The 17th Annual Bald Eagle Watch Weekend will be held January 25 – 26, 2014, at Starved Rock State Park, the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Visitors Center. The free event will run from 9 AM to 5 PM each day. Headlining each day is the Raptor Awareness Program presented in the Lodge and the Birds of Prey Program offered at the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center. The day is rounded out with exhibits by major state and local environmental organizations, organized activities for children, additional scheduled presentations and, of course, Bald Eagle viewing on the Illinois River. River hiking trails and the Starved Rock lookout will also be open. Food is available on-site.
New this year, in response to popular request, a limited number of admissions to the Raptor Awareness Programs in the Lodge will be available for purchase online in advance to both groups and individuals. The non-refundable cost for each ticket is $3. Online ticket sales begin January 1 and continue until January 18 at the Illinois Audubon website or until allocation of online-sale tickets is depleted. Free tickets for each presentation will still be available each day from 8 AM at the Lodge on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating remains unreserved. Presentations are at 10AM, Noon, 2PM and 4PM each day.
Tickets for the Birds of Prey Program are available on each day of the event from 8AM and must be picked up at the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center. Presentations are at 11AM, 1PM and 3PM. Advance ticket sales for this program are not being offered.
The Bald Eagle Watch Weekend is made possible by the Illinois Audubon Society and its members. Illinois Audubon Society is an independent state organization and not affiliated with the National Audubon Society. The Raptor Awareness Program is presented by the World Bird Sanctuary and sponsored by the Illinois Audubon Society. The Birds of Prey Program is presented by the Illinois Raptor Center and sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
A shuttle trolley is available to transport attendees from the Starved Rock State Park Lodge on the south side of the river with the Illinois Waterways Visitors Center on the north side of the river. Attendees may also drive. Parking on both sides is free.