Alton Area Gearing Up For Eagle Watching Season

As the winter wind blows in from the north, it’s time to “relax” all around Alton, Ill., for the annual  eagle watching adventure.  Every January, experts anticipate hundreds of American Bald Eagles will migrate to the region, many reclaiming their winter nests along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway from Alton to Grafton and Pere Marquette State Park.  With the help of the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau’s 2013 Eagle Watcher’s Guide, visitors can plan their own eagle watching adventure and take part in numerous eagle watching events and tours happening throughout the region.

During the first Saturday of 2013, the Audubon Center at Riverlands at the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary will be one of the hosts of the Alton-Audubon Eagle Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The festival on Jan. 5 will kick off the 2013 eagle watching season in Alton with free eagle watching activities taking place at the Alton Visitor Center as well as an ice carving demonstration and other ice events in Downtown Alton. For more information, go to or call 1-800-258-6645.

Every day visitors can travel along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway to visit the 13 “Eagle Watching Hot Spots” featured in the 2013 Eagle Watcher’s Guide.   Again this year, the Alton Eagle Watching App will guide visitors during their eagle watching adventure.  The free app, which is available for iPhone and Android, will lead visitors to the eagle watching hot spots, provide information on upcoming events and festivals, allow visitors to share their eagle photos, offer deals from restaurants and shops, as well as a list the shops, restaurants, attractions and lodging found along the byway.

Visitors can take part in “Eagle Caching” at the numerous Eagle Watching Hot Spots.  Within the guide, information can be found about the caches and clues on where to find them. Like geocaching, each cache has a set of coordinates that are plugged into the GPS navigator. All the information needed, including the clues, coordinates and GPS rentals, can be found at, or by visiting the Alton Visitor’s Center at 200 Piasa St. in Downtown Alton.


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