Making family memories while bald eagle watching

During the winter, the bald eagles grace the Quad Cities area with their presence. Looking for open water as they migrate south from Canada, the national symbol soars over the waters of the Quad Cities portion of the Mississippi River each year. While the featured Bald Eagle Days celebration (first weekend in January) has come and gone, the birds stay in the area a while longer.

Personally, I have several memories of the river and many seem to fall along the ‘eagles’ theme.

My grandparents would come for the weekend, and we would all pile into their car heading for the river banks. Often we would drive a little bit past LeClaire for the best view. We would walk to the farthest point on the dock, binoculars in tow.

As a child, those trips were important to me because of family time and my love for most animals.  However as I got older I didn’t care as much about making the most of those trips as I once did. Now as an adult, I look back and wish I had cared more in my pre-teen and teenage years because those moments are special memories.

Next year, I am getting married and I hope to start similar important traditions with my husband-to-be and our future children — because it’s those moments that create special memories that you can hold onto forever. The eagles, of course, were just something for us to come together as a family to watch. But if you think about it, kids love animals and many adults love bird-watching so it allows for a common bond to take place. As a teacher, I can also see where it provides an opportunity for leaning at any age.

I encourage you to make these same memories! Bundle up the kids and take the whole family down to some of these locations to enjoy the beauty of nature in different perspectives.

These locations are courtesy of Visit Quad Cities. Those highlighted in bold print are some of the best locations I remember visiting with our family for bald eagle watching.

  • Lock & Dam 14, LeClaire, Iowa
  • Lock & Dam 15, Schwiebert Riverfront Park., Rock Island, Illinois
  • Sunset Marina, Rock Island, Illinois
  • Lock & Dam 15, Davenport, Iowa
  • Illiniwek Forest Preserve, Hampton, Illinois
  • Hampton Heritage Center, Hampton, Illinois



About the author

Katy Williams As a life-long Quad Cities resident, Katy is an Elementary Education major working on Reading and ESL/ELL endorsements at St. Ambrose University in Davenport. She loves running, traveling, cooking, HGTV, working with kids, spending time with her fiance, Austin, and her family & friends, education, and putting a pen to paper. She has been a published writer from a very young age, and now serves as Radish Magazine contributor and a writing tutor.

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