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Where to Watch the Bald Eagles January 4, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Iowa River, Local Businesses, Nature.
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A Bald Eagle Fishing Near the 99 Bridge

The usual problem with watching bald eagles is the cold. You could, for example, pay a visit to a lock and dam along the Mississippi, but you would have to risk frostbite to see the eagles.

Last Tuesday, I took my wife to my favorite vantage point: the new Johnnie B’s. The restaurant has a picture window overlooking the Iowa River that runs the full length of the restaurant. Best of all–it’s warm.

We spotted our first two eagles even before we sat down. They were in a tree immediately across the river from the restaurant. Because the river is fairly narrow and because the restaurant sits right at the top of the west bank, we could see them easily, even without the binoculars I had brought along.

After ordering the Deluxe Nachos for my wife and Fettucini Alfredo for me, we got out the binoculars and started scanning the river.

We found more eagles up the river and around the bend, usually with some distance between them. Periodically one of the birds would move farther up or down the river. Those that left were quickly replaced by others.

The binoculars proved handy for distinguishing some of the more distant eagles from the gulls that also work the river or from nests topped with snow in the trees. It wasn’t long before we were passing them to our friends in the restaurant so they could look the birds across the way in the eye or sweep the rest of the river.

We stayed about an hour enjoying our food and watching the eagles before returning reluctantly to work.

So, if you’ve frozen your nose or gotten frustrated watching little dark shapes that might be bald eagles, take my advice and come to Wapello for lunch or an early dinner at Johnnie B’s.

You’ll find the restaurant downtown on the river just north of the bridge in the picture.

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Comments»

1. G Nishihira - January 8, 2010

Great tip. Spouse and I want to visit the Midwest to see Bald Eagles – perhaps this is where we’ll go!

Wapello Warbler - January 9, 2010

Thanks for checking in. The eagles are usually around most of the winter. Unfortunately, at the moment it’s so cold the river bend has frozen over and they’ve moved farther south. Watch my blog and I’ll let you know when they come back to Wapello.

Come spring some of the eagles head back to Canada and the rest retreat to nesting grounds away from town. Eagles are here all year, but you’ll need a canoe or hiking books to watch them in the spring or summer.

2. Waiting for the Ice to Open « Wapello Warbler's Louisa County - January 22, 2010

[…] Where to Watch the Bald Eagles […]

3. matthewwagner - February 6, 2010

Nice! I might have to try this!

4. Bald Eagles Return to North Bend « Wapello Warbler's Louisa County - March 9, 2010

[…] Where to Watch Bald Eagles […]


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