SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (edited news release from the Missouri Department Of Conservation) -

From December through February, Missouri's winter eagle watching is spectacular. Discover nature with Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Eagle Days events around the state, or enjoy eagle-viewing on your own.

Because of its big rivers, many lakes and wetlands, Missouri is one of the leading lower 48 states for bald eagle viewing. Each fall, thousands of these great birds migrate south from their nesting range in Canada and the Great Lakes states to hunt in the Show-Me State. Eagles take up residence wherever they find open water and plentiful food. More than 2,000 bald eagles are typically reported in Missouri during winter. Watch for eagles perched in large trees along the water’s edge. View them early in the morning to see eagles flying and fishing. Be sure to dress for winter weather and don’t forget cameras and binoculars.

 The following locations are hot spots for eagle viewing and MDC offers Eagle Days events on the dates listed. The events include live captive-eagleprograms, exhibits, activities, videos and guides with spotting scopes:

·         Jan. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 19 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the MDC Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

 ·         Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Schell City Community Center in downtown Schell City and the MDC Schell Osage Conservation area north of El Dorado Springs. Call 417-876-5226 for more information.

Can’t make an Eagle Days event? Other hot spots for winter eagle viewing include:

·         Lake of the Ozarks Bagnell Dam Access east of Bagnell

·         Table Rock Lake southwest of Branson

·         Truman Reservoir west of Warsaw

For more information, visit mdc.mo.gov/events/eagledays.