Field Trips


Rodney Wright, Field Trip Chair.

Almost everything that Burroughs Audubon offers is free, even to non-members. There’s nothing we enjoy more than introducing you to birds or helping you find things in nature. Our volunteers who lead these field trips work hard to make sure we’re exposing you to a diverse amount of habitats throughout the entire greater Kansas City area and beyond. Field trips include a diverse selection of locations from city parks, state parks, conservation areas, wildlife areas, and national wildlife refuges. We also expose you to all the habitats that our birds rely on for their survival – wetlands, woodlands, prairies and grasslands, agriculture, urban, and savannah.




Mike Stoakes, Field Trip Coordinator

For all field trips, we recommend that you dress for the weather, in layers, and bring water, snacks and insect repellent. In the details, we’ll let you know if you need to bring lunch or lunch money.

Some field trips are low-impact and are spent in the car, so if you own any FRS radios, we encourage you to bring them so that bird sightings can be shared between vehicles.



Malcom Gold, Field Trip Coordinator




Lake Jacomo and Fleming Park – Sunday, January 1

Start the year with a bang! We’ll meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Jackson County Parks and Recreation offices at the intersection of Liggett and Woods Chapel Roads (watch for traffic light at this 3-way intersection). We’ll bird the lakes and trails throughout the park looking for winter residents and late migrants — ducks, geese, sparrows, finches, eagles, hawks and, hopefully, some surprises! Be sure to dress for the weather and wear footwear for some light walking. If the weather is really cold, we’ll warm up at the Burroughs Library.

Your leaders for this trip are Mike and Elizabeth Stoakes. For more information, contact Mike or Elizabeth at or 816-554-1956.


Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary and Other St. Louis Winter Hotspots – Sat., January 14 and Sun., January 15 – RESCHEDULED for Sat. January 21 and Sun. January 22

Meet between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. at the Audubon Center, Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary (RMBS). Both day’s itinerary will be flexible, but we’ll proceed to a series of vantage points around the Riverlands area. This might include the road to Confluence State Park and/or the Cora Island unit of the Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge. Saturday’s leg will end at dusk, depending on where we are. Target birds are swans, gulls, ducks, eagles and Eurasian Tree Sparrows. Directions: from the north side of I-270 in north St. Louis County, take MO-367 north (signed to Alton). Cross the Missouri River and continue past the stoplight at MO-94. Just before you reach the bridge over the Mississippi to Alton, turn right at the gas station. Go straight past the station and past the intersection with Wise Road. Turn left into the parking lot of the Audubon Center, and come on in. If you are running late on Saturday morning and don’t find us at the Audubon Center, look for us along Riverlands Way, tune in on FRS radio channel 11-22, or call 816-283-6258.

Your leader for this trip is Mike Stoakes. For more information and for Saturday evening lodging recommendations in Alton, Illinois, contact Mike at or 816-554-1956.


Jerry Smith Park Winter Bird Census – Wednesday, January 25

A seasonal bird census, similar to the one that we do for the Blue River Parkway, of this largely undeveloped city (KCMO) park. Meet at 8:30 a.m. in the small paved lot at the top of the ridge. Directions: go south on Holmes Rd. to 139th St., turn east and go approximately 0.75 mile to the 2nd drive on the left (Prospect Ave.). Bring water and snacks.

Your leader for this trip is Sherry Leonardo. Contact Sherry at or 816-763-1393 for more information.


Blue River Parkway Winter Bird Census – Saturday, January 28

Meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot near the Minor Park tennis courts. We’ll spend 2-3 hours walking the trails along the Blue River looking for winter residents. Bring snacks and beverages.

Your leader for this trip is Don Arney. Contact Don at or 816-931-8536 for more information.


Wyandotte County Lake Park – Sunday, January 29

Take a break from the winter doldrums and join us to look for eagles, waterfowl and winter songbirds. Located in the northwest KC metro area, Wyandotte County Lake can be a waterfowl magnet in winter. Meet at 8:00 a.m. in the lower parking lot, just north of the Mr. & Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library. After birding around the lake, we’ll return to the Schlagle Library to view feeders where Purple Finch and Spotted Towhee have been seen on previous trips.

Your leader for this trip is Mike Stoakes. For more information, contact Mike at or 816-554-1956.




Clinton and Perry Reservoirs – Saturday, February 18

We’ll search for gulls, raptors, waterfowl and winter songbirds in areas around Lawrence and Perry (KS). This is an all day trip involving minimal walking, as it’s mainly an auto tour. Meet at 7:30 a.m. for carpooling at the Wendy’s just north of K-10 and Woodland Drive in Lenexa. For those outside of the Kansas City area, we’ll meet at the Corp of Engineers office at the Clinton Lake State Park entrance at 8:00 a.m. Bring all of your usual optics, drinks/snacks, and FRS radios (we have some to lend). We’ll spend the morning around Clinton Lake before stopping for lunch in Lawrence. We’ll then bird Perry Reservoir in the afternoon. Note that there is a per vehicle entrance fee at Clinton Lake State Park. Please dress appropriately for the weather. Although the air temperature can be nice, it can be quite cold with the wind coming off of the water. This trip is weather dependent and has an alternate date of Feb. 25, if conditions are poor. Watch the Kansas Listserv, Facebook, and this web page for any announcements of rescheduling.

Your leader for this trip is Mark Land. For more information, contact Mark at or 816-590-9814, and leave a message. Mark will return your call.


Great Backyard Bird Count at Powell Gardens – Sunday, February 19

Meet in the Visitor Education Center at 8:45 a.m. and join Alan Branhagen for the Garden’s annual GBBC activities. From 9:00 a.m. until Noon, we’ll bird around the visitor center and gardens. We’ll then hike the 3.25-mile Byron Shutz Nature Trail from 1:00 until, approximately, 3:30 p.m. You can do all or part of the day. The café won’t be open, so bring a lunch if you plan to stay all day.

Regular garden admission is waived for Burroughs members, but you must RSVP with Alan at or 816-697-2600 ext 241.


MARCH 2017


Woodcock Walk at Jerry Smith Park – Tuesday, March 7

March means the return of ‘timberdoodles’ and the male’s elaborate courtship display! This date is BEFORE daylight savings time begins, so we’ll meet in the parking lot at the top of the ridge at 5:45 p.m. (Directions: go south on Holmes Rd. to 139th St., turn east and go approximately ½ mile to the park entrance – 2nd drive on the left). Be sure to dress for the weather. Make-up dates and times, in case of bad weather, will be announced here as well.

Your leader for this trip is Sherry Leonardo. For more information, contact Sherry at or 816-718-5888.


Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area and National Wildlife Refuge – Saturday, March 25

We’ll look for year-round residents and winter immigrants in the woods and wetlands around the area’s several pools. In addition we’ll stop at La Cygnes Lake and Linn County Park to scope the lake. We’ll drive through the mined-land area south of the power plant to look for open grassland species. Plan to bring lunch and/or snacks for this all day trip as there are very few choices for food in the area. Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Price Chopper on the northwest corner of 119th Street and Metcalf in Overland Park for carpooling. This trip has minimal walking and is mainly an auto tour, but check forecast for appropriate clothing as we will be spending time outside scoping and on short walks.

Your leader for this trip is Malcolm Gold. For more information, contact Malcolm at or 608-807-6086. Leave a message, and Malcolm will return your call, if needed.