Ozark Outdoors

Eagle Days this weekend celebrates national bird’s resurgence

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Sue Schuble, a volunteer with the Greater Ozarks Audubon Society, handles Phoenix, an eagle at the Dickerson Park Zoo. The zoo will bring its resident eagles to Eagle Days this weekend at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – In winter, the Ozarks can be an excellent region for viewing bald eagles. Missouri’s normally small resident eagle population swells as the migrating birds from the north move south for milder weather. In some years, more than 2,500 eagles travel along rivers and streams, establishing themselves on bodies of water large and small.

If you want to learn more about bald eagles at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Eagle Days event, this weekend, Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, Springfield Conservation Nature Center will offer multiple free events from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The indoor portion of Eagle Days at the Nature Center will include an opportunity to view a live captive bald eagle from Dickerson Park Zoo of Springfield along with programs conducted by docents from the zoo.

On Saturday, eagle programs will be in the Nature Center’s auditorium every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Sunday, programs will be at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Other eagle activities will also be at the Nature Center.

Also as part of the Eagle Days event, spotting scopes will be set up outside the Springfield/Greene County Park Board’s Lake Springfield Boathouse and Marina for possible eagle sighting along Lake Springfield.

For more information about Eagle Days, call 417-888-4237. The Missouri Conservation Department’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center is located in at 4601 S. Nature Center Way, just off U.S. 65.

Information about bald eagles in Missouri can also be found at mdc.mo.gov/eagledays.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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