Bald eagle numbers, sightings on the rise in Missouri - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Bald eagle numbers, sightings on the rise in Missouri

(Source: KFVS 12) (Source: KFVS 12)

In just the last two weeks the Missouri Department of Conservation received two reports of injured bald eagles in southeast Missouri.

While both incidents were ruled accidental, wildlife experts say the jump in injuries could be because the birds are becoming more and more common.

The latest numbers from the Missouri Department of Conservation reveal nearly 250 bald eagles nest in Missouri. That number is up nearly 61 percent in less than a decade.

And that doesn't include the thousands of bald eagles that migrate to the state during the winter months.

"That really makes our population much, much larger in December and January,” Watkins Wildlife animal specialist John Watkins said. “But then as it starts to warm back up in February, as I say, as the ducks and geese go back north so will the eagles."

Watkins said the months between December and February are the best time to get out if you want to see eagles.

Bald eagles and all birds of prey are federally protected species.

Watkins said it's important if you come across one in the wild that you think is injured to not try and handle and call your local conservation agent.

Click here for more information on where to eagles in Missouri.

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