Raptors celebrated at Smithville Lake Eagle Days

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

Smithville, Mo. – Wild birds on the wing and rehabilitated birds indoors were featured Jan. 6 & 7 at the  23rd annual Smithville Lake Eagle Days. Bald eagles were feeding on fish at the spillway below the lake’s dam, and visitors watched from an observation area nearby. Operation Wildlife and Lakeside Nature Center displayed live raptors that had been rehabilitated from injuries at the Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse at the lake. The event drew 1,350 visitors.

Smithville Lake Eagle Days is hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clay County Parks & Recreation, and other conservation partners.

Cold temperatures on Jan. 6 didn’t stop visitors from braving the chill at the observation site near the dam. The public turnout was lower on Jan. 7 due to rain. But canopies were set up at the viewing area to protect visitors and spotting scopes.

“Everybody stayed dry and it worked out great,” said Derek Dorsey, the lake’s project manager for the Corps of Engineers. “The eagles put on a better show, and we also had red-tailed hawks and a great blue heron for people to see.”

For more information about eagle viewing during winter, and other Eagle Days events throughout Missouri, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZJA.