Sink your talons into Forest Preserve’s Eagle Watch on Jan. 13 at Four Rivers

Celebrate all things eagle during the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s annual Eagle Watch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon.

In addition to eagle-watching, the event will feature live bird presentations, Talon Talks, guided hikes, family crafts, an Eagle Eye Scavenger Hunt and food from Lil’ Deb’s Mobile Eats.

Winter is the best time to look for these magnificent raptors as they flock to open water to hunt fish, their primary food source. And Four Rivers Environmental Education Center is in a perfect spot, because it’s located where the DuPage, Kankakee and Des Plaines rivers converge to form the Illinois River.

“People often dread colder weather at this time of year, but freezing temperatures bring bald eagles in large numbers to the water around Four Rivers,” said Jess McQuown, a Forest Preserve program coordinator. “The Des Plaines River is so large, deep and active with barge traffic, the water is always flowing, even when other rivers are freezing over. Bald eagles have a diet of primarily fish, so they travel to where the water is open.”

A highlight of the event is always the live birds shows presented by Milton, Wis.-based Hoo’s Woods Raptor Center. Two 45-minute presentations will be offered at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. A shorter 20-minute meet and greet is set for 12:30 p.m. Seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Birds that are scheduled to be part of the presentations are: Victor E., a bald eagle; Garfield, a juvenile great horned owl; Wesley, a snowy owl; and Oopsie, a northern saw-whet owl.

The event schedule also includes three 40-minute guided hikes at 11:50 a.m., 12:55 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. Two 15-minute Talon Talks will be offered at noon (Eagles of the World) and 2:30 p.m. (Eagle Eyes and Other Awesome Adaptation). Registration is not required. 

Eagle Watch is supported by funding from Alliance Pipeline, a joint venture of Enbridge and Pembina, and through the assistance of The Nature Foundation of Will County.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.