Eagle Days Returns to Audubon Center at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary Feb. 10

 This popular annual event will once again offer visitors a splendid chance to see bald eagles in their natural habitat.

Photo: The annual Eagle Days event returns for 2024 to the Audubon Center at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary in West Alton. The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 10 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

 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, especially along one of North America’s greatest rivers.

 The metro area’s premier celebration of bald eagles returns for 2024 to the Audubon Center at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary in West Alton. The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 10 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. This popular annual festival offers the chance for all ages to discover a close connection with the bald eagle.

 The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is an outstanding convergence point for bald eagles and many other exciting waterfowl species during the winter. 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 . . . an ideal location to view eagles.

Participants can see eagles through spotting scopes staffed by trained volunteers at viewing stations along the river. Live “All about Eagles” programs will be presented by experts from the World Bird Sanctuary at 9:15 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Visitors can see a live bald eagle as they learn the fascinating story behind these amazing raptors. Additionally, there will be two Eagle Meet and Greet events at 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. where participants can see a bald eagle up close and get a photo taken with World Bird Sanctuary naturalists and their bald eagle companions.

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. Dam-it Joe’s will also be on site to offer barbeque for sale.

 Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly, wear comfortable shoes for walking, and leave their pets at home.

 For more information, go to EagleDays.org.

 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. Free parking is available, including overflow parking with shuttle service at nearby Lincoln Shields Recreation Area.

 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. Eagle Days is a unique opportunity to watch eagles fish, ride ice floes, soar overhead, and roost in nearby trees while having access to an educational program featuring live eagles.