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.

 

April

Wednesday, April 10th – Tomahawk Creek Park

Join us as we walk the multi-use paved trails of Tomahawk Streamway in search of feathered friends. We will be primarily enjoying migrating north-bound sparrows, a few early migrants, and year-round residents during this walk. Your leader for this trip is Malcolm Gold. Meet at the parking lot of Tomahawk Creek Park on the south side of 119th Street between Roe and Mission at 7 am. For more information, contact Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com or 608-807-6086.

 

Saturday, April 20th – Beginner Birding and intro to the Nature Adventurepack Program KCK

Whether you are an expert birder or a birding beginner, we welcome you to join us on a guided bird walk with Audubon Society member, Ann Tanner. She’ll point out the birds that we come to expect seeing at the Mr. & Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Library as well as ones that we would probably never notice on our own. Bring your binoculars, if you have them. We will have some pairs at the library to borrow if you don’t have a pair of your own.

Your presenter/leader for this trip is Ann Tanner. Meet at 10:00 am at the Mr. & Mrs. F. L. Schlagle Library 4051 West Dr, Kansas City, KS 66109. For more information, contact Ann at atanner@me.com

 

Sunday, April 21st – Wilderness Wetlands

We will meet at the Blue River Elementary School on W 163rd Terrace at 7 am and expect to walk slightly over 2 miles at a leisurely pace along a paved trail that skirts wetland ponds and the Blue River in southeast Overland Park Kansas. We will search the wetlands and forest edge for migrating shorebirds, waterfowl, lingering sparrows, and early arrival passerines in addition to the year round resident species that visit the location.

Your leader for this trip is Malcolm Gold. For more information, contact Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com or 608-807-6086.

 

Wednesday, April 24th – Tomahawk Creek Park

Join us as we walk the multi-use paved trails of Tomahawk Streamway in search of feathered friends. We may have a few lingering north-bound sparrows in addition to year-round residents, but will be primarily searching for north-bound early migrants during this walk.

Your leader for this trip is Malcolm Gold. Meet at the parking lot of Tomahawk Creek Park on the south side of 119th Street between Roe and Mission at 7 am. For more information, contact Malcolm at malcolmgold@gmail.com or 608-807-6086.

 

Saturday, April 27th – Beginner Birding and intro to the Nature Adventurepack Program Louisburg Library

Learn how to identify common local birds with a K-State Extension Master Naturalist, then walk as a group to practice what you learned! The first portion of this program will be a presentation, followed by a casual bird walk. Bring your binoculars, if you have them. We will have some pairs at the library to borrow if you don’t have a pair of your own.

Your presenter/leader for this trip is J.C. Cowden. Meet at 10:00 am at Fox Hall at 201 S Broadway. For more information, contact J.C. at jdceel@yahoo.com.

 

Saturday, April 27th – Beginner Birding and intro to the Nature Adventurepack Program Paola Free Library

Learn how to identify common local birds with a K-State Extension Master Naturalist, then walk as a group to practice what you learned! The first portion of this program will be a presentation, followed by a casual round-trip walk. Bring your binoculars, if you have them. We will have some pairs at the library to borrow if you don’t have a pair of your own. We will walk/drive either to Wallace Park, at E Osage Street and Wallace Park Dr. in Paola, KS.

Your presenter/leader for this trip is Elizabeth Stoakes. Meet at 10:00 am at the Paola Library 101 E Peoria St, Paola, KS 66071. For more information, contact Elizabeth at lizkvet@yahoo.com

 

May

 

Friday, May 3rd through Sunday, May 5th – Spring KOS in Manhattan KS

Field trip details, agenda, and registration information are available on this website.

 

Friday, May 3rd – Blue River Parkway Migratory Bird Census

Join us as we conduct a migratory bird census along the Blue River near the average peak of migration through our area. This census assists KC WildLands and their mission of preserving the natural communities around Kansas City, and it counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists. We’ll walk the hiking/biking trails along the Blue River, approx. 2 miles. Trail conditions can be very muddy, depending on precipitation and temperature. This walk may be rescheduled if trail conditions are poor on the 3rd. Watch this page for updates

Your presenter/leader for this trip is Don Arney. Meet at 7:30 am at the Minor Park tennis courts parking lot. For more information, contact Don at 22sora@gmail.com

 

Saturday, May 4th – Beginner Birding and intro to the Nature Adventurepack Program Osawatomie

Learn how to identify common local birds with a K-State Extension Master Naturalist, then walk as a group to practice what you learned! The first portion of this program will be a presentation, followed by a casual round-trip walk. Bring your binoculars, if you have them. We will have some pairs at the library to borrow if you don’t have a pair of your own. We will drive to the Flint Hills Trailhead for the bird walk.

Your presenter/leader for this trip is Dave Miller. Meet at 10:00 am at the Osawatomie Library 527 Brown Ave, Osawatomie, KS 66064. For more information, contact Dave at dmillerop@gmail.com

 

Monday, May 6th – Burr Oak Woods

Join us as we scan the wooded canopy and creek edge of Burr Oak Woods in search of migrating passerines. We will be primarily hoping for north bound thrushes, vireos, and warblers but will also enjoy the summer and year round feathered residents that call the area home such as wrens, woodpeckers, and hawks. Meet at the lower parking area at Hickory Grove Trail head at 7:30 am.

Your trip leader is Steve Johnson. For more information, contact Steve at stevenrjohnson89@gmail.com or 816-377-6209.

 

Tuesday, May 7th – Jerry Smith Park Spring Migration Bird Census

Join us as we visit this restored prairie and city park to conduct a the 13th annual migratory bird census which is requested to assist with KC Wildlands and their ongoing mission toward land stewardship around the KC Metro region. 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. 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 and insect repellent. For more information, contact Sherry at home172@aol.com.

 

Saturday, May 11th – Beginner Birding and intro to the Nature Adventurepack Program Olathe

Learn how to identify common local birds with a K-State Extension Master Naturalist, then walk on the Indian Creek Trail as a group to practice what you learned! The first portion of this program will be a presentation, followed by a casual round-trip walk. Bring your binoculars, if you have them. We will have some pairs at the library to borrow if you don’t have a pair of your own.

Your presenter/leader for this trip is Amy Keigher. Meet at 1:00 pm at the Olathe Indian Creek Library 16100 W 135th St, Olathe, KS 66062. For more information, contact Amy at Amy.Keigher@jocogov.org

 

Monday, May 13th – Beginner Birding and Bird Walk at Meadowbrook Club House

Learn how to identify common local birds with a K-State Extension Master Naturalist, then walk as a group to practice what you learned! This program also has a special group leading the walk for seniors that are 50 years of age or older. The first portion of this program will be a presentation, followed by a casual round-trip walk. Bring your binoculars, if you have them. We will have some pairs to borrow if you don’t have a pair of your own.

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 atanner@me.com

 

Tuesday, May 14th – Blue Springs Lake and Wetlands

Meet at the parking lot on the east end of the dam near the wetlands at 7:30 am as we will explore this little-known birding gem in the Kansas City metro area. The complex consists of 3 large pools, a few small ones and scrubby and riparian areas. A variety of species are possible with the habitat diversity include birds using scrubby habitat such as Orchard Orioles and Bell’s Vireos, species using wetlands such as Little Blue Herons and shorebirds, and passerines using forest edges such as woodpeckers, orioles, and warblers.

Directions coming from the south west: take Exit 14, Bowlin Road, off of I-470. Take a right and go east on Bowlin Road past the convenience store on your right and through the stoplight to NE Campground Rd on your left (hard to see, comes up fast). Turn left and follow the road toward the campground. At the campground entrance turn left and follow the road to the dam. Drive across the dam- you’ll be able to see the parking lot below you on the left. A short distance past the dam there will be a drive on your left. Directions from the north: take Exit 16A US Highway 40, off of I-470. Take a left and go east on US 40-Corporal Webster Memorial Parkway for 2.4 miles and turn right onto Tapawingo Lane/Turkey Hollow Rd. Take an immediate right on Lake Ridge Rd for half a mile and turn right into the parking lot. If you go across the dam you went to far.

Your leader for this trip is Steve Johnson, if you have any questions he can be contacted at stevenrjohnson89@gmail.com or 816-377-6209

 

Saturday, May 25th through Monday, May 27th – Sax-Zim Bog and the Northwoods of Minnesota

We’ll look for breeding summer residents of the northwoods on this trip. We hope to hear and see many nesting warbler species including Ovenbirds, Mourning, Golden-winged, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green, Canada and if we are fortunate Connecticut. We expect to see and hear Yellow-bellied Flycatchers and Veery and hope to find other northern specialties on this trip. The organized field trips are spread out over two and a half days, with the main part of this trip being two all-day excursions on Saturday north of the Virginia/Hibbing are and all day Sunday around Sax-Zim Bog with head naturalist Clinton Nienhaus. Participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging arrangements. There are many options around the Virginia/Hibbing area and Malcolm’s reserved an AirBNB for Friday through Monday if you would like to split the cost of house.

A more detailed itinerary of this trip will be worked out based on more recent sightings as well as the target species of people planning to attend. The tentative plan is to have everyone bring their own packed lunches for Saturday and head north in search of Three-toed Woodpecker and Black-backed Woodpeckers, perhaps Connecticut Warbler, Spruce Grouse, and Boreal Chickadee. Depending on recent sightings, Saturday will either continue all day or end mid afternoon with a break for early supper with a dusk search for Great Gray Owl near Sax-Zim Bog.  Sunday we will meet Clinton and visit nesting habitats around the bog for a variety of species. Clinton is a wealth of knowledge and I suspect we will have ample opportunity to learn about butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, and plants as we walk and explore the bog. Once again a packed picnic lunch is planned. Participants are expected to split the guiding costs as Clinton will be with us all day Sunday and a half day Monday. Monday morning is flexible as we are reserving this currently to target any misses. If amazing views of all target species are observed the first two days, additional option may include a drive east toward Oberg Mountain in search of Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Bring your binoculars, camera, and scope. Bring bug spray and layers of clothes for the visit to the north woods. Individuals of all skill levels are welcome to attend. If you are planning to attend this trip, please let Malcolm Gold know via email at malcolmgold@gmail.com. He will If you have any questions about the trip, please contact Malcolm Gold at 608-807-6086 or malcolmgold@gmail.com. If you have questions pertaining to what to expect at the bog and what is needed, contact Clinton Nienhaus at naturalist@saxzim.org.

 

June

Saturday, June 1st – Adventure Day and intro to the Nature Adventurepack Program Overland Park 

Chat with Audubon of Kansas Executive Director Jackie Augustine about birds in the region, children can listen to a story about “Ruby’s Birds”, and everyone can join a walk in the adjacent green space with K-State Extension Master Naturalists. Bring your binoculars, if you have them. We will have some pairs at the library to borrow if you don’t have a pair of your own.

Your contact for this event is Ann Tanner. The event is scheduled 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Johnson County Library – Central Resource, 9875 W 87th St, Overland Park, KS 66212. For more information, contact Ann at atanner@me.come

 

Saturday, June 8th – Beginner Birding and intro to the Nature Adventurepack Program Basehor

Learn how to identify common local birds with a K-State Extension Master Naturalist, then take a short stroll as a group to practice what you learned! The first portion of this program will be a presentation, followed by a casual round-trip walk. Bring your binoculars, if you have them. We will have some pairs at the library to borrow if you don’t have a pair of your own.

Your presenter/leader for this trip is Ann Tanner. Meet at 10:00 am at the Basehor Library, 1400 158th St, Basehor, KS 66007. For more information, contact Ann at atanner@me.com

 

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

Join us as we conduct a breeding bird census along the Blue River. This census assists KC WildLands and their mission of preserving the natural communities around Kansas City, and it counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists. We’ll walk the hiking/biking trails along the Blue River, approx. 2 miles. Trail conditions can be very muddy, depending on precipitation and temperature. This walk may be rescheduled if trail conditions are poor on the 15th. Watch this page for updates

Your presenter/leader for this trip is Don Arney. Meet at 7:30 am at the Minor Park tennis courts parking lot. For more information, contact Don at 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. 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 gmail.com.

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, 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.