Field Trips

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.

Photo of a field trip enjoying sunrise at Hillsdale Lake

Sunrise at Hillsdale Lake

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. Almost everything that Burroughs Audubon offers is free, even to non-members.  

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.

 

Upcoming Trips

DECEMBER 2017

 

December 14th through January 4th – Christmas Bird Count Season

Consider being part of the “Nation’s longest running citizen science bird project” and joining a local count.  A list dates for counts can be found on the links below.  Select individual regional count information is shared here as well.

Kansas Counts

Missouri Counts

National Counts

 

Saturday December 16th – Trimble CBC – Read Instructions below

Parties and territories will be assigned before the day of the count, so please contact the compiler before December 13. Feeder watchers welcome, too! Contact Kristi Mayo at writebirds@gmail.com if you would like to participate or have any questions.

 

Sunday December 17th – Bonner Springs/Lansing CBC

Parties and territories may be assigned before the day of the count, so please contact the coordinator if interested in participating in this count.  Contact John Bollin at bollinj@umkc.edu if you would like to participate or have any questions.

 

Saturday December 23rd – Leavenworth CBC

If anyone has planned this far in advance, is planning to participate, and/or has preferences please contact John. Scheduling to get into private property will be needed ahead of time and the names of those entering the properties will be needed as well. The deadline to get your name added to the list for Iatan is December 18th. It is better to have your name on the list than try to add it last minute. Contact John Schukman at schuksaya@kc.rr.com or (913) 547-1751 if you would like to participate or have any questions.  

 

Saturday December 30th – Olathe CBC

Parties and territories may be assigned before the day of the count, so please contact the coordinator if interested in participating in this count.  We will meet at 7 AM at McD’s at K-7 and Santa Fe on the west side of Olathe and have a compilation potluck dinner that evening. The exact time and location of the Potluck is yet to be determined. Please contact Jeff Witters at bioguy.witters@gmail.com if you would like to participate or have any questions.

 

Sunday December 31st – Kansas City CBC – Read message below

Dear prospective KC CBC’ers,

The 118th Christmas Bird Count season is rapidly approaching! As KC compiler, I would like to invite birders of all levels to participate again, or for the first time. Here are a few details to consider:

* Count day and date: Sunday, December 31.

* The KC count area is a 15-mile diameter circle centered on Unity Village and divided into eight (8) sections.

* Participation involves a traveling count, typically on foot, but in some areas by automobile.

* Feeder watching in the suburban environs of Raytown and Lee’s Summit is encouraged for those area residents who may have trouble getting out.

* New birders, first time participants and others who so request will be placed with experienced counters.

* Section assignments and section leaders will be identified and information exchanged between participants and leaders after signing up.

* A post-count compilation dinner will be held at the Perkins restaurant in Lee’s Summit (Hwys. 50 & 291) for those who still have (or need) the energy.

* Winter weather may slow us down, but nothing short of a major ice storm or blizzard will cause the count to be canceled and rescheduled.

* Section assignments will remain the same for previous participants, unless otherwise requested. I ask that new participants remain flexible in accepting section assignments. If you indicate a preference, I’ll make every effort to place you in the section where you want to count.

Please contact Mike Stoakes to sign up or to request more information; 816-554-1956 or  mstoakes@juno.com

 

January 2018

 

Monday January 1 – Lake Jacomo and Fleming Park

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.

The leaders of this trip are Mike and Elizabeth Stoakes. For more information, contact the Stoakes’ at mstoakes@juno.com or 816-554-1956.

 

Sunday January 14 – Wyandotte County Lake Park

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.

The leader of this trip is Mike Stoakes. For more information, contact Mike at mstoakes@juno.com or 816-554-1956.

 

Thursday January 18 – Jerry Smith Park Winter Bird Census

We will meet at 8:30 am at the Jerry Smith Trailhead Parking lot at the top of the ridge and search this largely undeveloped city park for wintering Sparrows, Kinglets, Raptors, and whatever else we can find. To get to the Parking lot drive east on 139th St from Holmes Avenue and go approximately 0.75 mile; take the 2nd left up the hill to the small gravel parking lot. The census was requested by KC Wildlands as part of their ongoing monitoring and mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Dress for the weather and walking along the trails outside. Moderate walking is expected for this trip. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages.

The leader of this trip is Sherry Leonardo. For more information, contact Sherry at home172@aol.com.

 

Saturday January 20th – Blue River Parkway Winter Bird Census

We will meet at 8:00 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot and search the Blue River looking for winter residents. We will spend the morning walking the trails searching for Kinglets, Sparrows, Creepers and whatever else is there. Dress for the weather and walking along the trails outside. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages.

The leader of this trip is Don Arney. For more information, contact Don at 816-931-8536 or 22sora@gmail.com.

 

February 2018

 

Saturday February 17th – Shawnee SFL and Banner Creek Lake

Meet at 7 am at Wendy’s north of K-10 on Woodland Drive in Lenexa for carpooling and to caravan north-west or meet on the east side, south end near the dam of Shawnee State Fishing Lake at 8:30. Feel free to contact the trip leaders to arrange alternative meeting points if needed. We’ll check the area for waterfowl, raptors, and wintering sparrows before heading north to Holton Kansas in Jackson County. We’ll stop for a sandwich and lunch in Holton before checking Banner Creek Lake. We’ll to return to Shawnee State Fishing Lake or another area at dusk with hopes of finding Short-Eared Owls and American Woodcocks. Feel free to join us for all or part of this all day trip.

Your trip leaders are Malcolm Gold and Debby McKee. For more information, contact Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com or 608-807-6086 or Debby at debbymc56@sbcglobal.net or 785-220-6515.

 

Saturday February 24 – Clinton Reservoir and Perry Lake

Join us as we scan Clinton Reservoir and Perry Lake for waterfowl, gulls, and raptors and check other locations for sparrows, shrikes, finches, and whatever else is around. Bring all the usual items, including binoculars, scopes, FRS radios, drinks, snacks, cold weather gear (lakes are always windy places and it’s still February). We will bird Clinton in the morning, then stop for lunch at a local venue(usually Jason’s Deli). We will continue to Perry for an afternoon of birding. There is a $5 daily Vehicle Entry Fee for Clinton State Park if you don’t have a pass. And remember it is always nice to chip in for gas if you are carpooling. This is an all day trip but you’re welcome to participate as long as you like.

Your leader of this trip is Mark Land. Meet at 7:30 am at Wendy’s north of K-10 on Woodland Drive for carpooling and to caravan west. If coming from other areas, contact Mark for a meeting spot in Lawrence. Please let Mark know if you plan to attend the trip as it may be cancelled due to weather. In case of cancellation the back-up date is Saturday March 3rd and the cancellation notice will be posted on the Burroughs Website and Friends of Burroughs Audubon Facebook Page. For more information, contact Mark at markeland@kc.rr.com or 816-590- 9814.

 

March 2018

 

Saturday March 17 – Bates and Henry Counties Missouri

Join us as we visit Settle’s Ford, Ladue Bottoms, and Montrose Conservation Areas in western Missouri. We scan the lakes for waterfowl and gulls, search for raptors and sparrows, and hike in search of wintering species. This trip will mostly be in the car but dress appropriately for mild hiking. Bring binoculars, scopes, FRS radios, lunch, drinks and snacks.

Your leader of this trip is Joseph Mosely. Meet at the McDonald’s on Hwy 58 / 171st St in Belton at 7am to carpool or at the Settle’s Ford Conservation Area Headquarters at 8:00 am. This is an all day trip but you’re welcome to participate as long as you like. Contact Mike Stoakes at mstoakes@juno.com or 816-554-1956 if you have any questions regarding this trip.

 

May 2018

 

May 4th – 6th – Spring 2018 ASM Meeting

 

May 4th – 6th – Spring 2018 KOS Meeting

 

Friday May 11th – Blue River Parkway

We will meet at 7:30 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot and search the area for migrating species. We will spend the morning walking the trails looking for Warblers, Vireos, Flycatchers, Thrushes and whatever else is there. Dress for the weather and walking outside, feel free to bring snacks and beverages.

The leader of this trip is Don Arney. For more information, contact Don at 816-931-8536 or 22sora@gmail.com.

 

June 2018

 

Saturday June 9th – Blue River Parkway Breeding Bird Census

We will meet at 7:30 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot and search the Blue River looking for summer residents that breed in Jackson County. We will spend the morning walking the trails searching for Vireos, Woodpeckers, Tanagers and whatever else is there. Dress for the weather and walking along the trails outside. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages.

The leader of this trip is Don Arney. For more information, contact Don at 816-931-8536 or 22sora@gmail.com.

 

 

Brief reports from past Field Trips 

We encourage you to share your experience with others. Add your photos to the trip list within eBird, share them on social media, and invite your friends to an upcoming trip.

 

12/10/2017 – Participants carpooled around Smithville Lake and scanning from different vantage points to find 36 species. A White-Winged Scoter was found just before last light as gulls started to roost.

12/2/2017 – Twenty-five people joined part of an all-day trip to Osage, Lyon, and Coffey Counties in Kansas. GullsRaptors, and Longspurs highlighted a beautiful day.  

11/25/2017 – Nineteen people enjoyed beautiful weather while looking at wintering waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, and year-round residents at Loess Bluffs NWR. A few photos from the day can be found on the hyperlinked eBird list.

11/12/2017 – Thirteen people scanned Smithville and found a couple of winter rarities; a Red-throated Loon and Surf Scoter mixed in with 30 other species. 

10/8/2017 – Eight participants enjoyed the gorgeous fall weather and surveyed Smithville Lake; they found 24 species including a juvenile Peregrine Falcon, a Snowy Egret, and many gulls.

10/4/2017 – During the fall Census of Jerry Smith Park four participants found 27 species consisting of some early fall migrants as well as summer residents. 

9/30/2017 – Enjoying a gorgeous fall morning at Baker Wetlands the 17 participants observed 57 species including a Le Conte’s Sparrow south of the Discovery Center. 

9/10/2017 – Participants enjoyed the wonderful weather, a couple of gull species, and fishing Osprey at Smithville Lake.

8/15/2017 to 8/17/2017 – A total of 26 different people participated in half day trips spread over three days around Cheyenne Bottoms WA, Quivira NWR, and central Kansas and found 120+ species. Highlights from the trip included 5 owl species, King Rails, and Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks.  

8/12/2017 – An Olive-sided Flycatcher was among the 39 species seen at Prairie Center by 9 people in Olathe, Kansas.

7/7/2017 – Ten people enjoyed the prairie flowers of the flint hills; they saw 30 species at Mt Mitchell and many more along Skyline drive in Wabaunsee County, Kansas.

6/17/2017 – Summer resident species were counted by 7 people at Blue River Parkway in Kansas City, Missouri. They tallied 39 species in the couple hour walk.

6/14/2017 – During the summer census at Jerry Smith Park in Kansas City, Missouri 5 people found 34 species.

6/4/2017 – Twenty-One people enjoyed the prairie habitat around Dunn Ranch in Harrison County, Missouri. They found a Black-billed Cuckoo, Henslow’s Sparrows, Bobolinks, and others among 54 species.

 

 

Have ideas? Please share them with us.

If you love getting out in nature and are interested in leading or co-leading a trip, if you have ideas of where a group could visit, or perhaps if you have a specific species in mind that you would like to see then please contact Burroughs. Direct your inquiry toward the field trip coordinators and they will get in contact with you to see what can be done.

Picture of field trip coordinators; Rodney Wright, Mike Stoakes, and Malcolm Gold

(L to R) Rodney Wright, Mike Stoakes, and Malcolm Gold

Alternatively feel free share your ideas with the coordinators the next time you see them in the field.  The coordinators are Rodney Wright, Mike Stoakes, and Malcolm Gold.