The Illinois Audubon Society presents Bald Eagle Watch Weekend on Saturday and Sunday – January 27 and 28.  The two day event offers many programs, activities and exhibits occurring simultaneously at three locations: Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock Visitor Center and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (on the opposite side of the Illinois River as Starved Rock).

Download a schedule of events (PDF).  

Trolley Transportation

Park and ride between the three locations for only $1.00 all day!  Purchase your all-day armband on the trolley – and don’t worry about having to find parking spots at the different locations.

Admission:  Free vs. Paid

There is free admission to all events.  However, there are limited capacities to the Birds of Prey and John James Audubon exhibitions.  You can purchase tickets to these exhibitions online at this link.  Please note – only half of the seating is sold online.  Free tickets will be available starting at 8am at the locations of each show (locations noted below).

Visitor Hints 

  • If you drive from one side of the river to the other (and back) you can expect to find parking becomes more difficult by mid-day. This means you should budget your time carefully if you are planning to attend various programs.
  • The trolley is a good transportation option. It runs continuously. But you may have to wait for the trolley and therefore you should leave plenty of time before you have to make it across the river and back.
  • Live bird exhibitions do NOT permit entry after the program has begun to insure safety of birds and people. Programs begin on time.
  • Children are welcome and encouraged, of course. Children under two may find the 1 hour live bird presentations too confining. You know your child best. Please be considerate of other attendee

Events at the Starved Rock Lodge – Great Hall

Illinois Birds of Prey: including a live Bald Eagle
Presented by Illinois Raptor Center
Saturday and Sunday:  10:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm
Tickets required.  Free tickets available, or purchase for guaranteed admittance.

Events at the Starved Rock Lodge – LaSalle Room

The Birth of Starved Rock: How water shaped this iconic Illinois landmark
Saturday:  10:00am
Dr. Michael Wiant, Petersburg. A late Ice Age outburst flood cascaded down the Illinois River valley and profoundly changed the character of the landscape. Followed by Optional Hike
No tickets needed.

Saturday:  1:00pm
Peggy Doty, U of I Extension, Sycamore.
One of our most misunderstood species.
No tickets needed.

John James Audubon
Sunday:  10:00am,
Lee Witkowski, Lemont
The story of a man who discovered and fulfilled his dream.
No tickets needed.

Winter Birds of Illinois
Sunday:  1:00pm
Bob & Kathy Andrini, St. Charles.
Learn about winter visitors at your bird feeder.
No tickets needed.

Youth Owl Calling Contest
Saturday:  4:30pm
Back for another year of amazing talent !  Open to children 12 years and under.  Pre-registration is required.  Hopeful contestants can stop by the Illinois Audubon Society Information table to sign up and find out more information.
No tickets needed.

Events at the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock & Dam)

John James Audubon presents “The Washington Eagle, and other Raptors I Have Known” Portrayed by  Brian “Fox” Ellis with live birds of prey
Presented by Illinois Raptor Center
Saturday and Sunday:  10:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm
Tickets required.  Free tickets available, or purchase for guaranteed admittance.

Cameras in Conservation
Saturday & Sunday:  11:00am
Chris Young, Department of Natural Resources
Take great photos with the camera you have.  Part of this session is presented outside, please dress accordingly.
No tickets needed.

Eagle Watching
Starved Rock Audubon Society members will be on hand to provide high powered scopes and answers to all your eagle questions.
No tickets needed.

Events at the Starved Rock State Park Visitors Center – Kaskaskia Room

Chicago Peregrine Program
Saturday:  10:00am
Mary Hennen, The Field Museum
Take a journey through a conservation success story.
No tickets needed.

The Art of History and Falconry
Rich Escutia, Master Falconer
Saturday & Sunday:  2:00pm
History of falconry and how falconers today participate in this ancient sport.  Rich will be accompanied by his amazing birds.
No tickets needed.

The Honeybee: An Amazing Creature
Sunday:  10:00am
Merlin & Susan Calhoun
Take a peek into these tiny creatures’ amazing lives.
No tickets needed.

For more information, please visit the Illinois Audubon Society at

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