A Guide to Viewing Bald Eagles at Conowingo Dam

Conowingo-Dam

The bald eagles entertain spectators from all over the world at Conowingo Dam’s Fisherman’s Wharf & Park. Visitors easily see Bald Eagles, up to 100 of them, from the viewing platforms and paved walkway of the park. The wildlife park is run and maintained by Exelon Corporation, the owner of the hydroelectric plant.

3-Eagles-1-Gull

Here you can see our national symbol everywhere from November to February, but bird watchers see hundreds of species of birds throughout the year.

Adult-Eagle12-27-14

Of course, the Bald Eagles are the stars of the show, even though I was told warblers bring in many bird watchers, (some birdwatchers seen in the gallery below).

Picnic tables line the riverbank making this place a perfect place to bring a family for the day. The kids joined seasoned photographers along the river bank all vying for a prime viewing location. The rapid fire of camera shutters sounded a little like tiny machine guns shooting down small fighter planes, I heard one kid say.

Many-Gulls

The park was built in 2009 for birders and fishermen, and the best part of watching the eagles is when THEY fight over a fish. They are just wonderful to photograph when feeding. While shots of the hundreds of gulls (above gallery) aren’t likely to amaze the masses, they are still nice to see against a perfect blue sky such as we had when I was there.

2-Young-Eagles

I think if I had advice to offer, it would be spend more than an hour here. There usually is a long wait between the action and it is well worth your time. The other photographers announce when a bird is coming in and everyone raises their lenses in unison to follow the action. Once a bird catches a fish, eagles descend from the trees and towers in chase (above).

Eagle-Landed

I found this place not particularly easy to find since my GPS is not updated. The address is 2569 Shures Landing Road, Darlington, MD 21034, but there are very few signs. Here is a link to a pdf of all the information you will need about where and when to visit. Conowingo Dam’s Fisherman’s Park.

Big-Dam-Small-Eagle

Since I come from the north in Pennsylvania, I can tell you to take Route 222 S (Rock Spring Road) to Route 1 South into Maryland. Route 1 becomes Conowingo Road. Go across the river and over the dam bridge to Shuresville Road where you make a hard left up the hill. Take the very windy road for 0.7 miles to Shure’s Landing and make a very sharp left. Follow it through the inspection gate and make a left to the parking area. Park in the middle of the parking section so you are located at the best viewing spot in front of the two large towers. Keeping an eye on the eagles perched on the towers lets you anticipate their fishing runs. You will move towards the dam later as the sun sets behind the trees, so having your vehicle centrally located is a good idea. Bring a lunch too.

Conowingo-Dam-2

Next post, I will talk about what I learned from other photographers (with the big guns) on photographing the eagles.

On GWGT, How to Tell Young Eagles From Adults.

Big-Guns

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20 Responses to A Guide to Viewing Bald Eagles at Conowingo Dam

  1. alesiablogs says:

    Good God…Look at that guy’s camera! Looks like a torpedo could come out of it!

  2. donna213 says:

    That was not even the longest lens. Some guys had 50K in equipment.

  3. aussiebirder says:

    What a wonderful experience and privilege to capture, I so wish I could have been there, I love these one off captures, they are so special to us!

  4. Capturing these amazing birds takes such patience and skill…Your really got so many great shots.

  5. My Heartsong says:

    That would be an amazing event. Nice to see the eagles in their various stages and the photographers and birders, too.

    • donna213 says:

      It is quite the show. On GWGT I have more info and closeup images. I also have the fast action shots coming up if you are interested. I really needed more than two days here. Next year, I will plan a week and bring a longer lens.

  6. A.M.B. says:

    How wonderful! I’ve never seen a bald eagle in the wild (only at the zoo).

  7. connie661 says:

    Great information. I’d like to go there sometime.

  8. That looks like a great spot. Thanks for sharing.

    • donna213 says:

      Thanks Connie. It was a wonderful location having so many of them. It would be a long drive from Buffalo, but worth the trip. They have a FB page so you can check it before going.

  9. I love how easily you give us the details to make for a great trip….I am amazed at all the people and amenities there.

  10. Kathleen.smith2@verizoj.net says:

    Is there a place where old folks can drive and sit and still view birds and eagles?

  11. Thanks for that posting. It was very helpful since I plan a trip to the Dam this winter.

    • donna213 says:

      I hope you get to see many eagles. I have been following the FB posts and they are reporting that the transient eagles have paired and left. What remains is about 12 resident eagles. That is still more than I see here, but nothing compared when the migrating eagles pass through. The likelihood is this warm weather trend this year. Eagles start breeding in January anyway, but I am guessing the warmer weather sent them on their way.

  12. Roger says:

    In October it was incredible. Wild Kingdom right in front of you!

  13. These are fantastic birds and pictures, Donna. Good to see this blog too.

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