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Old 12-24-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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My husband and I are set to come out to Burlington next week to photograph the eagles. We've heard it's best when the river is mostly frozen, and have also heard about flooding in the region which makes me wonder how frozen the river is likely to be.

How is the eagle viewing doing right now?
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
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I don't know about Burlington, but there are eagles galore along the Des Moines river in Van Buren county. Burlington should be about the same.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Eastern Iowa
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I've never went to Burlington to view eagles, I live up river from there about 50 miles. I just step out the back door to see them. I will tell you though, a couple of winters ago I was in Ottumwa at their riverview center? I think it's called, there were so many eagles flying around there it was amazing. You can sit right inside the center and the eagles are flying around right outside the huge glass wall facing the river. The Quad cities (Davenport) have quite a few around there this time of year also. They aren't near as rare to see as they once were. Beautiful birds.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:48 AM
 
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Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. The river never froze before we were to leave. The trick for us (for photography) is to go when the river is mostly frozen. The eagles congregate at the dams to fish, allowing you to get great pictures.

Maybe next year!
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
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I'm sorry to hear that! I'm surprised it wasn't all frozen considering how cold it's been here...

I've noticed a lot more eagles than usual along the Iowa river in Iowa City. People have been stopping in the middle of Rocky Shore Drive to look at them...it's kind of frustrating actually but still nice to see them around. You might have more luck with a smaller river, like the Iowa or the Des Moines (which is not far from Burlington), as opposed to the Mississippi which I don't believe freezes over very often. Just something to keep in mind if you decide to try again.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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My husband has his heart set on shooting at Lock & Dam 18 because of the enormous population it gets. The "perfect" shots are hard to get--a high number of birds increases your odds, and that location lets you get in closer than shooting along the open river.

We did that in Washington State last year. Got some nice pics, but had to rely on teleconverters more than I would have liked. Looking for them was a challenge (though I thought it was kind of fun!).

Wildlife is always a gamble. I think we booked our travel a little too early in the season. Suspect we'll be trying again next year!
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:34 AM
 
41 posts, read 137,364 times
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Oh, and just to share the resource for anyone else looking for this information, here's where they track the eagle counts at the dams:

Eagle Watching (http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/missriver/Eagle%20Watching/Eagle%20Main.htm - broken link)

This year is pretty low. If you look at prior years you'll see #18 can get up to 600 hanging out there during peak weeks. This year, it hasn't broken 100 yet.
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