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A bald eagle scans the water for fish Tuesday near Arsenal Island at Lock and Dam 15.

As scores of bald eagles continue to gather near open water in the Quad-Cities, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a series of free bird watching events this winter on Arsenal Island.

Park rangers will welcome viewers every weekend beginning Jan. 13 and continuing through the first half of February. The 90-minute outings begin at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on the following days: Jan. 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28; Feb. 3, 4, 10, 11. 

Guests will meet at the Mississippi River Visitor Center, 328 Rodman Ave., Rock Island, on the western end of Arsenal Island near Lock and Dam 15 before touring the nearby historic Clock Tower. 

The corps will set up telescopes on the fifth floor of the 150-year-old tower, where participants may view birds to the west, park ranger Mike McKean said. His office counted 122 eagles Wednesday at Lock and Dam 15. 

The clock tower is the signature structure of the Rock Island Arsenal and the only one remaining from the Civil War era. It is made of limestone quarried about 14 miles upriver. The main building is three stories high, with a 117-foot high tower in the middle that contains clock faces.

Those interested in attending one of the tours on Arsenal Island must first stop at the Visitor Control Center at the Moline gate, where they will be asked for a driver's license or other approved identification. They also will undergo a screening process. For reservations, call 309-794-5338. Visit www.missriver.org for more information.

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Jack Cullen uncovers different slices of life for the Quad-City Times. He previously covered the city of Bettendorf. When he's not reporting, Jack enjoys coaching tennis and exploring the outdoors.