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.
MDC 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. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge near Mound City. Call 816-271-3111, ext. 1431, or 816-271-3100 for more information.
- SMITHVILLE: Jan. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Jan. 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Smithville Lake Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse north of Kansas City, 18212 Golf Course Road. Call 816-532-0174 for more information.
- ST. LOUIS: Jan. 18 and 19 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. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 19 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the MDC Springfield Nature Center, 4601 S Nature Center Way. Call 417-888-4237, ext. 1708, for more information.
- CLARKSVILLE: Jan. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lock and Dam 24 and Apple Shed Theater in Clarksville, 702 S. 2nd St. Call 660-785-2424, ext. 6506, or 660-785-2420 for more information.
- STELLA: Jan.25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Stella Veterans Memorial Park, 774 Ozark St. Call 417-629-3423 for more information.
- JEFFERSON CITY: Feb 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the MDC Runge Nature Center, 330 Commerce Drive. Call 573-526-5544, ext. 3407, for more information.
Eagle Watching on Your Own
Can’t make an Eagle Days event? Other 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 nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/bald-eagle.
For more information on Eagle Days, visit nature.mdc.mo.gov/eagle-days-5.