See the Quad Cities eagles through a new lens

One year for Christmas we gave my in-laws an Eagle Watching Adventure with local naturalist, Bob Motz. Mr. Motz, formerly a high school biology teacher, takes people to his favorite eagle watching locations and shares his knowledge of our nation’s majestic bird.

Linda and Dick Kelly of Wataga, Ill., answer some questions about their experience:

Where did you go on your trip eagle trip?
We have watched eagles on the Mississippi River for years – both in the Quad Cities and Burlington. Bob took us to four places we had never been before. When he wasn’t satisfied we’d seen as much as he’d have liked for us, we ended up in downtown Rock Island and, boy, did we see a lot of action there!

Did you learn anything new about eagles or eagle watching in the Quad Cities?
Yes, Bob was very knowledgeable & informative. His stories about the local eagle population and eagles in general made the tour even more interesting.

What kind of equipment did Mr. Motz have and how did it impact your enjoyment of bird watching?
We usually have just basic binoculars, but Bob had high-power binoculars. We felt like we were right next to the eagles sometimes.

How long did you go and was that a good length of time?  
We took the longer trip. I think, 3 hrs, and it was just right.

What was the most enjoyable part of your experience?
Seeing the eagles soar and interact with each other and watching them dive for fish.  Bob’s narrative & sharing of his love of eagle watching as we rode around was also very interesting.

What is the best thing you’ve seen while eagle watching?
Eagles locking talons and free falling was really outstanding to watch! He explained that for immature eagles it is like riding a roller coaster, for adults it is part of the mating ritual.

How can you sign up?
Tours are $20/hour with a minimum of 2 hours. Guaranteed eagle sightings.
Bob Motz can be reached at 309-269-3922 or email by


About the author

Meghan Cooley Meghan Cooley moved to the Quad Cities from St. Charles, IL, as an Augustana College student over 20 years ago. She left briefly after graduation and then returned to work in admissions at Augustana College. She now works on Augustana's Marketing and Communications team as the Director of Recruitment Communications and Manager of Social Media Services for Admissions and is, of course, a loyal Viking. Now a true Quad Cities transplant, Meghan lives in Rock Island with her husband, Luke (R.O.W.V.A.and Augustana grad and Modern Woodmen employee) and four boys. She loves living in the Quad Cities and finds it the perfect place to raise a family, plan a date night, and go on adventures.

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