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 watching bald eagles on your own.
Because of Missouri’s big rivers, many lakes, and abundant wetlands, the Show-Me state 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 Missouri. 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.
Watch for eagles perched in large trees along the water’s edge. Early in the morning you can see them flying and fishing. Be sure to dress for winter weather and don’t forget cameras and binoculars.
MDC Eagle Days Events
MDC is again offering Eagle Days events around the state. Some events will include live eagle programs, exhibits, activities, videos, and guides with spotting scopes. Some events require registration. Locations include:
Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge near Mound City — Dec. 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Smithville Lake at Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse in Smithville — Jan.8, 2022, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Jan. 9, 2022, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Old Chain of Rocks Bridge south of I-270 off Riverview Drive in St. Louis — Jan. 15, 2022, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Preregistration is required for each of the live-eagle program time slots at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.
Springfield Conservation Nature Center in Springfield — Jan. 15, 2022, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Jan. 16, 2022, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Preregistration is required.
Lock and Dam 24 and Apple Shed Theater in Clarksville — Jan. 29, 2022, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Jan. 30, 2022, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City — Jan.22, 2022, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Preregistration is required.
For more info on Eagle Days events, visit MDC online at mdc.mo.gov/events and search Eagle Days.
Eagle Watching on Your Own
Can’t make an MDC Eagle Days event? Other local events and hot spots for winter eagle viewing include:
Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area on Route K southwest of Columbia,
Lake of the Ozarks at Bagnell Dam Access east of Bagnell,
Lock & Dam 20 in Canton,
Lock & Dam 24 at Clarksville,
Lock & Dam 25 east of Winfield,
Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge south of Mound City,
Mingo National Wildlife Refuge northwest of Puxico,
Moses Eagle Park in Stella,
Old Chain of Rocks Bridge south of I-270 off of Riverview Drive in St. Louis,
Riverlands Environmental Demonstration Area east of West Alton,
Schell-Osage Conservation Area north of El Dorado Springs,
Smithville Lake north of Kansas City,
Stockton Lake near Stockton,
Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge south of Sumner,
Table Rock Lake and Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery southwest of Branson, and
Truman Reservoir west of Warsaw.
For more information on bald eagles, visit the MDC online Field Guide at mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/bald-eagle.