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.

Backyard Bird Center – Kansas City, Missouri

Wild Birds Unlimited – Shawnee, Kansas (Sign-up for their walks every other Sunday walks here

Wild Birds Unlimited – Leawood, Kansas

Overland Park Arboretum – Overland Park, Kansas (Navigate the calendar for Bird Walks)

Bird by Birds Kansas City Birding Meetup – Kansas City Metro Area


Upcoming Trips

Check back here for updates on trips if the weather is a concern. The website will contain the most up-to-date information. Additional field trips will be added to the website once they are finalized with trip leaders. We appreciate your excitement for upcoming field trips and appreciate that you check this website for more information as fall and winter trips are added.



Tuesday, September 3rd – Backyard Birding for Beginners

Presentation for beginning birders by a Johnson County Extension Master Naturalist. The presentation will provide tips for the identification of birds you might see in your backyard, numerous photos to help refine your identification skills, as well as a description of tools that are helpful to birders. After the presentation, we will enjoy a short bird walk around the Meadowbrook Clubhouse grounds to practice our birding skills.

Your presenter/leader for this trip is Ann Tanner. Meet at 10:30 am at the Meadowbrook Club House, 9101 Nall Avenue in Prairie Village, KS 66207. For more information, contact Ann at



Wednesday, October 2nd – Prothonotary Warblers: Swamp Candles in Kansas and Missouri

Presentation by Ann Tanner, Johnson County Extension Master Naturalist and Board member of Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City. Ann will give an overview of Prothonotary Warblers from a scientific and personal perspective. She will describe the birds’ population trends, range and migration pathways, and ongoing work by Master Naturalists and citizen scientists to install nest boxes in appropriate habitat in eastern Kansas and western Missouri. The program will be loaded with photos and personal stories of interactions with these beautiful birds. Ann will also detail the work to band and place barometric pressure geolocators on Prothonotary Warblers by Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University researchers, and Master Naturalists to track the migratory travels of the beautiful birds. After the presentation, we will enjoy a short bird walk around the Meadowbrook Clubhouse grounds to practice our birding skills.

Your presenter/leader for this trip is Ann Tanner. Meet at 10:30 am at the Meadowbrook Club House, 9101 Nall Avenue in Prairie Village, KS 66207. For more information, contact Ann at


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. If you attended a trip in the past and wish the eBird checklist to be shared with you please send an email request to malcolmgold AT

6/15/24 – Four birders helped conduct the Blue River Parkway breeding bird census. Most of the normal cast was noted except for Eastern Phoebe, and Pileated and Hairy Woodpeckers, but there’s no cause for concern as these species are certainly nearby, but quiet. Viewing treats included great looks at a Broad-winged Hawk and several minutes observing a foraging Yellow-crowned Night Heron, a crayfish specialist which we observed catch at least two of the crustaceans.

6/12/24 – Five birders, including two young birders, showed up for the census which started at 7 am. A highlight was getting 2 Blue Grosbeaks right off the bat. Another highlight was close looks at a singing male Common Yellowthroat. The group tallied 33 species and enjoyed seeing a variety of butterflies and native wildflowers.

6/8/24 – Ten individuals gathered for a beginning birder walk and overview of AOK Nature AdventurePacks at Basehor Library and walk around the city park. 

6/1/24 – Sixty-two individuals took advantage of beginning bird walks as part of Johnson County Library Adventure Day. A partial list of birds seen is included here.  

5/28/24 – Twenty-nine individuals gathered for a beginning birder walk and overview of AOK Nature AdventurePacks at Meadowbrook Park in Prairie Village and enjoyed summer resident species. 

5/25/24 – 5/27/24 – Nine individuals explored northern Minnesota and Sax-Zim Bog area. Many lifers and great looks at breeding warblers were present as well as good looks of Great Gray Owl and Black-backed Woodpecker.

5/15/24 – It was a big group of 17 this morning and 52 species seen by them, including lifers for some folks! Highlights were watching a Barred Owl fly through the forest, lifer western kingbird for a young birder, and fun looks at Blackpoll and Chestnut-sided Warblers.

5/11/24 – Twenty-six individuals gathered for a beginning birder walk and overview of AOK Nature AdventurePacks at Olathe Indian Creek Library in Johnson County. They split into multiple smaller groups, with additional reports here and here.  

5/10/24 – Twelve birders gathered to walk Blue River Parkway for the spring migration census for KC Wildlands. The group found a nice variety of migrant passerines in addition to year round residents.

5/7/24 – Nine intrepid birders, including two young birders, braved mud and wet conditions to conduct the census at Jerry Smith Park. 55 species were tallied and highlights included good looks at Blue-headed and White-eyed Vireos, Yellow- breasted Chats, Eastern Towhee, Clay-colored and Lincoln’s Sparrows, a pair of American Redstarts and flyovers by Franklin Gulls and Double-crested Cormorants.

5/6/24 – A group of ten individuals enjoyed a nice selection of north bound migrants at Burr Oak Woods.

5/4/24 – Ten individuals met for a an overview of AOK Nature AdventurePacks at Osawatomie Library in Miami County and then went on a beginning bird walk along the Flint Hills Nature trail.

5/1/24 – Ten individuals gathered at Antioch Park for early migration action. Observing nature in its honesty wasn’t planned for the trip but happened this morning among the double digit warbler highlights.

4/27/24 – Thirteen individuals gathered for a beginning birder walk and overview of AOK Nature AdventurePacks at Paola Library in Miami County.  

4/27/24 – Sixteen individuals gathered for a beginning birder walk and overview of AOK Nature AdventurePacks at Louisburg Library in Miami County.  

4/24/24 – Twenty individuals walked the multi-use paved trails of Tomahawk Creek Parkway and enjoyed singing warblers, vireos, and other first of year spring arrivals. 

4/21/24 – Six individuals walked the paved trail between Wilderness Wetlands and the Blue River. A decent variety of shorebirds, waterfowl, sparrows, and early migrants were present.

4/20/24 – Thirty individuals gathered for a beginning birder walk and overview of AOK Nature AdventurePacks at Schlagle Library in Wyandotte County. Nest building by Blue-gray gnatcatchers was among the many highlights!

4/10/24 – Sixteen individuals walked the multi-use paved trails of Tomahawk Creek Parkway, finding a few early migrants among the sparrows and year-round residents. Fledgling Great Horned Owls were the without a doubt the favorite bird of the group. 

3/13/24 – Despite a tornado watch and the program actually being canceled 7 people showed up. Again the program proceeded until lightning moved in when the wood- cocks started flying. Everyone got good looks at at least one before everyone headed safely to their cars. 

3/12/24 – 22 people attended, including a couple of children (few in the group had actually seen a a woodcock). With a background of lightning off to the east the program proceeded and wood- cocks started to peent. Just as soon as the first one was flying overhead with everyone excited about great looks there was a flash of lightning above him. We immediately headed for cars and everyone got safely on their way home.

3/6/24 – 22 people attended. After a 20- discussion about woodcocks, 4 were observed doing their Sky Dance. Viewing was difficult, but about all were able to hear the 3 parts of the display.

3/05/2024 – Thirteen people enjoyed an unwinter-like day at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Even though mixed-species flocks were still in characteristic winter foraging mode, nesting season was on the minds of some year-round residents. Highlights included two Carolina Wrens shopping for real estate amongst a limestone outcrop, a pair of courting White-breasted Nuthatches, and a very vocal pair of Red-shouldered Hawks. In addition, a Barred Owl and Pileated Woodpecker called from the woods, and a Belted Kingfisher called as it flew along the creek, but never appeared. 

2/10/2024 – Six birders joined Don Arney on this winter census of the Blue River Parkway (Minor Park section), including Jonny Montgomery, a visitor to KC from Colorado. Jonny took some lovely photos which are embedded in the eBird list. Highlights included a couple of Pileated Woodpeckers occupied with courting and nest building and a furtive Fox Sparrow. 

2/06/2024 – Twenty people enjoyed an early spring-like day in February at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens! Mixed-species flocks in characteristic winter foraging mode were widely scattered, but more numerous and easily seen around the Arboretum’s feeding stations. Highlights there included Fox Sparrow and Oregon Junco (see wonderful photos by Betty Lou Peckham in eBird list). 

1/30/2024 – It took 3 tries, but thanks to 6 hearty people it was completed on January 30th. The morning started clear and crisp, but warmed up nicely. 22 species were tallied with highlights being great looks at a Red-shouldered Hawk soaring in slow circles overheard and a pair of Red-tailed Hawks sitting at a nest. The latter found by one of the participants. 

1/21/24 – Seven individuals met on a cold morning with the focus on finding a Tundra Swan.  Among the nearly 300 on Wyandotte County Lake we found a handful.

1/2/2024 – Eight individuals walked the paved and wood-chipped trails of Overland Park Arboretum to kick of 2024 with over thirty species and good looks at all of the seven expected woodpecker species of the Kansas City Area.

12/5/23 – Eighteen individuals took advantage of the free admission at Overland Park Arboretum on the first Tuesday of the month and enjoyed the time together in nature along the paved and wood-chipped trails.

12/2/23 – Thirteen individuals explored Osage, Lyon, and Coffey Counties in eastern Kansas on an extremely foggy day. Visibility was less than an eighth a mile at a few stops. A large flock of feeding Bonaparte’s Gulls below the Redmond Spillway and a large mixed flock of passerines at Lyon State Fishing Lake were highlights of the day.


Trip Reports and Year Totals – 2023, 2022, 2021, 202020192018, 2017, as well as 2024 and 2019 Trip to Sax-Zim Bog and MN Northwoods


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 with daughters

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.