The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 24, 2014

Visitors to Eagle Days should have plenty to see

STELLA, Mo. — If recent sightings by area birders are any indication, visitors to Stella's fifth annual Eagle Day Saturday will have plenty to see.

Becky Wylie, a birder from Neosho, Mo., who regularly shoots photographs of birds for Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center, reported seeing 40 to 50 bald eagles in and around Stella on Saturday.

Wylie captured several photos, including a juvenile bald eagle identifiable by the lack of white head feathers.

Emmett Sullivan, a birder from West Mineral, Kan., who ventured to Stella on Monday with his wife, Ruth, reported seeing at least six adult bald eagles while there.

“We got out my camera and tripod and started shooting pictures before they flew away,” he said. “We lucked out.”

With temperatures at 58 degrees and sunny skies that day, it made for comfortable viewing. According to the National Weather Service, the forecast for Saturday in Stella looks equally comfortable, with a predicted high of 48 degrees, sunshine and no chance of precipitation.

This will be Stella’s fifth Eagle Day, a joint project that the village undertakes with Missouri Master Naturalists and Missouri Department of Conservation. The free event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., includes educational activities appropriate for children and adults.

It has grown each year in popularity, according to Stella residents Chuck Dalbom, who with his wife, Doris, helps to coordinate it.

“On Eagle Day, if the weather is good and the eagles are plentiful, we will have about 800 to 1,000 people here. It is an event that has grown wildly," Dalbom said.

Dalbom noted that Stella is a key location for viewing wildlife due to its close proximity to Indian Creek.

"The reason the eagles are here is because of the rich natural habitat. They can get fish, and we also have a lot of rabbits and squirrels. There is a lot of food for the eagles to eat, and they come down every year,” he said.

Spotting scopes will be available for public use at observation stations. Dalbom recommends visitors dress warmly and bring binoculars. Visitors may stop at in at the Eagle Day tent to learn more about eagle life, pick up raptor spotting maps and engage in family and scout education activities.

Boy Scout Troop #98 will sell birdseed, and refreshments including hot cocoa (compliments of a donation) and restrooms will be available to visitors at the (Methodist Church).

Visitors also may purchase Eagle Naturalist t-shirts, designed by local environmental artist Joyce Haynes, with proceeds benefitting the Missouri Master Naturalist community and habitat support programs.

The town’s only restaurant, Lentz Carter Café located on the town’s main street, will be open for breakfast and lunch.

In conjunction with Eagle Day, a quilt show will be held in the village’s community storm shelter.

Should the weather change and turn inclement on Saturday, the event will be postponed until Feb. 2.

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