RIVERBEND - It’s winter in Southern Illinois which means although it maybe colder out on the scenic hiking trails, there’s also more chance of spotting some of the annual migrating birds.

Recently it was reported that five eagles had been spotted along the Great River Road, four had been seen at the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, five had been reported along the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway as well as five at Pere Marquette and a total of 22 were seen at the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

Some of the popular hiking and eagle watching spots throughout the area include:

  • Pere Marquette State Park
  • Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge at Gilbert Lake
  • Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge at Swan Lake
  • The Grafton Riverfront
  • Elsah
  • The TreeHouse Wildlife Center
  • Piasa Harbor
  • Clifton Terrace
  • The Audubon Center at Riverlands
  • The National Great Rivers Museum at Melvin Price Locks and Dam
  • The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center
  • The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site
  • The Ted and Pat Jones-Confluence Point State Park
  • The Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
  • The Chain of Rocks Bridge
  • Beaver Dam State Park

A full list of state parks in west central Illinois from the Department of Natural Resources include:
• Beaver Dam
• Carlyle Lake
• Coffeen Lake
• Edward R. Madigan
• Eldon Hazlet
• Fall Creek Overlook
• Frank Holten
• Fults Hill Prairie
• Horseshoe Lake-Madison
• Illinois Caverns
• Jim Edgar Panther Creek
• Kaskaskia River
• Kidd Lake Marsh
• Mississippi River
• Nauvoo
• Peabody River King
• Pere Marquette
• Piney Creek Ravine
• Randolph County
• Ray Norbut
• Sand Ridge
• Sanganois
• Sangchris Lake
• Siloam Springs
• Turkey Bluffs
• Washington County
• Weinberg-King
• World Shooting and Recreational Complex

Several varieties of birds are currently in the area including the once-endangered trumpeter swans, eagles, herons, egrets, and woodpeckers.

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