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Bald Eagle Appreciation Days - Keokuk

Mick Thompson

The 35th Bald Eagle Appreciation Days gets underway Saturday morning in Keokuk and runs through Sunday night. Organizers hope the latest round of winter weather might help visitors see more of the stars of the weekend.

Lee County Conservation Director Nathan Unsworth said his employees have been seeing bald eagles near the dam in Keokuk in recent days. But he said there are not as many eagles as last year when temperatures dipped several weeks in advance of the event.

“We really need a cold stretch before Eagle Days, a couple weeks out,” said Unsworth. “That freezes everything north of us. The reason we have so many eagles in Keokuk is the dam that keeps that water open.”

The National Weather Services is projecting falling temperatures and 4”-6” of snow late Friday/early Saturday. Unsworth said the falling temperatures should help lead the bald eagles to congregate a bit more this weekend.

Viewing stations will be set up along the Mississippi River at Victory Park and the Southside Boat Club with representatives of the Conservation Department, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources staffing them. There will also be events throughout the weekend at the River City Mall.

Unsworth said the best time to see the bald eagles is in the morning when they are hunting for fish.

Keokuk Tourism Director Kirk Brandenberger said the event can bring about $400,000 into the community.

Schedule of Events

Outdoor (Riverfront)

  • 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday) – Bald Eagle Viewing Stations

Indoor (River City Mall)

  • 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday) – Agency Displays
  • 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday) – Iowa State University Insect Zoo
  • 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday) – Children Pioneer Activities w/ Nauvoo on the Road
  • 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday) – Tri-State Woodcarvers Show
  • 11:00 a.m. (Saturday) – Seminar - “Tick Bites & Mosquito Flights”
  • 12:00 p.m. (Saturday) – Seminar - “35 Years of Bald Eagle Appreciation Days”
  • 1:00 p.m. (Saturday) – Seminary – “The Recovery of the Monarch Butterfly”
  • 2:00 p.m. (Saturday) – Seminary – “Creepy Crawly Crunch & Munch”
  • 2:00 p.m. (Saturday) – Auction - Tri-State Woodcarvers Show

Raptor Awareness Program (River City Mall)

  • 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., & 3:00 p.m. (Saturday)
  • 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., & 3:00 p.m. (Sunday)
Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.