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 weather may be a concern. The website will be contain the most up-to-date information.

 

January 2019

 

Sunday, January 20th – Wyandotte County Lake

Join us as we spend the morning looking for eagles, waterfowl and winter songbirds. Located in the northwest KC metro area, Wyandotte County Lake can be a waterfowl magnet in winter. We’ll bird around the lake and end before lunch.  We’ll start with a short walk to the edge of the lake to scan waterfowl near the Rowing Club and check a couple of areas around the lake before heading back to our vehicles near the Mr. & Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library to check the feeders. This weekend is also Eagle Days at Wyandotte County Lake, with additional events throughout the weekend and open for everyone.

Your leader of this trip is Malcolm Gold. Meet at 8:00 a.m. at lower parking lot north of the Schlagle Library. For more information, contact Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com or 608-807-6086. 

 

Wednesday, January 23rd – Jerry Smith Park Winter Bird Census.

Join us as we visit this restored prairie and city park to conduct a winter bird census. We will walk the trails in search of winter residents that might include both species of Kinglets, the diverse family of Sparrows, Brown Creepers, Hermit Thrushes and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. In addition, we expect to find year-round residents that use this habitat at this Kansas City park. 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 8:00 am at the Jerry Smith Trailhead Parking lot at the top of the ridge . Dress for the weather and walking along the trails outside. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars and warm clothes. For more information, contact Sherry at home172@aol.com.

 

Saturday, January 26th – Blue River Parkway Winter Bird Census

Join us as we visit Blue River Parkway and Minor Park to conduct a winter bird census. We will walk the trails in search of winter residents that might include both species of Kinglets, the diverse family of Sparrows, Brown Creepers, Hermit Thrushes and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. In addition, we expect to find year-round residents that use this habitat at 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 8:00 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 and warm clothes. For more information, contact Don at 816-931-8536 or 22sora@gmail.com.

 

 

February 2019

 

Saturday, February 9th – Shawnee SFL and Banner Creek joint with Topeka Audubon

We’ll check the area around Shawnee State Fishing Lake for waterfowl, raptors, and wintering sparrows before heading north to Holton Kansas in Jackson County. We’ll stop at Burger King, but alternative fast food locations exist in town or you can bring a packed lunch. After lunch, we’ll check Banner Creek Lake which has a $3 daily Vehicle Entry Fee. Depending on timing of the morning trip, the return trip toward KC will stop at locations around Perry Lake. Feel free to join us for all or part of this all-day trip. Dress in layers for this trip that will include walking, scoping, and time in a vehicle driving.

Your trip leader for the morning is Debby McKee and Mike Stoakes is coordinating the morning caravan from KC. Meet at 6:45 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. To arrange an alternative meeting point or for more information, contact Debby at grmasmurf@gmail.com or 785-220-6515 or Mike at mstoakes@juno.com or 816-554-1956. 

 

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)

This trip coincides with the mass migration of Sandhill Cranes. It is an overnight trip where individuals are largely responsible for their own travel, food, and lodging arrangements. 

Your leader for this trip is Mark Land. Feel free to ask Mark questions in detail if you know him, otherwise more information will be posted in the near future with his contact information.

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

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 flocks of Common Merganser and Cedar Waxwing, 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.