Tours that Soar! Eagle Watching in Connecticut Last Updated: August 2023
When you see an American Bald Eagle in person, you immediately understand why this majestic creature is such a symbol of our national pride. And seeing one is easier than you think, because Connecticut is the winter home of eagles who travel south from Maine and Canada when their habitats freeze over. They come here to feed, and can be found nesting along our major rivers and at large reservoirs. And as the eagles mate in January here, you’re more likely to see a pair or a nest alongside the water, where they can easily find fish.
These tour operators and wildlife experts know where the nests are, when the birds are active and the best ways to view them — from the water, from the trail, even from a train! Most eagle watching tours need reservations, so be sure to visit the links below for tour times and directions, or search "eagles" on our Events page for upcoming tours and activities.
From the Water
In Essex, at the Connecticut River Museum on weekends during March, the Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruises on the Connecticut River provide guests spot eagles in their natural habitat. An on-board naturalist help participants spot the eagles from a variety of locations.
The Connecticut Audubon Society can also connect you to eagle watch cruises and other birding trips along the Connecticut River. The Audubon Shop in Madison provides eagle watches on the Connecticut River from a variety of locations (this is not a boat trip). Your ticket includes a delicious lunch in Old Saybrook.
From the Land
On January 23, The Last Green Valley and Horizon Wings of Ashford are also hosting their Acorn Adventure: Eagle Eyes for families at Roseland Park in Woodstock. Experience just how big bald eagle's wings are, how huge their eyes are compared to the size of their heads, and other fun facts. On January 14, Over The Last Green Valley: A Walk to See Bald Eagles, gives families a chance to see eagles soaring, perching or even hunting!
From the Shore
Located along the Connecticut River in Haddam, Eagle Landing State Park offers benches, docks, and walkways along the river that often reward patient visitors with glimpses of bald eagles in flight. Dress warm and bring binoculars for the best chance of spotting one.
Or, bundle up and head out on the trail to look for eagles at The Shepaug Dam Bald Eagle Observation Center in Southbury. Open limited days through March 8, the observatory is located at Connecticut’s largest hydroelectric dam, (and not far from the Lake Lilinonah Trail.) You will need a reservation to visit the eagle viewing area, and visitors can make reservations to visit between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The dam averaged more than five eagle sightings a day during last year’s observation season!
Make it a Weekend!
Looking for a place to stay close to these eagle watching spots? check into one of these hotels, inns or B&Bs:
Extend Your Visit
Got a little more time? Plan a two-day wildlife excursion and meet the seals of Long Island Sound with this suggested eagle- and seal-spotting getaway!