It's Eagle Ice Festival Time in Alton!

Trumpeter swans and, yes, eagles will be on display

Debbie Monterrey
January 04, 2019 - 12:16 pm
Eagle in a tree

ID 77736148 © Andrey Gudkov |


ALTON, Ill. (KMOX) — It may feel more like spring this weekend than winter, but it's time for the Alton Audubon Eagle Ice Festival.

Stephanie Tate with Great Rivers Tourism says more than 500 trumpeter swans have made their way back to the Audubon Center at Riverlands. And yes, there are eagles, but not as many yet as last year.

"A year ago, we had a bunch of snow on the ground and it was zero degrees," Tate reminded KMOX's Debbie Monterrey. "So we had a lot of eagles. At 50 degrees, you're not going to see eagles on an ice floe in the river, but they will be in the trees looking for fresh fish."

If you're playing the long game, Tate says there's a great way to learn the best viewing spots when more eagles come. Eagle shuttle tours are available at the Audubon Center on Saturday. For $5 per person, people can go on a one-hour tour to find the hot spots for eagles, then come back at their leisure.

Also, Liberty the eagle will be there, visiting from World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park.

Tomorrow's ice festival activities are split between the Audubon Center at Riverlands and the Alton Visitors Center between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.