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Bald eagles have landed, here’s how to see these amazing birds

January offers some of the best views of bald eagles in Missouri and Kansas. 

Here are viewing locations and upcoming events near Kansas City to see these amazing birds.

Wyandotte County Lake

Wyandotte County Lake attracts eagles in the winter. With 1,500 acres of wooded area and the 400-acre lake, there are a lot of opportunities for birdwatching. 

Spotting scopes and binocular rentals will be available at Eagle Days at Wyandotte County Lake Park on January 20 – 21. In addition to outdoor eagle viewing, there will activities for the entire family at the Mr. & Mrs. FL Schlagle Library and JP Davis Hall. 

The Eagle Days events will be held from 9 AM – 5 PM on Saturday, January 20, and from 12 PM – 4 PM on Sunday, January 21.

Wyandotte County Lake is located at 91st and Leavenworth Rd, Kansas City, KS. To learn more about Eagle Days, visit the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library. 

Smithville Lake

Smithville Lake is a Kansas City favorite for bald eagle viewing. Eagles can be seen near the reservoir and along hiking trails. 

The trail system at the lake includes 24 miles of asphalt walking and biking trails, 11 miles of single-track mountain biking trails, and 26 miles of equestrian trails.

It is located at 16311 County Rd DD, Smithville, MO. To learn more, visit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Clinton Lake

Clinton Lake just west of Lawrence is a large reservoir with unique habitats that attract a variety of birds all year long. The park includes over 50 miles of nature trails. 

The first bald eagle nest in the state of Kansas was reported near Clinton Lake in 1989, after years of population decline and risk of extinction. 

The Corp. of Engineer Visitor Center can recommend the bald eagle viewing sites at Clinton Lake. The visitors center is located at Clinton Lake at 872 N 1402 Rd, Lawrence, KS.

To learn more about eagle viewing at Clinton Lake, visit the Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District.

Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge

Located in Mound City, KS (about a 1.5 hour drive from Kansas City) the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge features a popular driving tour, as well as hiking trails, with promising views of bald eagles and other wildlife.

More than 310 species of resident and migratory birds use the refuge throughout the year. Its most recent waterfowl survey on January 11 counted 193 bald eagles, 2409 trumpeter swans, and 3,401 snow geese, among thousands of other birds.

The refuge includes a visitor center and a 10-mile one-way auto tour.

To learn more, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Viewing Tips

From late December to early January, look for bald eagles near rivers and lakes perched on trees.

The best time to spot eagles is in the morning between 7 – 10 AM, and again before it gets dark between 4 – 5 PM. During the day, eagles travel further distances and are often too high to see them.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, eagle viewing is also weather dependent. Extreme cold temperatures can cause birds to migrate to warmer weather.

Where have you spotted bald eagles this year? Tell us in the comments!

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drake David
drake David
1 year ago

Went to perry Saturday and seen 15 to 20 eagles beautiful is all I can say

1 year ago

Smithville lake has several. Wishing i could post picture. I have several beautiful pictures!

Judy Roberts
Judy Roberts
1 year ago

We just saw six at lake Perry. Friday feb. 24th