The only Eagle Days event this winter in the metro is set for Saturday and Sunday at Smithville Lake. It’s a chance to see and learn more about bald eagles, some of whom live in Missouri year-round and many of whom migrate here for part of the winter.
Programs are at the clubhouse at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex, 18212 Golf Course Drive in Smithville. The event is free.
Programs with live eagles are at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Overall hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The Martha Lafite Nature Sanctuary in Liberty, Operation Wildlife, Friends of Lakeside Nature Center and others are scheduled to have booths. Refreshments will be for sale.
The golf complex is on the west side of Smithville Lake, which attracts many bald eagles. A viewing site for the day is to be determined the morning of the event. It’s a good idea to bring binoculars, spotting scopes and/or a camera. Dress for the weather, too. It’s expected to be sunny Saturday with a high in the upper 20s and rainy Sunday with a high in the upper 30s.
Two national wildlife refuges within a couple hours’ drive of Kansas City also are listed by the Missouri Department of Conservation as hotspots for viewing eagles. The Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge just off Interstate 29 near Mound City at mid-week reported 81 bald eagles, about one-third of them adults. The Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Sumner last week reported 72 eagles.
Other hot spots on the western side of the state include the Schell-Osage Conservation Area north of El Dorado Springs and the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery near Branson.