MDC and partners host 39th Loess Bluffs Eagle Days

News from the region
Published Date

Mound City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and partners will host the 39th annual Eagle Days at the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3. This free event offers participants a close-up look at eagles in an indoor presentation by Dickerson Park Zoo staff. The refuge offers a driving tour through the marshes where visitors often spot waterfowl and eagles.

Winter weather brings large flocks of ducks and geese migrating southward. Loess Bluffs has large wetlands that become stopping points for migrating waterfowl, shore birds and eagles. The wetlands near Mound City, north of St. Joseph, are a favored place for photographers, birders and wildlife watchers. In addition, the refuge has hiking trails that begin in forest but lead to high bluffs with remnant loess hill prairie. Loess is a type of fine-silt soil that winds piled up into hills and bluffs after the last glaciers retreated. The refuge’s name was recently changed from Squaw Creek to Loess Bluffs.

At Eagle Days, visitors can see special displays in the headquarters building. Spotting scopes will be set up at some sites along the driving tour for visitors to look for waterfowl and eagles. The number of waterfowl and eagles using the refuge is somewhat weather dependent. But some wildlife and lingering fall colors are almost always present.

An annual highlight of Eagle Days is the Dickerson Park Zoo program. The zoo staff displays eagles that have been rehabilitated from injuries but cannot be released back into the wild. Visitors get a close view of eagles and interesting tips about their abilities in the wild. Live eagle shows will be presented hourly 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The refuge driving tours and nature interpretive stops will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Guided bus tours of the refuge and food vendors will also be available.

The Loess Bluffs refuge is reached via Interstate 29 by taking the U.S. 159 exit west.

For more information about Eagle Days at the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, call 816-271-3100, or visit

For information about Eagle Days events throughout Missouri, and for eagle viewing sites throughout winter, visit