Nixa Hardware

See our great national bird during Eagle Days through February

Posted By  | On 0 Comments
A bald eagle sweeps down on its prey in an Ozarks lake. Depending on weather, the eagles migrate south during winter months, including the Ozarks where they nest.

A bald eagle sweeps down on its prey in an Ozarks lake. Contrary to what some old-timers believed, eagles prefer fish and even carrion to poultry.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — From December through February, Missouri’s winter eagle watching is spectacular. Discover nature with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) through Eagle Days events around the state, or enjoy eagle viewing on your own.

Because of the state’s big rivers, many lakes, and abundant wetlands, Missouri is one of the leading lower 48 states for bald eagle viewing. Each fall, thousands of these great birds migrate south from their nesting range in Canada and the Great Lakes states to hunt in the Show-Me State. Eagles take up residence wherever they find open water and plentiful food. More than 2,000 bald eagles are typically reported in Missouri during winter.

MDC Eagle Days events are listed below. They include live captive-eagle programs, exhibits, activities, videos, and guides with spotting scopes. Watch for eagles perched in large trees along the water’s edge. View them early in the morning to see eagles flying and fishing. Be sure to dress for winter weather and don’t forget cameras and binoculars.

  • MOUND CITY: Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge south of Mound City. Call 816-271-3100 for more information.
  • KANSAS CITY: Jan. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Jan. 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Smithville Lake Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse north of Kansas City. Call 816-532-0174 for more information.
  • ST. LOUIS: Jan. 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge south of I-270 off Riverview Drive in St. Louis. Call 314-877-6014 for more information.
  • SPRINGFIELD: Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 22 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the MDC Springfield Conservation Nature Center with viewing opportunities at the nearby Lake Springfield Boathouse and Marina. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.
  • JEFFERSON CITY: Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City with wild eagle viewing at the nearby Marion Access. Call 573-526-5544 for more information.
  • CLARKSVILLE: Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lock and Dam 24 and Apple Shed Theater in Clarksville. Call 660-785-2420 for more information.
  • PUXICO: Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge near Puxico. Call 573-222-3589 for more information.

Can’t make an Eagle Days event? Other hot spots for winter eagle viewing include:

  • Lake of the Ozarks at Bagnell Dam Access east of Bagnell
  • Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area on Route K southwest of Columbia
  • Lock & Dam 20 at Canton
  • Lock & Dam 24 at Clarksville
  • Lock & Dam 25 east of Winfield
  • Mingo National Wildlife Refuge north of Puxico on Highway 51
  • Moses Eagle Park at Stella
  • Old Chain of Rocks Bridge south of I-270, off of Riverview Drive in St. Louis
  • Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary east of West Alton
  • Schell-Osage Conservation Area north of El Dorado Springs
  • Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge south of Mound City
  • Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge south of Sumner
  • Table Rock Lake southwest of Branson
  • Truman Reservoir west of Warsaw
  • For more information, visit mdc.mo.gov/EagleDays.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login