Each winter, the Missouri Department of Conservation holds several free Eagle Days events throughout the Show-Me State, giving visitors a chance to learn about bald eagles and see them in their natural habitat.
The next upcoming Eagle Days events are scheduled for Jan. 19 and 20 in two locations: in Springfield, Missouri, and at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis.
Missouri is an excellent state to view bald eagles, especially during the winter months. At this time of year, the state’s small resident eagle population is swelled by migrating birds from the north to increase the numbers to more than 2,500 eagles.
Here are some more details about the upcoming events:
Eagle Days activities will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19 and from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center at 4601 S. Nature Center Way.
The indoor portion of the Eagle Days event will be at the nature center and will include activities, crafts and opportunities to view Phoenix, a live captive bald eagle from Dickerson Park Zoo that is the zoo’s eagle ambassador.
On Jan. 19, live eagle programs will be held every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Jan. 20, programs will be at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Also, as part of the Eagle Days event, spotting scopes will be set up outside the Springfield/Greene County Park Board’s Lake Springfield Boathouse and Marina for chances to view eagles at Lake Springfield. For more information about Eagle Days in Springfield, call 417.888.4237 or visit https://mdc.mo.gov/eagledays.
In St. Louis
Eagle Days will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 19 and 20 at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, located south of I-270 off Riverview Drive in St. Louis.
Visitors can view eagles through spotting scopes staffed by trained volunteers at any time from the vantage point of the historic Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. The bridge is part of the Mississippi Greenway, also known as the Riverfront Trail.
On both days, the World Bird Sanctuary will present an educational program featuring a live bald eagle, repeated every 20 minutes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Programming includes a hands-on exhibit of local birds presented by St. Louis Audubon, a full-size replica of an eagle’s nest, and warming tent activities, including children’s crafts.
Guests can also enjoy Lewis and Clark living history demonstrations at both sides of the bridge. The Missouri Bridge entrance will feature re-enactors from the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles both days. Visitors can see how Lewis and Clark and their crew lived, cooked, and traveled more than 200 years ago. Demonstrations will also include a flag raising at 10 a.m. and lowering at 3 p.m. both days.
Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly, wear comfortable shoes (eagle viewing occurs at the center of the Bridge, a half-mile walk from each Bridge entrance), and leave their pets at home.
Conservation officials will hold three more Eagle Days events in the coming weeks:
— In Jefferson City, Missouri, Eagle Days will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 26 at the MDC Runge Conservation Nature Center. Call 573.526.5544 for details.
— In Clarksville, Missouri, Eagle Days will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 27 at Lock and Dam 24 and Apple Shed Theater. Call 660.785.2424 for more information.
— In Puxico, Missouri, Eagle Days is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. Call 573.222.3589 for details.
Eagle Days events are free and open to the public. Food and beverages may be available for purchase at some locations. All schedules are subject to change.
For more information about Eagle Days and bald eagles in Missouri, visit https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/bald-eagle.