Waterfowl a bonus at 38th annual Squaw Creek Eagle Days

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

Mound City, Mo. – Waterfowl in marshes, eagles perched in trees or on muskrat lodges, visitors had plenty to see Dec. 2, 3 and 4 at the 38th annual Eagle Days at the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted the event along with other private and public conservation partners.

MDC staff organized the school portion held on Friday, Dec. 2. Schools from throughout northwest Missouri brought 870 students, teachers and parents, said Adam Brandsgaard, MDC education consultant. They viewed a live eagle show presented by Dickerson Park Zoo, and they boarded buses for a guided driving tour of the refuge. Stops were made at interpretive stations where experts displayed beaver pelts and talked about their role in the wetlands. Eagles and waterfowl were spotted from the buses. Waterfowl wings and life habits were featured at one station.

The general public attended the event on Saturday and Sunday with 2,360 visitors viewing the live eagle show, said Lindsay Landowski, refuge manager. The self-guided auto tour drew 2,150 people, and another 300 took the guided bus tours. The refuge’s visitor center was also open with special displays. Sights seen on the driving tour included trumpeter swans and snow geese.

Staff and volunteers from 14 different public agencies or private organizations devoted to conservation participated in hosting Eagle Days. The refuge was established primarily for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. MDC also provides conservation areas with wetlands, loess hill prairies and river bluff forest in the region.

More eagle viewing opportunities are ahead in the Kansas City area.

MDC will offer an Eagle Day 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, at LaBenite Park in Sugar Creek, just east of the Missouri 291 bridge across the Missouri River. Sugar Creek is a suburb in the Kansas City metro area. A highlight will be the live eagle program by the Dickerson Park Zoo. All activities are free. For information, call 816-228-3766.

The 22nd annual Smithville Lake Eagle Days will be Jan. 7-8. Free indoor activities including live raptors and conservation displays will be at the Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse. Spotting scopes will be set up around the lake in areas wild eagles are frequenting. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2g3sFQA.

For information about other Eagle Days events throughout Missouri, and possible places to view eagles during winter, visit https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/events/eagle-days.