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Eagles

Here they come -- convoys of birds looking for winter homes throughout the Great Rivers & Routes region.

Hundreds of American Bald Eagles, thousands of Trumpeter Swans, ducks, geese and even the occasional Snowy Owl take up residence in the region from late December through early March.

Gather your gloves, parkas, hats, boots and binoculars and spend time outside along the rivers and bluffs of the region in what becomes a bird watchers paradise each winter. Look for eagles in the trees and bluffs lining the Mississippi and Illinois rivers or on the open river waters. Marvel at the beauty of Trumpeter Swans as they make the Audubon Center at Riverlands their winter home. Take a brisk winter hike on the historic Route 66 Chain of Rocks bridge to discover new ways to eagle watch. Take a self-guided eagle watching tour with the new Great Rivers & Routes Eagle Watchers Passport (available to download here starting in December!) and earn a free Eagle Watchers T-Shirt to commemorate your visit.

Don't forget to take a break and warm up at local restaurants. Be sure to spread out your bird watching fun with an overnight stay.