Thursday, December 17, 2015

MDC holds new Eagle Day event in Kansas City area

Missouri River boat rides and captive eagle shows highlight event


Kansas City, Mo. – A Missouri River boat ride to see an eagle nest, an occasional wild eagle and flocks of gulls on sand bars were highlights on Dec. 12 at the Missouri River Eagle Day. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) hosted the event at LaBenite Park in Sugar Creek, a Kansas City suburb. Visitors also got a close-up look at a bald eagle and a golden eagle displayed by staff from the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield. Conservation and nature displays were available throughout the park, and the Sugar Creek Police Department served lunch.
   About 250 visitors attended the event. MDC and conservation partners host various Eagle Days events throughout the state during winter. Migrating bald eagles often congregate in large numbers near lakes and rivers. This was an inaugural event connecting people with nature on the Missouri River in winter. Only a few wild eagles were in the area during the event, as the weather did not cooperate to bring large numbers of eagles to the river. But all participants in the boat ride got a close look at an active eagle nest in a large tree on the river bank just downstream of Kansas City.
  
 “People had a blast out on the river,” said Steve Jacobsen, assistant manager for MDC’s Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center. “They just don’t get a chance to do that very often.”
   The next raptor and waterfowl watching event in the Kansas City metro area will be the 21st annual Smithville Lake Eagle Days on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 9 and 10. An outdoor eagle and waterfowl viewing station will be set up at the lake. Conservation displays, kids crafts, and a program with live predatory birds will be available indoors at the Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse, 18212 Golf Course Drive, Smithville. The event is 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 and 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 10. For information, call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 816-532-0174.
   Also in MDC’s Kansas City Region, an Eagle Days event will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. onSaturday, Feb. 6, at the Schell City Community Center and at MDC’s Schell-Osage Conservation Area. The event will include raptor programs and guided eagle viewed at the conservation area. For information call 417-876-5226.
   For information about these and other Eagle Days events throughout Missouri, and for eagle viewing sites throughout winter, visit mdc.mo.gov/events/eagledays.