December 31, 2022
The 27th annual Eagle Days at Smithville Lake will be Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 7-8, with activities centered at the Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse. Activities will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, and from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. This event his hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), and the Clay County Parks and Recreation Department.
MDC conservation agents will be present at eagle viewing areas at the lake to answer questions and help visitors use spotting scopes. Eagles have congregated in recent years at the spillway below the dam to feed on fish coming through during water releases. But this year, the lake is drawn down due to work on the dam and water releases are limited, said the Corps Park Manager Derek Dorsey. Viewing stations will be near the lake and locations will be announced closer to the event when officials find where waterfowl and eagles are congregating. Eagle and waterfowl viewing is somewhat weather dependent, as extreme cold snaps can prompt birds to move south to warmer weather and open water.
Regardless of weather, the event will include captive eagle presentations at the clubhouse by operation wildlife. Exhibits and information booths will be set up indoor by the Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary, the Friends of Lakeside Nature Center, Wings of Love, and the Clay County Parks and Recreation Department. Some of those exhibits will also include live raptors or terrestrial wildlife such as turtles.
The captive eagle shows by Operation Wildlife will begin at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7. They will begin at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8. Seating is limited for the live eagle shows.
The Paradise Point Golf Course Clubhouse is located at 18212 Golf Course Drive, in Smithville, on the west side of the lake. For more information about seeing eagles in Missouri at their winter hangouts or at planned events, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zt6.