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Missouri

Sandy Island Bald Eagle Sanctuary

Bald eagles can be easily viewed at this unique sanctuary.




Open to the Public

Yes

Things To Do

Hiking, bird watching, eagle viewing. View All

Plan Your Visit

Tips and guidelines for visiting this preserve.

View All

Get Directions

The majority of Sandy Island Eagle Sanctuary was donated by Missouri photographer Frank Oberle and his wife Judy in 1992 as a safe habitat for bald eagles. This area provides a wonderful natural area only miles from St. Louis, making it an accessible and reliable place to observe these majestic birds in their winter habitat.

Why You Should Visit

Sandy Island provides critical habitat for wintering bald eagles that visit this region of the Mississippi River. The Mary Chambers Wiese platform located adjacent to the preserve, provides close-range viewing (complete with mounted scope) of the eagles and other birds.

Location

Minutes from the St. Louis metropolitan area, just south of  Winfield Lock and Dam, three miles east of Winfield, Missouri on Highway N.

Hours

Daylight

Size

28 acres (includes a quarter mile of frontage along the Mississippi River just below the dam)

Conditions

The preserve itself is closed to all visitation from November 1 to March 1, when the eagles are present.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

The Mary Wiese Observation Platform is located on Corps of Engineers property at the south end of Lock and Dam #25.

 

 

 

Update: Winter 2009: For safety reasons, the Corps of Engineers removed the stairs to the upper deck to keep visitors off this portion of the structure since major repairs are needed. Visitors can visit and walk along the levee and picnic areas to view the eagles. 

What to See: Animals

During the winter months, up to several hundred bald eagles use the preserve's cottonwood and silver maples trees for roosting. January and February are prime viewing times.

What to See: Plants

From the tall trees, the eagles scan the open water below the dam, where they dive to catch fish.

Check the local weather forecast and dress accordingly. No special gear or clothing is recommended.

Preserve Visitation Guidelines

Directions
    • Take Highway 79 north to Highway N
    • Go east on Highway N to Winfield Lock and Dam 25
    • Visitors gain access from the Lock and Dam #25 parking area,
      walking south from the parking lot along a trail to the other end of the lock
Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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