Great River Road Eagle Watching in Iowa

Outdoor enthusiasts take to the Mississippi River as the cold weather settles in over Iowa to view the majestic bald eagles as they gather around areas of open water along the Great River Road to feed on fish. Seeing one bald eagle with their six-foot wing span, piercing eyes, and sharp talons will send your heart racing, but from December through March you can spot hundreds of them all in one spot! 

Eagle Watching along the Mississippi River in Muscatine, Iowa

The best viewing begins when large stretches of the Mississippi River become frozen. The eagles are forced to fish from the small areas of open water, increasing the likelihood of greater numbers of eagles. When winters are mild, eagle viewing will be more sporadic.

When viewing is ideal, you'll want to use binoculars so you can stay 100-400 feet away from eagles. Loud noises, movement, and trying to approach too closely will startle the eagles. Eagles are most susceptible to startling when roosting, so do not disturb at night. We aim to protect their quality of life to have the energy for fishing so they will remain healthy and have the stamina to travel north to nest in the Spring.


Stay with us at The Merrill Hotel for prime eagle watching in Iowa along the Mississippi River in Muscatine. With a riverview hotel room, you could enjoy the sites right from the comfortable luxury of your guest room or venture across the street to the Pearl City Station with your binoculars for a birds-eye view of the mighty bald eagles. There is no better hotel near prime eagle watching on the Mississippi River in Iowa!


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