Kansas City, Mo. – Watching migrating bald eagles near lakes and rivers is a winter treat. The 24th Annual Eagle Days at Smithville Lake will offer visitors a chance to see wild eagles on the wing and rehabilitated captive raptors Jan. 5-6 at the Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse, 18212 Golf Course Drive, in the Little Platte Park at Smithville. Eagle Days is hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clay County Parks and Recreation, and private conservation groups.
Outdoor eagle viewing and indoor activities at the clubhouse will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, and from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7. Featured indoors at the clubhouse will be live birds, talks about raptors, and nature displays. Presentations will be made by Operation Wildlife, the Friends of the Lakeside Nature Center, the Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary of Liberty, Wings of Love, Clay County Parks, and Missouri Master Naturalists. Presenters often display captive birds rehabilitated from injuries, from owls big and small to raptors such as turkey vultures.
Outdoors, spotting scopes will be set up at locations where migrating eagles are feeding or resting at the lake. The location will be chosen the morning of the event. Weather dictates where eagles and waterfowl visit the lake. Eagles also feed on fish, including at the spillway below the dam. Event organizers at the clubhouse will direct visitors to the best outdoor eagle viewing areas, and signs may be posted as well. Bitter cold and a hard freeze up of the lake can send eagles and waterfowl on south. But most years, visitors get to see eagles at the lake.
Attendees are encouraged to bring cameras, binoculars, spotting scopes, and warm clothes. Refreshments will be on sale at the clubhouse. For information about Smithville Lake Eagle Days, call 816-532-0174.
For information about viewing bald eagles at other locations and at MDC events, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZG7.