Illinois is approximately seven hours west of Metro Detroit.
The last eekend in January through the second weekend in February will be our tentative dates...BUT this will be determined by the weather! WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO FINALIZE PLANS BY MID-JANUARY! Spotters do provide amazingly accurate bird counts online throughout the winter. We will adjust our travel plans as necesary. Below are some shots I made in years past...And yes, there's more to shoot here than just Baldies. The river itself is beautiful when frozen. The towns of Fulton, IL and Clinton Iowa are also pretty interesting. There's beautiful farmland and barns in the area as well.