Once an endangered species, the American Bald Eagle has made a heck of a comeback, especially in the Midwest. Now is the time to put your eagle eyes to the skies as the birds settle in for nesting season.

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Locks and dams on the Mississippi River are prime viewing spots to see larger numbers of bald eagles, but with the resurgence of the birds, you can find them in their huge nests scattered everywhere locally. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, nesting stage starts Jan. 1.

In Hannibal, a nature program about eagles on the Mississippi River will be Jan. 23, sponsored by Hannibal Parks & Recreation.

Nature interpreter Gale Rublee will be at Kiwanis Park near the riverfront from 11 a.m. to noon. She will give information about the life cycle and feeding patterns of the bald eagle. “It’s exciting that the eagles have made a comeback over the last 20 years. Missouri provides an important wintering location for them.”

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, eagles take up residence wherever they find open water and plentiful food. More than 2,000 bald eagles are typically reported in Missouri during winter.

Members of the Mississippi Hills Master Naturalists will be building an eagle’s nest and participants are encouraged to help. More information is available by emailing mlrichards@hannibal-mo.gov.

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