Bald Eagles on the Fox River Update

Yesterday I put up a post documenting my 10 mile drive from Yorkville to Montgomery along the Fox River looking for bald eagles. When I had got to 20 of them, I quit counting and enjoyed just looking for them.

Relatively early this morning I took that same 10 mile drive and decided to let the OCD side of me count every single eagle I saw.

Last night we had temperatures down into the single digits out my way and when I headed out it was 12 degrees. I was a bit surprised to see one long stretch of the Fox River that was locked up with ice yesterday, suddenly have a wide open stretch of flowing water. Kind of flies in the face of logic, but the eagles liked it. Saw three there today where yesterday there were none.

All total I saw 39 bald eagles in this short 10 mile drive up the river. I’m sure there are many more. This 10 mile stretch of the river has long stretches that are inaccessible by car. Over the years, during the warmer months, I’ve waded just about all of it in pursuit of smallmouth bass, but with temps in the teens I couldn’t gather up the stamina to make the long hikes through tougher terrain just to look for eagles. A heartier soul with a good map should be able to figure out how to get to these more remote stretches.

There were quite a few others out early to do the same as me. Cars were moving slowly up Route 25, more cars were parked along the side of the road and people with cameras, tripods and binoculars were lined up to get a better look at the eagles. With the cloudless skies this morning, the birds were pretty well lit up in the sunshine and much easier to spot.

This weekend is Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock State Park. I know a few people that head down to that event every year. With what little competitive blood I have in me, I am looking forward to hearing their eagle sighting reports and hoping it’s half of what’s been seen so much closer to home. That’ll teach them.

No pictures today. All of the eagles seen were on the opposite side of the river and I’ve grown accustomed to the limitations of my camera equipment.

Photo courtesy of Larry Granat and his Facebook page The Kendall County Bird Page.

2 thoughts on “Bald Eagles on the Fox River Update

  1. Chris Lison

    Hullo, I was hiking around Whalon Lake, Bolingbrook, IL. I crossed over the new bridge connecting Whalon Lake to the neighboring trout farm (recently flooded over from 2 day of solid rainfall) and spotted 2 bald eagles hanging out atop a half dead willow 100′-200′ north-west of the bridge. Was able to grab some less than spectacular photos & vid on my iPhone. Quite amazing to say the least. I had heard of them migrating to the Mississippi valley area & before reading your post was unaware of them along the Fox River in Yorkville.

    1. Ken G Post author

      They’ve been around for quite some time along the Fox Chris. At least 15 years since I’ve been seeing them. The colder the winter the more show up here. The dams on the Fox keep chunks of the river from freezing over and that’s where you’ll find them.

      Glad you were able to see a couple. As a kid, I never thought I would see the day that they showed up around here.


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