Field Trips

  LIMITED TRIPS with MASKS, DISTANCING, AND/OR NO CARPOOLING EXPECTATIONS AS NOTED

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 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.

  LIMITED TRIPS with MASKS, DISTANCING, AND/OR NO CARPOOLING EXPECTATIONS AS NOTED

 

Wednesday, September 22nd – Tomahawk Creek Park

Join us as we walk the multi-use paved trails of Tomahawk Streamway in search of south-bound migrants for a couple of hours. Meet at the parking lot on the south side of 119th Street between Roe and Mission at 7:30 am. PLEASE BRING A MASK FOR USE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO STAY SAFELY SPACED APART!

Your trip leader is Malcolm Gold and you can ask him any questions about the trip at malcolmgold@gmail.com.

 

Thursday, September 30th – Burr Oak Woods

Meet in front of the nature center at 7:30 am to walk the trails for a couple hours. We will search for southbound migrating warblers, sparrows, vireos, flycatchers, and whatever else we can find on this local morning trip. The trip is open to everyone of all birding levels. PLEASE BRING A MASK FOR USE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO STAY SAFELY SPACED APART!

Your trip leader is Steve Johnson and you can ask him any questions about the trip at stevenrjohnson89@gmail.com.

 

Friday, October 1st – Weston Bend State Park joint with MBS. (Limited participants – See Details below!)

Meet at the paved bicycle trail parking lot/trail head at 8:00 a.m. We’ll walk the 2.8-mile Paved Bicycle Trail through a variety of habitat including successional oldfield, Bee Creek bottomland, and mature loess hills upland forest bisected by deep ravines. Along with residents such as Pileated Woodpecker, we’ll hope to encounter a few late neotropical and early winter migrants. We’ll keep an eye skyward for migrating hawks, as well. PLEASE BRING A MASK FOR USE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO STAY SAFELY SPACED APART!

Your trip leader is Mike Stoakes, and you can ask him any questions about the trip at mstoakes@juno.com or call/text 816-283-6258. Since this is also a Missouri Birding Society trip that is limited to 10 participants, pre-registration is required using this website.

 

Sunday, October 3Lewis & Clark SP and Little Bean Marsh joint with MBS. (Limited participants – See Details below!)

Meet at the entrance to Lewis and Clark SP at 8:00 a.m. We’ll check the lake first for gulls and waterfowl. Then we’ll walk the easy, mostly level gravel trail through a marsh area, open fields and woodland area looking for sparrows and other migrants. From the state park we’ll drive to Little Bean Marsh CA to walk the level, paved trails looking for passerine migrants. Please bring water, snacks and a scope, if you have one. PLEASE BRING A MASK FOR USE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO STAY SAFELY SPACED APART!

Your trip leader is Sherry Leonardo, and you can ask her any questions about the trip at home172@aol.com or call 816-718-5888. Since this is also a Missouri Birding Society trip that is limited to 10 participants, pre-registration is required using this website.

 

Saturday October 9th – Clinton Lake and surrounding areas joint with KOS.

Meet at the Model Airport Field below the dam (38.913936, -95.316767) at 7 am to walk over a mile of a tall grass flooded field for sparrows, wrens, and hopefully rails. Wear muck boots or footwear for wet conditions. Water resistant pants are very helpful if it has rained or if there is a heavy dew. Afterwards we’ll likely scan the lake and perhaps walk a trail or field. Bring binoculars, scope, dry footwear for after the morning, and lunch. Head into town to grab a bite to eat and rejoin the group afterwards if you want. The trip is open to everyone of all birding levels. A couple pairs of binoculars will be available if needed.  PLEASE BRING A MASK FOR USE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO STAY SAFELY SPACED APART!

Your trip leaders are Malcolm Gold and Rodney Wright. Reach out to Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com with any questions. 

 

Saturday October 9th – Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Meet near the ticket booth at 9 am (entry on Oct 9 & 10 is free). We’ll focus on the natural parts of the Arboretum looking for migrant and resident songbirds as well as migrating raptors. TRIP IS LIMITED TO 15 PEOPLE.

PLEASE BRING A MASK FOR USE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO STAY SAFELY SPACED APART AND FOR ENTERING THE VISITOR CENTER

Your trip leader is Mike Stoakes. Contact Mike to reserve your spot: mstoakes@juno.com or call/text 816-283-6258.

 

Thursday October 14th – Kill Creek Park

Meet at the beach parking lot at 7:30 am. We will walk the paved trails looking for south bound migrants. Later in the morning we will climb the tower searching for migrating raptors. This may be an all morning trip so plan accordingly. Feel free to leave anytime you wish. PLEASE BRING A MASK FOR USE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO STAY SAFELY SPACED APART AND IF YOU WISH TO CLIMB THE TOWER

Your trip leader is Mark Land and you can ask him any questions about the trip at kestrelland@gmail.com.

 

Missouri Birding Society Fall Meeting – September 24th through October 10th

Details of locations, dates, and instructions are on the following website.  Note that participation is limited.

 

Kansas Ornithological Society Fall Meeting – September 22nd through October 9th

Details of events and field trips will be available on the following website. Note you can participate in the event’s birding compilation by attending any of the four field trips or birding on your own and sharing the checklist with KOS.

 

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.

9/14/21 – The group of attendees walked three miles along the trails at Baker Wetlands from the Discovery Center to the Heron Hangout south to the Wakarusa River and up the Diagonal Trail finding a nice mixture of shorebirds, passerines, and other birds. 

6/15/21 – A dozen individuals enjoyed dragonflies, butterflies, prairie plants, and a decent variety of summer resident birds.  A pair of Yellow-breasted Chats sat up in the tree and sang nicely as did Blue Grosbeaks.

5/26/21 – A large group walked the trails at Blue Springs Wetlands without masks, enjoying the revised CDC guidelines for vaccinated individuals, and observed over 50 species of mostly resident species.  A couple of migrating flycatchers were mixed in as well on this humid morning. 

5/21/21 – Seven species of shorebirds were among the 30+ species seen at KCPL Wetlands during the last of the roughly weekly walks.  A Willow Flycatcher, and increased diversity in Swallows as is expected at the end of spring migration, were also observed. 

5/12/21 – Nine species of shorebirds were among the 40+ species seen at KCPL Wetlands during an early morning walk.

5/5/21 – A good variety of warblers, vireos, and other species were found along Tomahawk Creek trails in Leawood Kansas. 

4/28/21 – Ten individuals met for a mile walk around KCPL Wetlands in Gardner Kansas to scope shorebirds and search for passerines. 

10/20/20 – Five individuals wore masked and maintained social distancing while visiting Kill Creek Park in northwest Johnson County Kansas. A slightly larger and darker bird was observed flying with Tree Swallows over the lake, giving the impression of a very late Martin.  Careful study revealed it was a Merlin flying slowly among the Swallows hunting, a behavior that is not often seen with this species.

 

Trip Reports and Year Totals – 202020192018, 2017, 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

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.