Field Trips

  FOLLOWING CDC GUIDELINES, FIELD TRIPS ARE SUSPENDED THROUGH THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY

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.

 

Additional fall, winter, and spring field trips will be added to the website once they are finalized with trip leaders. We appreciate your excitement for upcoming field trips and ask for patience as we get the new ones planned.

 

April 2020

 

  FOLLOWING CDC GUIDELINES, FIELD TRIPS ARE SUSPENDED THROUGH THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY

AND FUTURE TRIPS MAY BE SUSPENDED IN FUTURE DATES

May 2020

 

Friday, May 1st through Sunday May 3rd – KOS Spring Meeting in Concordia, KS (Registration details available here.) 

 

Sunday, May 10th – Flint Hills Nature Trail

Join us as we visit the Flint Hills Nature Trail in Miami and Franklin County. We will walk approximately 4 miles of this multi-use rail-trail along the Marais des Cygnes River through mature hardwood forest and riparian habitat. We will be searching for migrating warblers, vireos, flycatchers, thrushes, and other species. We will drop off at least one vehicle near Rantoul and then drive east to another trail access point to start our walk. The dropped off cars will allow us to walk east to west along the trail with the sun at our back and not have to backtrack. The trail is generally in great condition, but wear footwear appropriate to mud and water if recent rains or flooding have occurred. 

Your leaders for this trip are Malcolm Gold and Dan Broers. Meet at 5:30 am at the PetSmart Parking lot off I-35 and 119th in Olathe or 6:00am at Casey’s in Wellsville to carpool. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to binoculars and plan for the walk and trip to last until late morning/early afternoon. For more information, contact Malcolm at 608-807-6086 or malcolmgold@gmail.com.

 

Tuesday, May 12th – 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 the year-round residents that use the habitat of 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 7:00 am at the Jerry Smith Trailhead Parking lot at the top of the ridge. Dress for walking along the 1.5 mile long trails. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars. For more information, contact Sherry at 816-718-5888 or home172@aol.com.

 

Wednesday, May 13th – Rocky Point Glades & Swope Park Migration Bird Census

Join us as we visit this restored limestone glad and oak savanna to conduct a migratory bird census. We will walk the trails in search of migrating birds including warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes as well as year-round residents that use this Kansas City park habitat. 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 Steven Johnson. Meet at 7:00 am at the Lake Lodge. Dress for walking approximately 2 miles of dirt trails. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars. For more information, contact Steven at stevenrjohnson89@gmail.com.

 

Sunday, May 17th – Perry Lake

Join us as we visit this a variety of locations around Perry Lake in Jefferson County Kansas. We plan to walk the Old Military Trail road, visit the Topeka Audubon Society Bird Sanctuary, and possible other locations as well.  The morning walk will be moderately strenuous as the trail has a decent amount of elevation changes. We will walk the trails in search of migrating birds including warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes as well as year-round residents. After walking trails we may check out riparian habitat and any exposed mudflats for shorebirds. Dress for walking approximately 2 miles. Bring binoculars, scopes, snacks, and water for this trip that will end around lunch time. 

Your leader for this trip is Malcolm Gold. Meet at 6:00 am at Wendy’s north of K-10 on Woodland Drive for carpooling and to caravan west. If coming from other areas, we will be meeting at the Old Military Trail parking lot at 7 am. Please note the parking area for this trail isn’t large and we may need to move cars if many people attend without carpooling to reduce the number of cars. For more information, contact Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com or 608-807-6086.

June 2020

 

Saturday, June 6th – Miami County and Wright Roost

Join us as we visit the Wright Roost (Rodney Wright’s personal property) and other locations in Miami County. We will carpool to various locations for staked out breeding birds and then return to walk trails at Rodney’s property in search of bird that use the habitat to raise young as well as species that use this habitat year-round. We hope to find vireos, woodpeckers, tanagers, warblers, grosbeaks, flycatchers, cuckoos and more in the diverse habitat that includes a small wooded stream, riparian habitat, and open grassland. This trip will include a leisurely walk as we plan to stop and photograph the birds, insects and whatever else we might find.

Your leader for this trip is Rodney Wright. Meet at 7:00 am at the PetSmart Parking lot off I-35 and 119th in Olathe to carpool or at Rodney’s place at 7:30. Dress for walking a couple of miles of grass trails. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars and cameras as we plan to be done late morning before lunch. For more information or the address, contact Rodney at 913-548-1486 or through Facebook messenger.

 

Thursday, June 11th – Jerry Smith Park Breeding Bird Census

Join us as we visit this restored prairie and city park to conduct a breeding bird census. We will walk the trails in search of birds that utilize this Kansas City park during the breeding season to raise young as well as species that utilize it year-round. We expect to find swallows, flycatchers, woodpeckers, sparrows and more during this walk. 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 7:00 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 816-718-5888 or home172@aol.com.

 

Saturday, June 13th – 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 be prepared to walk a couple miles of trails. 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.

 

Thursday, June 18th – Rocky Point Glades & Swope Park Breeding Bird Census

Join us as we visit this restored limestone glad and oak savanna to conduct a breeding bird census. We will walk the trails in search of birds that use this Kansas City park habitat during the breeding season to raise young as well as the year-round resident species. 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 Steven Johnson. Meet at 7:00 am at the Lake Lodge. Dress for walking approximately 2 miles of dirt trails. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars. For more information, contact Steven at stevenrjohnson89@gmail.com.

 

October 2020

 

Friday, October 2nd through Sunday October 4th – KOS Fall Meeting (Registration details will be linked here when they are available.)

 

Saturday, October 17th – Clinton Lake Outlet Park

Join us as we walk the field below Clinton Lake searching for LeConte’s Sparrow, Nelson’s Sparrow, Marsh Wren, Sedge Wren, and other southbound migrants and winter residents. This walk is about a mile in wet conditions through tall grass. Rubber boots and rain pants are advised if you have them. The half-day trip will continue to Baker Wetlands, Clinton Lake, or another neighboring location mid-morning and the trip will end by lunch. Individuals of all skill levels are welcome to attend.

You leader for this trip is Rodney Wright. Meet at 6:30 am at Wendy’s north of K-10 on Woodland Drive for carpooling and to caravan west. If coming from other areas, meet at the Clinton International Model Airport parking lot shortly after 7 am. For additional information, contact Rodney at 913-548-1486 or through Facebook messenger.

 

  FOLLOWING CDC GUIDELINES, FIELD TRIPS ARE SUSPENDED THROUGH THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY

 

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.

3/10/20 – Twenty-two people attended the annual woodcock walk at Jerry Smith Park. We were joined by 6 people from the KC Meet Up birding at the park for woodcocks. At least 6 woodcocks put on quite a show. Most people saw at least one woodcock and everyone heard all three parts of the aerial display. Other birds seen or heard included Killdeer and Great Horned Owls.

2/29/20 – Twenty two individuals met at Clinton Lake to scan the lake in the morning before heading to Perry Lake after lunch. Most of the bird variety was present at the Marina in the morning with flyover geese. At Perry Lake a 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gull was at the Yacht and Marina near the dam and a Great Black-backed Gull was at the Rock Creek Marina with an Iceland (Thayeri type) Gull. A Glaucous Gull back at the Yacht and Marina at the end of the trip was the 6th gull species and end to a wonderfully warm day with friends.

2/8/20 – Seven birders from KC and eleven birders from Topeka met to enjoy a sunny, but chilly, morning with calm winds at Shawnee State Fishing Lake north of Topeka. A frozen lake precluded any waterfowl from being seen, but nine species of sparrow, including Fox and Spotted Towhee, were found in the brush and grasslands around the lake. Banner Creek Lake near Holton produced a nice variety of waterfowl on a few seams of open water on an otherwise frozen lake. On the way back to KC, birders found several dabbling and diving ducks after a quick stop at the Perry Lake dam east of Topeka.

1/25/20 – Recent snow resulted in a beautiful 2.5 mile walk at the Overland Park Arboretum for nine individuals.  A Spotted Towhee and Purple Finch were at the feeder station and numerous Golden Crowned Kinglets were along the west trail.

1/19/20 – Cold temperatures caused the group of five birders to spend less time walking and scoping the lake than expected. Hermit Thursh, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and a variety of waterfowl were present around Wyandotte County Lake.

1/15/20 – Three volunteers joined Sherry Leonardo in this winter bird census of Jerry Smith Park. Highlights included a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Pileated Woodpecker, a couple of Fox Sparrows, and a Swamp Sparrow. These seasonal censuses assist KC WildLands in its ongoing mission to preserve habitat around the Kansas City Metro area, and participating with Burroughs counts as volunteer hours for both KS and MO Master Naturalists.

1/8/20 – Thirteen volunteers joined Steve Johnson in this winter season bird census of the Rocky Point Glades in Swope Park. Highlights included an adult Bald Eagle, a young Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and hundreds of American Robins (with a few Cedar Waxwings mixed in) feasting on abundant Hackberry tree fruit.

1/1/20 – Five birders joined in a New Years Day walk on a beautiful first day of 2020. Highlights included a number of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and a nice variety of waterfowl. Wonderful photos by J.C. Avena included with eBird list.

12/7/19 – Twenty-two people, including birders from Hays and Topeka, birded multiple locations in Lyon and Osage Counties in Kansas. Our target bird near Lyon State Fishing Lake (LSFL), Smith’s Longspur, proved elusive and few (two birds), but most folks were able to hear and see a bird in flight. Another highlight of LSFL was a cooperative Bewick’s Wren. On earlier reports of a Pacific Loon and White-winged Scoter at Pamona Lake, the group relocated and had great looks at the loon, but not the scoter. A busy guild of songbirds was located in the park below the Pamona Lake outlet, delighting all who witnessed the large mixed flock.

 

2019 Trip Reports and Year Totals

2019 Extended Trip Report from Sax-Zim Bog and MN Northwoods

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.