Fresh AfieldMore posts

Did I See a Bald Eagle?

Dec 04, 2009

Bald EagleAs the winter season approaches, bald eagles are moving into Missouri from breeding areas to our north. A few overwintering eagles move in by mid-fall, but most arrive here in December. The Natural Events Calendar for Dec. 5 notes “Bald eagles arriving in northern Missouri; view them at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge.”

Bald EaglePrimarily fish eaters, the majestic birds move south as their northern fishing waters freeze over. Some will also follow migrating flocks of waterfowl, feeding on the ducks and geese that die during migration. Prime viewing spots in Missouri are our many large lakes and rivers. During the coldest winter periods, bald eagles will congregate below dams where water movement prevents ice from forming and fish moving through open gates may be stunned and easily caught.

The bald eagle is a real success story because the species’ numbers have greatly rebounded following the banning of the pesticide DDT in 1972. Although formerly a rare sight in Missouri, we now have thousands of overwintering eagles in the state each year and more than 175 active nests each spring. Because bald eagles will also scavenge for food, they are being seen more frequently on Missouri’s roadways, where road-killed animals provide an easy food source. I have had several contacts from Missourians observing these birds along roadways. Don’t be surprised if you round a corner on a Missouri highway one day and find scavenging bald eagles, like the vultures that you are accustomed to seeing recycling road-killed animals.

To learn more about bald eagles and to see them in the wild, there is a number of Eagle Days events scheduled each year in Missouri. Staff and volunteers are on hand at each event to help make each Eagle Days a great winter outing for Missourians with cabin fever.

Recent Posts

Discover Paddling, Discover Nature

Aug 17, 2016

Have you ever wished you could float silently through the woods, sneaking up on wildlife for a hunt, a birding expedition, or just a better photo? There is a way, and it affords you a lot more than just a closer look.

Viceroy caterpillar

A Cruddy Looking Success Story

Aug 15, 2016

With the Olympics wrapping up soon, sports enthusiasts and candid viewers alike have been plugged in and watching the next big event.  In nature's game of survival, there too are a variety of “headlines” that can amaze and inspire. 

Photo of an adult female house cricket walking on bark

Hearing Crickets

Aug 01, 2016

The cricket’s song can recall the carefree summer days of childhood. But usually we reduce the chirping to background noise.