The bluffs and forests around Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks are a popular destination for eagles on their annual southern migration. Visitors who want to see these majestic birds in their natural habitat should make Lake of the Ozarks Eagle Days a winter weekend destination January 3 - 4, 2015.
Missouri is one of the leaders in eagle population in the lower 48 states, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation, with more than 2,000 bald eagles reported each winter. They are drawn to warmer, wooded areas such as the Lake of the Ozarks in their migration from Alaska, Canada and the northern U.S.
Eagle Days activities allow attendees to see the birds in a natural setting, as well as offering opportunities for up-close viewing at programs offered by the World Bird Sanctuary. Events on Saturday, January 3, begin at 9 am and continue until 5:30 pm. On Sunday, January 4, events begin at 10:00 am and end at 4:30 pm. All Eagle Days activities and sites are located in Lake Ozark, all within a short drive of one another.
Eagle-viewing activities are located at Willmore Lodge and the Bagnell Dam Access. Eagle-watchers are encouraged to bring cameras and binoculars. Interactive exhibits and crafts will be on display at Willmore Lodge each day, and eagle nest-building and rope-making exhibitions will be held at the Bagnell Dam Access.
At Osage National Golf Resort, live eagle programs are presented by the World Bird Sanctuary from St. Louis, beginning on the hour from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday.
School of the Osage Heritage Elementary will feature two programs by Springfield's Dickerson Park Zoo. The "Live Owls of Missouri" program features information about the species of owls indigenous to Missouri. The second program, called "Day Shift, Night Shift and Garbage Gal" provides information about hawks, owls and turkey vultures. These shows will be held every hour on the half-hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 pm on Saturday and from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm on Sunday. There will also be coloring contests and other activities for kids, as well as nature-related exhibitors including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Department of Conservation.
If weather permits, eagle-watching cruises will be offered aboard the Tom Sawyer for a nominal fee. Attendees interested in taking the cruise should go to the boarding area on Bagnell Dam Blvd.
Lake of the Ozark Eagle Days is made possible by the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau, Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Osage National Golf Resort, FaceLift Marketing, School of the Osage, Missouri Master Naturalist - Lake of the Ozarks Chapter and Boy Scouts of America. To learn more about Eagle Days, visit LakeoftheOzarksEagleDays.com or call 1-800-386-5253.
For information on the year-round fun at Missouri's Fun Lake, including activities, events, dining and accommodations, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) at 1-800-FUN-LAKE or visit the CVB's multiple award-winning website, FunLake.com.