World Bird Sanctuary offers one-of-a-kind wildlife experience

Every year in February there are many eagle watching days in various locations throughout the state of Missouri.  

You have probably gone to one of these free events at one time or another.

At most of these events there are telescopes set up and viewing stations to look for or spot wild eagles. But there usually is also a captive eagle in a tent with a person to show and explain the lifestyle of eagles.

Most of the time this eagle and its caretaker are provided by the World Bird Sanctuary. This was the case when I went to an eagle watching day in February this year at the old Chain of Rocks Bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Louis.

This event was sponsored by both the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Illinois Department of Conservation. There were other exhibits set up by these departments but the main attraction was the World Bird Sanctuary’s live eagle.

The World Bird Sanctuary also has a physical location in Missouri that anyone can visit year-round. It is located at 125 Bald Eagle Road, Valley Park, MO 63088, and their January and February Eagle Days programs are presented free throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Minnesota.

The sanctuary bustles with activity on 305 acres of Missouri hardwood forest featuring public buildings, avian exhibits, and five hiking trails.  

It partners with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for the use of the land but otherwise operates as an independent non-profit organization.

The World Bird Sanctuary’s mission is to preserve, protect, and inspire to safeguard bird species as part of the global community for future generations. With over 200 animals in their care, they offer a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience.

There are many wild birds on display in the outdoor exhibits and a few mammals and reptiles on display in the indoor exhibits. There is a large variety of birds including many types of eagles, owls, hawks, and vultures.

The types of eagles on display include bald eagle, golden eagle, long-crested eagle, and bateleur eagle. Owls include the great horned owl, screech owl, barred owl, British barn owl, mottled owl, short-eared owl, saw-whet owl, tawny owl, and eurasian eagle-owl.

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