This year’s escorted and hosted Eagle Days at the Old Chain Of Rocks Bridge will be limited to three weekdays for a select group of elementary students, due to cuts in funding for the event. Conservation staffers said public residents may come to this popular eagle-vantage spot on their own, but there will not personnel to address questions.
The collaboration between the Missouri Department of Conservation, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Trailnet will be limited to three days in January, to better serve 1,200 underserved fifth grade students with what conservationists are calling "high quality, experiential outdoor educational programming."
The public weekend for the eagle days program will not occur at all in 2013, due to decreases in event funding from external sponsors and donors, according to the Missouri Conservation Department website.
The Chain of Rocks Bridge is an optimal environment from which to observe eagles soaring, diving, feeding, and nesting. The public is encouraged to enter from either the Missouri or the Illinois side of the bridge, and enjoy the views during daylight hours from this historic bicycle and pedestrian crossing of the Mississippi River.
This year, the program is sponsored by America’s Central Port, Metro East Park and Recreation District, Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, and Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery.
The best eagle-watching time in the Midwest is from late December through February.