Located below the confluence of 3 of the greatest rivers in North
America - the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Illinois - and
situated in one of the most important nature preserves in the area
is the Audubon Center at Riverlands. The Center is located along one
of the most significant migratory flyways in the world - the
Mississippi Flyway. This flyway is significant because about 60% of
all North American waterfowl and songbirds, approximately 325
species in all, migrate along this route.
The Audubon Center at Riverlands was opened to engage and enlighten
birders and nature enthusiasts. The Center is set in the 3,700 acres
of the marsh and wetlands forest of the
Riverlands Migratory Bird
Sanctuary. Built in partnership between the National Audubon Society
and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the center features floor to
ceiling windows that afford great views of the Mississippi River.
The Center features a number of exhibits. Nests: features the nests
of hummingbirds, swallows, orioles and more! Feet Adaptations of
Birds: How big is an eagle's foot? Trumpeter Swans: One of the most
spectacular visitors at Riverlands. Food Sources in Riverlands:
discover the diversity of wildlife and what they like to eat at the
Riverlands. Marking Partners in Progress: Learn about the community
of organizations that work together to make Riverlands a success for
wildlife and people. Protecting Native Species: The Least Tern is
the star of this exhibit. Managing the Wetlands: Learn how the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers manages the water flow in Riverlands and why
they raise and lower the water. Mississippi Flyway Migration
Journeys: An interactive exhibit that allows the visitor to see the
migration patterns of many birds. A Green Building: What makes the
Center building so special? From recycled pavers to salvaged
automobiles; learn how a building is green.
"A Spectacle of Birds" is a 12-minute movie that tells the story of
how the Riverlands was formed and how the Sanctuary is still
evolving. Hear about the importance of the Mississippi River flyway
and discover the amazing variety of birds that use the River to
In addition to interactive exhibits, benches and spotting scopes
inside, the center has a wrap-around deck and picnic tables
overlooking Ellis Bay along with a miniature wetland pond and access
to several of the Sanctuary’s hiking trails.
The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is
listed on the National Audubon Society's
River Birding Trail. They report that snipe, yellowlegs and American
Golden-plovers can be seen on the marsh mudflats, white gulls and waterfowl
swim and feed along the river and in Ellis Bay. Thousands of
White Pelicans, Canvasback,
Redhead, Ring-necked Ducks and Lesser Scaup migrate through here, along with
sea ducks such as Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye. Also watch for Northern
Harriers and Short-Eared Owls. During the coldest part of the winter when
the river freezes over, American Bald
Eagles line the banks just below the dam, taking advantage of the open
water and upwelling currents. Rare Glaucous, Thayer's, Iceland, or
Lesser-backed Gulls may also be present.
of the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary Area
Audubon Center at Riverlands
Open Daily: 8 am -
Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, New Years Eve Day and
New Years Day.
The grounds are open from
dawn to dusk daily.
There is no charge to visit the Audubon Center at
Directions: Audubon Center at Riverlands is located near
West Alton, Missouri. From US-67 turn onto Riverlands Way (at the FISCA station)
near the Clark Bridge.
Audubon Center at Riverlands is across the river from
Illinois in the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway area.
Official site of the Audubon Center at Riverlands
which features information on a wide variety of subjects and more detailed
information on what the organization does and how to contact them.