Winter is one of the best seasons for viewing bald eagles in North America. Many of the best locations are found along both coasts, major rivers, and migratory bird flyways. The following list includes a few areas where bald eagles may be seen.
Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge (New Hampshire)
At Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a two-mile trail leads to Great Bay where bald eagles, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, red fox, and other wildlife are sometimes present.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (Eastern Shore of Maryland)
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge has one of the highest concentrations of bald eagles on the East Coast. More than 200 bald eagles winter on the refuge. Held in March, the lackwater National Wildlife Refuge Eagle Festival features kids’ activities, guest speakers, exhibits, and bus tours to see active eagle nests.
Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge (Washington, DC)
The first refuge established for the protection of bald eagles, Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge is a leading place to try to spot them. The refuge lies along a section of the Potomac River that is a breeding and resting area for bald eagles. The Great Marsh Trail offers a good overlook from November through March, when eagles are building nests and laying eggs.
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (near Clinton, Iowa)
At Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, bald eagles sometimes number in the hundreds as they hunt the open water below the river’s locks and dams. The refuge surrounds the lock and provides excellent viewing opportunities. Bald eagle numbers peak from January through March. The refuge holds the Clinton Bald Eagle Watch in January.
Lower Klamath and Tule Lake Wildlife Refuges
Large numbers of bald eagles visit Lower Klamath and Tule Lake refuges in winter. Bald eagles are highlighted at the Klamath Basin Refuges Winter Wings Festival, held in February.
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (Olympia, Washington)
Bald eagles feed on waterfowl and fish where the Nisqually River meets Puget Sound. Washington is one of the largest eagle nesting sites in the country.
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (Portland, Oregon)
In winter, resident and migrating bald eagles feed on waterfowl and fish along the Columbia River. Eagle populations can vary, depending on the Columbia salmon runs.
source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service