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ENF Bald Eagle Bus Tours 2017 -- Join Us

Download our PDF brochure
  • January 21, 2017 (4 hour tour)
  • February 11, 2017 (4 hour tour)
  • February 25, 2017 (4 hour tour)

Bald Eagles Along the Mississippi River

4 Hour Bus Tours

The Eagle Nature Foundation is pleased to once again offer our 4-hour bus tours to observe wintering bald eagles along the Upper Mississippi River. The tour bus will leave from the Best Western parking lot on the east side of Galena, IL promptly at 8:00 am on the mornings of Jan. 21st, Feb. 11th, and the 25th.

Bald eagles normally winter in large numbers along the Upper Mississippi River. This has allowed tour participants during past years to enjoy (depending upon the weather), from 30 to 450 bald eagles during a single four-hour bus tour. The past few years these tours have been observing fewer and fewer immature bald eagles, which reflects what is happening to the whole Midwestern bald eagle population. During the last tour in 2015 four out of five historic wintering communities had no bald eagles at all. ENF Wildlife 4 Hour Bus Tour

Mr. Ingram, who has been conducting these tours for over 50 years feels that the Mid-western bald eagle population wintering along the Mississippi River may be on the verge of collapse and recommends people to see the bald eagles while they hopefully still can. ENF’s Annual Midwinter Eagle Count reveals that the percentage of young eagles is back to the same, or lower levels, than it was in the 1960’s.

Bald Eagles may be seen fishing, perching in trees, sitting on the ice, or even flying and migrating overhead as the tour bus visits five different historic bald eagle wintering communities. Each tour may have some excellent photographic opportunities, so don’t forget to bring your camera.

Several different active bald eagle nests will be observed from a distance, so the nesting adults will not be disturbed. Tour participants do not just ride around and look at bald eagles. They get a four-hour enjoyable education about the bald eagle: its past, present and future. Some people come back and take the tour at a different time each year, because the wintering bald eagle population is dynamic and constantly changing from year to year and from week to week, so each tour is different.

The bald eagles’ daily feeding habits, migration movements and life history, as well as survival problems, will be presented for your information and enjoyment. Each bald eagle wintering community has its own daytime feeding areas and nighttime roosts. Daytime roosts, as well as severe weather roosts, will be observed on each tour. ENF Wildlife 4 Hour Bus Tour

A tour participant will come away with a better appreciation of America’s symbol, and an understanding of why we should all strive to keep the bald eagle flying free. We must work to save its habitat which is constantly being threatened, mostly being destroyed by government agencies, but with the consent of the U.S. F & W Service.

The F&W claims the bald eagle population has recovered so well that they removed it from the Endangered Species List without having the necessary facts for doing so. Now the wintering population along the Mississippi River is lower than it was when the bird was first listed as endangered.

Doug Hoffman, the regular bus driver, has driven the bus for Mr. Ingram’s eagle tours for over 40 years. The two of them have spent over 1,000 hours in the front of a tour bus together. Mr. Hoffman enjoys seeing our free flying National Symbol and is one of the best bald eagle spotters that Mr. Ingram has on the bus.

What to Bring with You

Tour participants should be prepared for winter weather with cold weather apparel; coats and gloves. Binoculars, telescopes, and cameras are recommended. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are welcome.

Your tour guide -- Terrence N. Ingram

Researcher, author and speaker, Terrence N. Ingram, has researched and photographed bald eagles for over 55 years. He is the CEO and Founder of the Eagle Nature Foundation, Ltd., and has led tours to see wintering bald eagles for over 50 years.

Mr. Ingram personally may have observed more bald ea-gles in the wild than anyone else alive. On many occasions he has counted more than 1500 bald eagles in a single day along the Mississippi River. He has personally discovered more bald eagle winter roost sites than any other person.

Mr. Ingram is Coordinator of the Annual Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Count conducted by the Eagle Nature Foundation throughout the Midwest. He is editor of Bald Eagle News, as well as Nature News, and is author of the out of print coffee table book, EAGLE. An autographed copy of this book may be auctioned during each tour. Mr. Ingram received the coveted Sol Feinstone Environmental Award from Syracuse University in 1979. He was named a “2006 Illinois Environmental Hero” by Lt. Governor, Pat Quinn. In 2011 the Eagle Nature Founda-tion honored him for 50 years of preservation work on behalf of the bald eagle. In 2015, the University of Wisconsin/Platteville honored him as an Outstanding Alumnus of the University.

Motels Offering Discounts

Best Western
$89 nightly for Friday and Saturday nights
Best Western, located on Hwy. 20 on Galena’s east side, ½ mile from Main Street Galena, has 42 guest rooms, indoor pool, hot tub, business center, fitness center, and free hot breakfast.

Country Inn & Suites
$100 nightly for Friday and Saturday nights
Country Inn is located on Galena’s west side, 2 mi. from downtown. It has 75 rooms with complimentary continental plus breakfast, adult indoor pool with 72’ water slide, children’s pool with frog slide, whirlpool, business center, game & fitness room. To get this rate, please register with Dana or Jessica.

$89 nightly Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21st and Feb. 25th
The Ramada, a quiet retreat on Hwy 20, two miles west of Galena’s historic Main Street, has 74 rooms with indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, and spa with lake and garden views.

Tour Reservation Information

The cost for a 2017 4-tour is $75.00 per adult and $50.00 per child under age 17.

ENF Members: For ENF members, the rate is $65.00 per adult and $40.00 per child under age 17.
Note: To receive this discount, a person has to become a member of ENF before or at the same time they make their reservation.

Seniors: For seniors over 55 years old, the rate is $65.00 per adult.

Group pricing: For adult groups of 4 or more, we are offering a group rate of $65.00 per adult person and $40.00 per child under age 17. Please contact our office to be sure we have availability on a particular tour.

More information and disclaimers:
- Seating capacity is limited to just 44 persons per bus, so seats are on a first paid, first served basis.
- Please understand that seats are not reserved until ENF has received the payment for a trip.
- If for any reason you have to cancel, please understand that 50% of this fee is nonrefundable, or you can reschedule for another tour, either this or next year.
- If a tour is cancelled by ENF, you will be refunded your money, if you are unable to reschedule another tour this year or next year.
- Payments are accepted by cash, check, or online payments (below).

Registration and Payment

If you wish to make payment by check or cash, download the Bus Tour brochure and registration form and send registration form and payment to:

The Eagle Nature Foundation, Ltd.
300 East Hickory Street
Apple River, IL 61001-9549

If you wish to pay online by credit card, debit card, gift card, you can register for the trip using the forms below.

Early bird pricing was in effect until January 1st, 2017.

January 21, 2017

February 11, 2017

February 25, 2017

Early bird pricing was in effect until January 1st, 2017.

How to use: When you select an item and "Add To Cart", a PayPal window will open up with the content of your cart. You can select multiple items and add to your cart and pay all at once, for example one adult and one child. You will be able to adjust the quantity on the PayPal cart page.
If you are a group of 4 or more, please add that to your cart for the proper discount and specify the number of people in the group.

Also Note: If you are paying online the days before a bus tour, please call us at 815-594-2306 so we can confirm your reservation.