Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
31st Annual Eagle Daysat Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Midwest Region, December 6, 2009
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The 31st annual Eagle Days event was held at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge December 5 & 6, 2009.  This event is co-sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).   Other partners include the Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, Midland Empire Audubon Society, Burroughs Audubon Society, Missouri Department of Transportation, Mound City Elementary and Middle School and the Friends of Squaw Creek.

Eagle Day for schools was held on Friday, December 4.  Approximately 931 students and teachers from 21 area schools attended the event.  Schools were from the immediate area, Kansas City and surrounding Northwest Missouri school districts.  Each group was treated to a live eagle show given by the Dickerson Park Zoo, Springfield, and a guided bus tour of the refuge.  The bus made several stops along the auto tour route with speakers discussing wildlife topics and hands-on items related to eagles, waterfowl and furbearers.

There was excellent wildlife viewing opportunities the 5th & 6th with more than 250 bald eagles and 100,000 snow geese present.  Refuge staff members conducted bus tours and volunteers staffed interpretive stops along the auto tour route to assist visitors viewing bald eagles using telescopes.

Visitors stopped in the visitor contact station to purchase gift shop items, view exhibits, receive free eagle day posters, get tattoos and buttons and other eagle information.  Bird carver Mike Moseman, St. Joseph, displayed several of his carvings and demonstrated his skills.  Representatives from the Women in the Outdoors also staffed a booth.  The Friends of Squaw Creek sold refreshments to raise money for interpretive programs at the refuge and another refuge support, the Midland Empire Audubon Society, sold bird seed.  The Ioway Tribe from Kansas and Nebraska paid to rent the 25 foot tall inflatable American Eagle at the headquarters as well as permitting vehicles to park on their property for shuttle bus service from Interstate 29 to the refuge headquarters .  Students from the Mound City Elementary and Middle School help load the shuttle buses and provide information to riders from the parking lot to the refuge headquarters.

A total of 6,540 individuals drove the auto tour route, 2,437 entered the office, 1,624 saw the live eagle show, 724 stopped at the scopes on the auto tour route, 740 took advantage of the free refuge bus tour and 536 road the free shuttle bus.Service volunteers came from the Fergus Falls Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, Illinois River NWR, Litchfield WMD, Great River and Clarence Cannon NWR and the Big Muddy NFWR. 

Contact Info: Ron Bell, 660/442-5754,extension 13, Ron_Bell@fws.gov
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