Bald Eagles arriving

Photo courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Photo courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Winter in Missouri means opportunities to view bald eagles, birds that appreciate the state’s wet areas and plentiful cuisine.

December through February is prime time for seeing the eagles and waterfowl like snow geese and trumpeter swans.

The Missouri Department of Conservation holds Eagle Days events around the state, where more than 2,000 bald eagles come for food and open water.

Conservation workers will be at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday Dec.6 and Sunday Dec.7.

Staff and volunteers will be at interpretive stops along a driving tour there from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, said T.J. Peacher, a conservation education supervisor.

There will also be a new driving tour loop this year through Big Lake State Park, west of the refuge, he said. The Missouri River oxbow lake at the park often has flocks of waterfowl like snow geese in early winter.

Dickenson Park Zoo staff will also provide live eagle shows at the refuge headquarters each hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The zoo rehabilitates injured birds of prey and those with injuries too severe for release are used in exhibits.

The refuge is north of St. Joseph and south of Mound City.

For those wanting closer eagle ceremonies, there is another eagle days event at Smithville Lake on Jan.10 and Jan. 11. Call 816-532-0174 for more information.

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