Best Places To Go Eagle Watching In St. Louis

Eagle watching is one of the most popular activities for birders in St. Louis. This is thanks to the state’s large population of bald eagles and other raptor species, such as ospreys and golden eagles. These are some places around the area where you can see these animals this winter. 
Along Highway 100
Highway 100 runs along the Mississippi River on the Illinois side of the border. Simply cross over from St. Louis and drive along the stretch of road between the cities of Alton and Grafton. This area is legendary among local birders because thousands of bald eagles migrate here every year.
Bald eagles arrive in late December and stay through March. You can stop anywhere along the waterfront for a chance to see these animals and other raptors hunting fish in the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
Pere Marquette State Park
Pere Marquette State Park is an 8,000-acre area that’s also on the Illinois side of the border northeast of St. Louis. The park is accessible via Highway 100 just past Grafton. Again, the rivers here attract bald eagles and other birds in search of food. Pere Marquette State Park is a fantastic spot because it has several walkways and overlooks that are perfect for birding. Hiking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and other winter sports activities are also popular here.
This area is so well-known for birding that eagle watching is an official event. The park hosts Bald Eagle Days and Pere Marquette Eagle Days throughout the winter. These activities start in the morning at 8:30 and include an educational video followed by a drive to spot some of the birds. These official events are free and scheduled throughout January, February, and March.
World Bird Sanctuary
World Bird Sanctuary is another location that hosts official events for eagle watching. This is a 300-acre preserve that cares for several threatened birds and other species, so you’re guaranteed to see these animals up close. The sanctuary is part of Lone Elk Park, so you’re welcome to attend an educational program and then set out on the trails to do your own birding. The park borders the Meramec River, making it another good spot to watch these predators fishing.
World Bird Sanctuary celebrates World Eagle Day every year. It’s scheduled for March 31, 2019, and is a free event. Look for the sanctuary southeast of St. Louis toward Eureka.
Alton Visitor Center
The Alton Visitor Center is north of St. Louis past the Missouri-Illinois border. From this location, you can depart on a $5 guided shuttle tour to see bald eagles. The trip features stops at a few locations along the water, including Maple Island, Ellis Island, and Heron Pond.
For nature lovers, St. Louis is a fantastic place to be. These locations are all within in a short drive of the city, making it easy to see bald eagles and other majestic birds in state parks and along the area’s many waterways. Plan a trip to a few of these places, and look forward to excellent eagle watching in St. Louis this year.
Image via Flickr by Linton Snapper used under CC By

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