Bald Eagles started coming to the 1000 Islands area in the late 1970s. The hydro dam, mills and great drop in the river elevation keeps the water open more than in other areas. The river also provides many fish, which is a primary source of food for eagles. The 350 acres of Conservancy Zone give the eagles a place on the river to navigate away from people.
Kaukauna and other cities and towns along the lower Fox River have become a popular spot for Bald Eagles to migrate to during the winter months. Some eagles have stayed in the area to build a nest and produce offspring.
Eagle watching along the lower Fox River can be spectacular. 1000 Islands has always been an ideal area each winter to watch eagles either perched in large trees along the water’s edge or soaring above. They are drawn to areas of open water in search of fish, their preferred food. Early morning or at sunset is a prime time during the day to see eagles flying and fishing.
Each year, on the 4th Saturday in January, 1000 Islands hosts Eagle Days. Eagle lovers of all ages come to watch eagles fishing, soaring overhead or roosting in nearby trees. Eagle Days is a family day and provides an educational program featuring a live bald eagle. Other activities include a full-size replica of an eagle’s nest, hands-on eagle activities, children’s crafts, coloring contest, door prizes and more. All activities are free.
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Conservancy Zone in 2019, 1000 Islands published a children’s storybook about 3 eaglets that hatched out of a nest at 1000 Islands and focuses on the change in the environment over the past 50 years. The story was written by our Assistant Naturalist, Stephanie Feuerstein, and illustrated by Mary Vander Sander. The book is available for purchase in our gift shop or you can send an order form in through the mail.