33RD ANNUAL BALD EAGLE APPRECIATION DAYS

The 33rd Annual Bald Eagle Appreciation Days are coming up on January 21st and 22nd. One of the big factors that local civic leaders have been gauging is the potential number of Bald Eagles that will be present at the festival. Yearly eagle numbers fluctuate on a yearly basis and certain consistent factors may give an indication as to how this year will match up to past years. DNR Game Warden Ben Schlater explained that the biggest factor that will influence eagle numbers in Keokuk will be weather-related. The colder the weather the more ice will form on the Mississippi River north of Lock and Dam 19. As the ice forms in the north, the only areas that eagles will be able to feed on shad will be below the lock and dam in Keokuk. Wildlife Biologist Andy Robbins reiterated Schlater’s point saying that if the weather stays warm the eagles will look to stay in their territorial nesting areas in northern Iowa and Minnesota. With these factors in mind, local Eagle Days proponents like Tourism Director Kirk Brandenburger are hoping for the cold weather that we’re likely to see this weekend.