STELLA, Mo. -- What brings misery and mumbling to the Missouri masses in December, January and February brings delight to birders and those new to nature.
In winter, everyone and everything is looking for milder weather. Bald eagles are looking for fishing opportunities and for food, and they stop here in Newton County, where they easily outnumber people. Jeff Cantrell with the Missouri Department of Conservation says there could be easily 200 to 400 eagles in this small area.
Stella is a magical spot, an intersection of four watersheds of Indian and Shoal creeks, and Big Sugar and Elk rivers. It's a place formerly known as The Village of Springs. Now it's southwest Missouri's bald eagle winter respite. It's a secret, perhaps, that Moses Eagle, a Cherokee Native American, knew when he named the town for his granddaughter, Stella Eagle, in the early 1900s.
"Branson is it for the summertime for the humans. I guess Stella is the area for the eagles in the winter time", Cantrell said.