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Soar to Puxico for MDC Eagle Days in February
PUXICO, Mo. – Celebrate the return of bald eagles to southeast Missouri with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Friends of Mingo Swamp, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, World Bird Sanctuary, and Puxico School District on Feb. 4 in Puxico.
“Attendees will experience indoor live bald eagle shows from our friends at the World Bird Sanctuary,” said MDC Conservation Educator Sally Hancock.
- Programs will be held at Puxico Activity Center at 8:30 a.m.; 10 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.; and 2 p.m.
- The 2 p.m. program will be different from the other programs, providing another opportunity to learn about eagles and other birds of prey.
- All ages are welcome, and registration is not required. Eagle shows have a capacity of 400; early arrival is recommended.
Hancock said opportunities to view bald eagles in the wild – with the assistance of volunteers and spotting scopes – will be available at the following locations:
- Three locations on Mingo National Wildlife Refuge from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- One location at the Bill Emerson Memorial Visitor Center from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- One location at Duck Creek Conservation Area from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
She added Mingo National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center will be open the day of the event to present details on the restoration project that took place on the refuge. Limited edition prints of the hacking towers (limit one per family) will also be provided.
Hancock said 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 year around this time, thousands of these great birds migrate south from their nesting range in Canada and the Great Lakes states to hunt in Missouri,” she said. “So, now is a great time to visit!”
Hancock said eagles take up residence wherever they find open water and plentiful food, and more than 2,000 bald eagles are typically reported in Missouri during winter.
For event questions, contact Sally Hancock at Sally.Hancock@mdc.mo.gov
Puxico Activity Center is adjacent to Puxico High School, just off HWY 51.
Eagle Watching on Your Own
Can't make an MDC Eagle Days event? Other local events and hot spots for winter eagle viewing include:
- Duck Creek Conservation Area north of Puxico on Highway 51 in Stoddard
- Mingo National Wildlife Refuge on Hwy 51 in Stoddard County
- 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
- Moses Eagle Park in Stella
- Old Chain of Rocks Bridge south of I-270 off 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
- Truman Reservoir west of Warsaw
- Wappapello Lake’s Eagle Point in southeast Missouri
Watch for eagles perched in large trees along the water's edge. Early in the morning you can see them flying and fishing. Be sure to dress for winter weather and don't forget cameras and binoculars!
For more information on bald eagles, visit the MDC online Field Guide at mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/bald-eagle.
Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/events/eagle-days, and visit MDC online at mdc.mo.gov/events by searching “Eagle Days.”