Troop 21 - St Joseph, MO
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Troop 21 - St Joseph, MO

Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2015...

The Eagles Have Landed

Mound City, MO - December 5, 2015.  Troop 21 set out early morning Saturday for the annual "Eagle Days" at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is over 7,000 acres of wetlands, grasslands and forests. It was established through an executive order issued by FDR in 1935 for migratory birds and other wildlife. It is located to the east of the Missouri River flood plain and bound by the geologically unique Loess Hills. It is only a short 30 mile drive from St. Joseph. 

 
Upon arrival we had the opportunity to peruse the different information and learning stations at the Headquarters until it was time to see the main attraction, the eagles. 
For "Eagle Days" at Squaw Creek the Dickerson Park Zoo of Springfield, Mo brought with them two eagles to educate the public about eagle rehabilitation and conservation. At one time the Bald Eagle, our national emblem and unique to North America, was protected under The Endangered Species Act, as it was almost wiped out by use of the insecticide DDT. Thankfully they have been removed from the Endangered list, but the bald and golden eagle still remain protected by an Act named after them.  
 
Dickerson Park Zoo brought two eagles, one a mature female bald eagle named Phoenix and the other a male golden eagle named Aquila. Both birds were stunning and held everyone's attention with their incredible wingspan of up to over 7 feet, their up to two inch talons and other characteristics and facts that make eagles so captivating. 
 
Once the program was over we did a short hike on a trail built by the Civilians Conservation Corps that goes up 200 feet vertically. It was a great vantage point with a panoramic view and you could see a sea of white of the over 300,000 geese that were there presently and use the refuge as a stopping point during their migration through the Flyway. In the spring the numbers can climb to over a million! 
 
We continued on a further hike that led us back down where we waited for a narrated tour bus that took us around the loop of the refuge. We stopped from time to time at lookout points that were set up with spotting scopes. We saw eagles, eagle nests, as well as trumpeter swans, muskrat dams, ducks and such. 
 
After maximizing our time there we made our way to Big Lake State Park to set up camp. With fires made and dinner going we settled in and took in the surroundings and the company of one another. 
 
Big Lake had it's own share of geese too that kept up their "honking" much of the night. After being warmed by the fire and stew it was decided a night hike was in order. Six of us set out to Scout Island. Fun and games quickly ensued as half the group hid to ambush the remaining three! Laughter and fun, (and a few screams by one)was had by all as we returned to camp again gathering round the fire until it was time to retire. 
 
Though cold outside we used some of the techniques we learned in Scouts to keep warm through the night and before one knew it was morning and we were preparing to return home with another campout under our belts, and more stories to tell. 

 

Gracia Pinzino

Media Coordinator /  Committee Member 

Troop 21 

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