Eagles Flock to Missouri Waterways
BRUNSWICK - Low water levels in Missouri lakes and rivers has combined with a warm winter to create a shift in the typical movement patterns of birds.
Leslie Leppin with the Missouri Department of Conservation says the warm weather created conditions for birds to stay in the state and not fly farther south. "The way the weather has been, the birds are staying here. A warm winter means ducks don't have to keep going to find unfrozen water."
Leppin added that eagles follow the migration of water fowl closely, particularly geese and ducks. Low water levels also helped keep eagles in the state, as it made fish easier to spot.
During the winter, the Department of Conservation counts birds weekly using aircraft. Its last count of the season was January 4th, which showed 49 eagles at Fountain Grove near Meadville, 63 at Grand Pass outside of Marshall, and 28 at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge south of Sumner.
Leppin said those values were well within the typical amount of eagles that visit Missouri each winter starting in mid-December.
Tina Reichert shared the photos, which were taken by Mark Ramsey near Brunswick.