Few words can describe the thrill of seeing America’s national symbol soaring through the air in the wild, or close enough to touch. And winter is the ideal time to view bald eagles in Missouri.
The metro area’s premier celebration of bald eagles is back for 2023 with a new date and location. Eagle Days returns to the St. Louis area on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Previously held at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, the Eagle Days event is moving for 2023 to the Audubon Center at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary in West Alton. This move is to accommodate improvement work to the Missouri side of the bridge.
The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Rivers Project. The 3,700-acre sanctuary sits on the banks of the Mississippi near its confluence with the Missouri River. It’s an outstanding convergence point for bald eagles during the winter, and many other exciting waterfowl species too. This popular annual festival offers the chance to discover a close connection with the bald eagle.
Participants can view eagles through spotting scopes staffed by trained volunteers at the event during guided hikes along the river. Live “All about Eagles” programs will be presented every 30 minutes by experts from the World Bird Sanctuary. Visitors can see a live bald eagle up close as they learn the fascinating story behind these amazing raptors.
An annual favorite for visitors is to hop inside the life size bald eagle nest replica for one-of-a-kind selfies or pose as an eagle in the giant eagle wingspan banner. Partner organizations will feature staffed educational tables for participants to interact with and learn from. Food trucks will also be on hand to offer food for sale.
Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly, wear comfortable shoes for walking, and leave their pets at home.
Eagle Days is a free event for the whole family. Due to limited space, online registration is required; participants should register every person planning to attend individually. For more information or to register, go to https://greatriversgreenway.org/eagledays/
The Audubon Center at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is located at 301 Riverlands Way, off North U.S. Highway 67 and just south of the Clark Bridge to Alton, Il.
Eagle Days is made possible through a partnership between the Missouri Department of Conservation, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Great Rivers Greenway, the St. Louis Audubon Center, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
During the winter, the Mississippi River hosts one of North America's largest concentrations of bald eagles. As waters freeze farther up north, they are drawn to areas of open water in our area, searching for their favorite food—fish. Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary offers the ideal habitat to see bald eagles, along with many other kinds of waterfowl and shorebirds. This is a unique opportunity to watch them fish, ride ice floes, soar overhead and roost in nearby trees while having access to an educational program featuring live eagles.