Festival Of Eagles Preview

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Festival of Eagles: Saturday January 26th, from 10 AM until 3 PM, at Veterans Memorial Park. 



KEVIN BADGELY/ MISSOURI DEPT. CONSERVATION:
“The eagles are here and we’re going to have our Festival of Eagles Day coming up Saturday the 26th. It’s going to be going on from 10 until 3. All kinds of activities for the family. And the main reason that we’re here is we want people to get out and discover nature and see this beautiful American icon, the bald eagle.”


ERIN: “So why do the eagles come here this time of year?”


KEVIN: “You know Missouri is very fortunate. We are one of the top, if not the top, continuous state in the lower 48 to have up to 4 or 5,000 eagles. Which is the most of any state. And the reason is is because of our beautiful, clear water resources. You know the Mississippi, Missouri Rivers the main fly way. All of those things working together to get a lot of eagles. Here in southwest Missouri we’re very fortunate. Stella you know as you can see on the sign behind me you know, where eagles soar. Historically this is a place where eagles have always come. We are blessed, we’ve got lots of clear, great streams. South Indian Creek runs right through Stella and this Southwest Area. So we get a lot of eagles that come down through here just because of the flyway, and then also the thermals. With this valley sitting in here there’s lots of places for them to roost. And do the fishing that they do during the wintertime.”


ERIN: “So what can people expect to see when they come out here?”


KEVIN: “Well you know the eagles are here pretty much from December through Feburary. So anytime that you come down here in Southwest Missouri this area, you could possibly see a few eagles to maybe even 30, 40 up in a particular area. Most of the time you’ll see half a dozen maybe sitting here. And then sometimes if it’s a nice day, suns out for the winter, they will be soaring high above. So we ask you to be cautious if you’re driving to be looking for eagles. But pull over somewhere off of the road to take a look. But this is a great opportunity for folks to come down, see the eagles, the whole city of Stella. Our local Master Naturalist Chapter gets involved, along with the conservation department. So you’ll have the opportunity to come down, see them at particular viewing stations, with scopes and binoculars. We have activities going on for the kids, learning about the eagles and how they’re a conservation success. The City of Stella opens up their doors and we have a warming station for them. They have refreshments, food that’s available. So it’s just a great time, opportunity and over 2,000 people typically come to this event so it’s a great even to just come out to and enjoy. Like I said the American icon or the Bald Eagle.”


ERIN: “Very cool. So where do they go after here?”


KEVIN: “You know we will keep a couple hundred eagles nesting pairs of eagles here in Missouri and then most of ours will fly, continue up north, in the middle part of the state. Up into the Canada area. Typically going back up to those fish resources. Right now with the colder weather and the ice frozen over, they have to come down here. So what they do is they change their diet a little bit. They follow the water fowl that’s coming through Missouri, they’ll also start fishing here. But they’re also scavengers so they eat any dead materials, so deer, roadkill, things like that. So they’re down here right now surviving in the cold like most of our winter birds are going down South into the tropics right now. So these eagles come from the Northern climates, stop here in Missouri, and then most of them will start by March returning to their grounds where they’re fishing up in the North central plains and into Canada.”


ERIN:
“So tell us one more time where exactly in Stella and when this is going to be and when people can come out.”
KEVIN:
“Yeah it’s going to be Saturday January 26th from 10 until 3. You’re welcome to show up early and look around for the eagles, but it’s going to be down at Veterans Memorial Park. Which is the center part of the heart of Stella and we’ll be set up there. And from there you can get all the information to go to the different Eagle Stations. And to kind of get an idea of where the eagles are at. But a great day of fun coming up Saturday the 26th.”


ERIN: “Alright thank you so much Kevin, you guys definitely going to want to come down here to Stella and check everything out.”
 

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