ENF Bald Eagle Bus Tours 2014 -- Join Us
- January 11, 2014
- February 8, 2014 -- Openings are still available
- February 22, 2014 -- This tour is sold out
Bald Eagles Along the Mississippi River
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. At 8:00 am on selected Saturday mornings from mid-January to the end of February the tour bus will leave from Stoney Creek Inn, on the west side of Galena, IL .
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 350 bald eagles during a single four-hour bus tour. The past few years these tours have been observing fewer and fewer immature eagles, which reflects what is happening to the whole Midwestern bald eagle population.
Mr. Ingram, who has been conducting these tours for over 47 years feels that the Midwestern bald eagle population may be on the verge of collapse and recommends people to see the bald eagles while they are still plentiful.
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. Nests in this area raised as many as 7 eaglets in 1999, when the bald eagle population was near its peak. 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 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.
A tour participant will come away with a better appreciation of America's symbol, and the understanding of why we should all strive to keep the bald eagle flying free and save its habitat which is threatened.
Normally, each of the bus drivers has had the experience driving for one of Mr. Ingram's bald eagle tours. Doug Hoffman, the regular bus driver, was recognized in 2010 for having driven a bus for Mr. Ingram's eagle tours for 35 years. The two of them have spent over 700 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 are welcome.
Your tour guide -- Terrence N. Ingram
Researcher, author and speaker, Terrence N. Ingram, has researched and photographed bald eagles for over 50 years. He is the CEO and Founder of the Eagle Nature Foundation, Ltd., and has led tours to see wintering bald eagles for over 48 years.
Mr. Ingram personally may have observed more bald eagles in the wild than anyone else alive. On several 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 and edited more bald eagle manuscripts 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, and is a member and editor of the KY/TN/IL Bald Eagle Management Team. 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 for participants wishing to get a rare copy
Mr. Ingram received the coveted Sol Feinstone Environmental Award from Syracuse University in 1979. In 2006 IL Gov., Pat Quinn, named him a "2006 Illinois Environmental Hero". In 2011 the Eagle Nature Foundation honored him for 50 years of preservation work on behalf of the bald eagle.
Overnight Lodging and sponsors
Stoney Creek Inn, Country Inn & Suites, Best Western and Ramada Inn are pleased to sponsor these 4-hour bald eagle bus tours by offering a special rates per room for anyone who stays at their motel when participating in a tour. This special tour rate includes a complimentary continental breakfast at each motel.
Stoney Creek Inn - $79 for Friday night only
Stoney Creek Inn is located on the north side of the Hwy. 20, one mile west of downtown Galena, near the McDonald's Restaurant is a modern motel with a rustic atmosphere, with 76 rooms, indoor pool, Jacuzzi and sauna.
For reservations call: 800-659-2220 or online through their website
Country Inn & Suites - $79 nightly, Friday & Saturday
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 72F water slide, children's pool with frog slide, whirlpool, business center, game & fitness room.
For reservations call: 815-777-2400 or online through their website. To get rate, please register with Dana or Jessica.
Best Western - $79 nightly, Friday & Saturday
Best Western is located on Hwy. 20 on Galena's east side, half mile from Main Street Galena has 42 guest rooms, indoor pool, hot tub, business center, fitness center, and free hot breakfast.
For reservations call: 815-777-2577 or online through their website
Ramada - $89 nightly, Friday & Saturday
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.
For reservations call: 815-777-2043 or online through their website
Tour Reservation Information
To encourage more people to take a tour this year the rates have been reduced from the past couple of years. The cost for a 2014 4-tour is $70 per adult and $50 per child under age 17.
ENF Members: You receive a $5 per seat discount on any of these rates.
Group pricing: For scout troops or clubs with groups of 6 of more, we are offering a group rate of $40 per person. For adult groups of 6 or more, we are offering a group rate of $60 per person. Please call or email 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 $15 per person of this fee is non-refundable.
- Payments are accepted by cash, check, or online payments (below).