There was a time, not so many years ago, when you would be hard pressed to witness the majesty of an American Bald Eagle just anywhere.

Thanks to years of conservation efforts, the numbers of that high flying symbol of our country are much more plentiful.

But, if you haven't seen a bald eagle in person for a while, we're getting to the time of year that is generally considered the best for eagle watching.

As you probably know, eagles like to go fishing on any available waterway (you've seen the videos of the eagle gliding near the surface of the water and suddenly plucking a fish from the river).

What makes January a good time to watch eagles is that, with the eagle's usual food sources frozen over, they look for places where the water is constantly moving and doesn't freeze - like the locks and dams along our stretch of the Mississippi River.

A check of Missouri and Illinois tourism websites shows that most every weekend in January has, in some cases, multiple events designed to draw throngs of eagle watchers.

In Illinois, you can eagle watch at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton weekends through early March, at the Audubon Eagle Ice Festival in Alton January 8 and the Great River Eagle Days January 22 and 23 at Lock and Dam 21 in Quincy.

In Missouri, Clarksville hosts its annual Eagle Days event, usually the last weekend in January.

And don't forget Bald Eagle Days in Keokuk, Iowa January 15 and 16.

Bundle up, bring your binoculars, and watch yourself some bald eagles.

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