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 visit 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 during a fall Field Trip.

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. Some of the trips are walking trails once you meet. Any questions you have regarding the trips can be answered by the field-trip coordinators or by the volunteer leader of that specific trip.

In addition to Burroughs Field Trips, other nature walks and bird walks are available around the Kansas City Area. Below is a list of locations offering additional trips for your consideration. If you would like your field-trips page listed below please contact Burroughs.

 

Upcoming Trips

 

Check back here for updates on winter trips if the weather is a concern. The website will contain the most up-to-date information.

 

February 2019

 

Saturday, February 23rd – 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 for 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, we will meet at the Corp of Engineers office at the Clinton State Park entrance shortly after 8 am. In case of cancellation, the backup date is Saturday, March 2nd and the cancellation notice will be posted here 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 2019

 

Saturday, March 16th – Cass and Henry Counties Missouri

Join us as we visit Settle’s Ford, Ladue Bottoms, and Montrose Conservation Areas in western Missouri. We will 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 for this trip is Joseph Mosley. 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 Joseph at birder.je@gmail.com if you have any questions regarding this trip.

 

Friday, March 22nd – Sunday, March 24th – Grand Island, Nebraska (Weather dependent)

Join us as we travel to Grand Island, Nebraska to witness one of the top nature spectacles in the world on March 22 to the 24th. Each year hundreds of thousands of Sandhill Cranes migrate through an 80-mile corridor of the Platte River on their journey north.

We will meet Friday afternoon to travel the Platte River Road looking for cranes as they feed and interact. At dusk, we will stop along the Platte River as the birds come to roost in the river for the evening. Saturday morning we will visit the Platte River looking for more flocks in the fields along the roads and parks. In the afternoon we will visit several of the conservation areas looking for migrating waterfowl, raptors, and a possible Northern Shrike. If any other crane (Whooping or Common) are in the area we may look for them. At dusk, we will again return to the river for the spectacle of the cranes coming to the river to roost.

Very early Sunday we may travel to the Taylor Ranch looking for Greater Prairie Chicken. Then a possible stop at Loess Bluffs NWR on the way home.

You may join us at any time Friday afternoon to Saturday morning. We will select a meeting site and time along I-80 for Friday afternoon.

This trip is very weather dependent. We will cancel in plenty of time to cancel reservations if necessary. You are on your own for lodging (We are staying at the Sleep Inn in the city of Grand Island), food, gas, etc. Be aware that this is also the weekend of the Crane Festival. We will need to carpool as much as possible as it will be difficult to keep track of too many cars in unfamiliar territory.

Bring the usual gear (Binoculars, scopes, radios, cameras, etc.) and be prepared for the possibility of cold weather. We have been there when it is in the 50s and also with a wind chill in the teens.

Your leader for this trip is Mark Land (markeland@kc.rr.com) 816-590-9814. If you have any questions please leave a message and he will contact you.

 

April 2019

 

Wednesday, April 3rd – Spring Morning Walk at KCP&L Wetlands

We will walk the approximately one mile long trail and look for shorebirds, waterfowl, and early migrants.

Your leader for this trip is Malcolm Gold.  Meet at the west parking lot off of Waverly at 7 am. For more information, contact Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com or 608-807-6086.

 

Wednesday, April 10th – Spring Morning Walk at location TBA

 

Wednesday, April 17th – Spring Morning Walk at location TBA

 

Wednesday, April 24th – Spring Morning Walk at location TBA

 

Sunday, April 28th – Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge joint with Midland Empire Audubon

Join us on this mostly driving trip along the Refuge’s 10-mile auto loop. We’ll stop and search for waterfowl, shorebirds, and early songbird migrants. Bring binoculars, scopes, FRS radios, snacks, drinks, as well as lunch. We will complete the auto loop before returning to the Welcome Center to each lunch at the picnic tables and for a restroom break. After lunch, the group may complete the loop again or focus on areas of the refuge that were missed in the morning.

Your leader for this trip is Mike Stoakes. For carpooling meet at 7:45 am at Platte City commuter lot or alternatively meet at the Loess Bluffs Welcome Center at 9 am. For more information, contact Mike at Mike at mstoakes@juno.com or 816-554-1956.

 

May 2019

 

Wednesday, May 1st – Spring Morning Walk at location TBA

 

Friday, May 3rd – Sunday, May 5thSpring ASM Meetings – Mountain View, Missouri

 

Thursday, May 9th – Jerry Smith Park Spring Migration Bird Census

Join us as we visit this restored prairie and city park to conduct a migratory bird census. We will walk the trails in search of migrating Warblers, Vireos, Flycatchers, Thrushes and whatever else is there. This census assists KC WildLands and their ongoing mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Counting birds at this park counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists.

Your leader for this trip is Sherry Leonardo. Meet at 7:30 am at the Jerry Smith Trailhead Parking lot at the top of the ridge. Dress for walking along the 1.25-mile-long trails. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars. For more information, contact Sherry at home172@aol.com.

 

Friday, May 10th – Blue River Parkway Spring Migration Bird Census

Join us as we visit Blue River Parkway and Minor Park to conduct a spring migration bird census. We will walk the trails in search of migrating passerines such as warblers, flycatchers, vireos, and thrushes. In addition, we expect to find year-round residents that use this habitat. Last year the weather didn’t cooperate very well, but the bird diversity during this walk was impressive with the number of different warblers observed on the walk through this Kansas City park! This census assists KC WildLands as part of a grant and their ongoing mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Counting birds at this park counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists.

Your leader for this trip is Don Arney. Meet at 7:30 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot. Dress for the weather and walking along the trails outside. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars. For more information, contact Don at 816-931-8536 or 22sora@gmail.com.

 

Friday, May 10th – Sunday, May 12th – Spring KOS Meetings – Details to come – Likely around Linn County, Kansas

 

Saturday, May 11th – Bluffwoods Conservation Area joint with Midland Empire Audubon

Details for this trip will be added as they are finalized.

 

June 2019

 

Saturday, June 15th – Blue River Parkway Breeding Bird Census

Join us as we visit Blue River Parkway and Minor Park to conduct a breeding bird census. We will walk the trails in search of bird species that utilize this habitat during the breeding season to raise young and species that use this habitat year-round.  We expect to find vireos, woodpeckers, tanagers, warblers, flycatchers and more on this stroll through this Kansas City park. This census assists KC WildLands as part of a grant and their ongoing mission toward land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. Counting birds at this park counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists. 

Your leader for this trip is Don Arney. Meet at 7:30 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot. Dress for the weather and walking along the trails outside. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars. 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.

 

2/9/19 – Twelve people, including four from BAS, joined Topeka Audubon Society (TAS) on a joint trip to Shawnee State Fishing Lake (SFL) and Banner Creek Lake/Wetlands. With the exception of a bit of open water at Banner Creek Lake in Holton, KS waterfowl numbers were low because of frozen water. A highlight of the trip was a nice dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk at Shawnee SFL. Many thanks to Debbie McKee and Mark Pheasant of TAS for hosting this trip for the second year-in-a-row. A Long-Tailed Duck was observed at Perry Lake on the way home.

2/2/19 – Following up on recent reports of winter gulls and waterfowl, a short-notice field trip was offered to Hillsdale Lake. The trip exceeded attendance expectations with 16 people and another handful joining the group for parts of the beautiful morning.  Waterfowl and gulls were numerous and the female Long-Tailed Duck that has been present for a couple of months was refound.

1/27/19 – Six individuals walked the trails at Jerry Smith Park and conducted the winter bird census for KC WildLands. Among the 27 species, a Sharp-shinned Hawk harassed a flyover Red-tailed hawk and the Eastern Bluebirds serenaded the group throughout the morning. 

1/26/19 – Five people walked the trails at Minor Park and conducted a winter bird census for KC WildLands. A Winter Wren and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker were nice cold-weather visitors from the north.

1/20/19 – Five people scanned Wyandotte County Lake for waterfowl and the surrounding woods and feeder station before part of the group volunteered at Eagle Days.  The number of all five expected geese species was amazing as was having both native Swan species.

1/01/19 – Four people spent a chilly New Years morning around Fleming Park pursuing the first birds of the new year. Highlights included a small flock of Common Mergansers and Cedar Waxwings, a nice look at a Swamp Sparrow after it flew across an arm of Blue Springs Lake to (apparently) have a look at us and a couple of Fox Sparrows at the BAS Library and Nature Center.

 

2018 Trip Reports and Year Totals

2017 Trip Reports and Year Totals

 

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.

Field trip coordinators Mike Stoakes and Malcolm Gold

(L to R) 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 Mike Stoakes and Malcolm Gold.