ALTON, Ill. (KMOX) — Bald Eagles are making their arrival in larger numbers in the Metro East as the January chill settles in.

As KMOX told you just before Christmas, the bald eagle population in and around Alton, Illinois was looking a little sparse.

But then it turned a lot colder up north causing lakes, rivers and other hunting grounds for fish to freeze up, so Scott Isringhausen with Pere Marquette state park says eagles began their migration south to fulfill one of their most basic needs — to eat food.

“The cold doesn’t bother them, but they do have to eat. And that’s really why they’re here,” Isringhausen said.

The area near Alton is the 2nd largest wintering population of bald eagles in the contiguous United States.

Isringhausen says the best places to view bald eagles are in the Brussels area, also along the Winfield Lock and Dam, and the Alton Lock and Dam. “Really any place along the river you will be seeing them in pretty large numbers.”

Learn more about eagle watching and get personalized tours during the Audubon Eagle Festival in downtown Alton starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.


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