Bald Eagle Watching Days is going virtual for 2021! For years, bald eagle lovers have flocked to Sauk City, Wisconsin, one of the premiere destinations for watching these birds. But this year, people will be able to attend their favorite annual event virtually, watching these great birds from the comfort and safety of their own home. See Bald Eagle Watching Days.
Schedule of Events
- January 16, 2021 – Watch a pre-recorded release of a rehabilitated bald eagle to the wild, followed by Art Shegonee, Native American ambassador, who will share stories, cultural items, and interesting information about eagles and Native American culture.
- January 23, 2021 – A live raptor show will feature Schlitz Audubon Nature Center raptors and trainers, and a behind-the-scenes video of bald eagles getting bathed, fed, and flight time.
- February 6, 2021 – Learn from wildlife biologist Jeb Barzen why bald eagles choose the Lower Wisconsin Riverway for their winter home.
- February 20, 2021 – A live animal show about the animals that share the ecosystem with the bald eagles, presented by naturalist and educator David Stokes.
For these live events, only the presenter and technical staff are allowed on site, but virtual participants can ask questions of the presenters. Programs will be archived for later viewing, but some events are only available for a limited period. The Ferry Bluff Eagle Council will help you view eagles along the Lower Wisconsin River.
History of Bald Eagle Watching
Bald Eagle Watching Days was started in 1987 to highlight the growing comeback of bald eagles since their listing as an endangered species. The national ban on DDT added protections under state and federal endangered-species laws, and public support helped clean up rivers and promoted nest monitoring and protection efforts, which allowed bald eagles to fly off the state endangered species list in 1997, and the federal list a decade later.
Bald eagle populations in Wisconsin have grown from 108 occupied nests in 1973 to nearly 1,700 in 2019, affording fantastic viewing opportunities as eagles from northern Wisconsin, Canada, northern Michigan, and Minnesota move south in search of new nesting territories.
In winter, the raptors typically congregate along open water areas on the Wisconsin, Mississippi, and Fox rivers. Their growing presence in these areas has turned the sites into birdwatching destinations and inspired many community events, including the Sauk Prairie area’s Bald Eagle Watching Days.
Eagle Days on the Fox River
1000 Islands Environmental Center of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, invites you to join the celebration of eagles. January 23, 2021, will be a day to celebrate the success of bald eagles throughout the Fox Valley area. This free family event starts with a 7:00 AM early morning viewing opportunity in order to catch some of the peak eagle activity.
Other virtual educational programs presented by the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota, include a storybook walk on the boardwalk trail and eagle activity bags for children. The day will finish off with another chance at peak eagle activity with a sunset viewing from 4:00 PM until 5:00 PM. All Eagle Day activities will be held outdoors, with COVID-19 safe activities, and via online for the live eagle presentation.
Note: The Madison Audubon has approached Debbie Nowak, of the 1000 Islands Nature Center, to begin a nesting-observation program. They are looking for volunteers to monitor the nesting sites.