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Bald eagle

In flight, mature bald eagles are relatively easy to identify. They have a dark brown body with white head and tail. In Missouri, they are observed near lakes, rivers, and marshes, particularly in winter.

From December through February, Missouri's winter eagle watching is spectacular. Discover nature with the Missouri Department of Conservation 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.

EAGLE DAYS EVENTS

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. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge near Mound City. Call 816-271-3100 for more information.

KANSAS CITY: Jan. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Jan. 6 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. 19 and 20 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 314-301-1500 for more information.

SPRINGFIELD: Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 20 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the MDC Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Call 417-888-4237 for more information

JEFFERSON CITY: Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the MDC Runge Conservation Nature Center. Call 573-526-5544 for more information.

CLARKSVILLE: Jan. 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lock and Dam 24 and Apple Shed Theater in Clarksville. Call 660-785-2424 for more information.

PUXICO: Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, Puxico. Call 573-222-3589 for more information.

EAGLE WATCHING ON YOUR OWN

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, Canton

Lock & Dam 24 at Clarksville

Lock & Dam 25 east of Winfield

Mingo National Wildlife Refuge northwest of Puxico

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge south of I-270, off of Riverview Drive, 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

Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge south of Mound City

Stella at Moses Eagle Park

Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge south of Sumner

Table Rock Lake and Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery southwest of Branson

Truman Reservoir west of Warsaw

EAGLE DAYS WILD WEBCAST

Mark your calendar for the MDC Wild Webcast: Bald Eagles and Eagle Days Dec. 4 from noon to 1 p.m. where MDC Resource Scientist Janet Haslerig and MDC Eagle Days Veteran Dan Zarlenga will share their expertise about bald eagles in Missouri and the perennially popular MDC Eagle Days events around the state. Register at short.mdc.mo.gov/ZT7.

For more information on bald eagles, visit the MDC online Field Guide at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/bald-eagle.

For more information on Eagle Days, visit nature.mdc.mo.gov/eagle-days-5

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