I'm talking bald eagles here. If you've never seen one up close and personal, then it's something that at least oughtta be on your bucket list. And now's your chance with the Missouri Department of Conservation's annual Eagle Days program.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 it? 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