If you’ve made it your new year’s resolution to spend more time outdoors, exercise more, or even to find more calm, look no further than bald eagle viewing season. 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.

Smithville Lake

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

On January 7 – 8, the annual Eagle Days event will offer opportunities to experience eagles. Get tips on the best viewing spots and use the provided viewing stations to look for waterfowl and eagles. The event will also include indoor captive eagle shows by Operation Wildlife and other wildlife exhibits. 

Hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), and the Clay County Parks and Recreation Department, the events will take place from 9 AM – 3:30 PM. It will be located at the Paradise Point Golf Course Clubhouse, 18212 Golf Course Dr., Smithville, MO.

To learn more, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Wyandotte County Lake

Wyandotte County Lake also 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 21 – 22. 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 21, and from 12 PM – 4 PM on Sunday, January 22. 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. 

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. Eagles were most recently spotted from the Hillsdale Lake Dam. 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

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 MDC, eagle viewing is also weather dependent. Extreme cold temperatures can cause birds to migrate to warmer weather.