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.

 

February

Saturday, February 25th – Gull trip to nearby Reservoirs

Join us as we visit reservoirs and lakes in search of for gulls, waterfowl, and raptors. We will also check other locations for sparrows, shrikes, finches, and whatever else is around along the way. This is an all-day trip that will end around 5pm, but you are welcome to participate as long as you like or join us later in the day if needed.  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). The meeting location is not currently set and it will be posted here as soon as it is set.  Location will depend on where birds are roosting this winter. If possible, the trip will stop for lunch at a local venue and that will be added here as well.

Usual stops on this trip include Vehicle Entry Fees for state and or county parks if you don’t have a pass. And remember it is always nice to chip in for gas if you are carpooling. This trip is very weather dependent, you should check back here if weather is a concern as a back-up date for this trip is already set for March 4th. 

Your leader for this trip is Mark Land. For more information, contact Mark at kestrelland@gmail.com or call (816) 590-9814 and leave a message.

 

May

Friday, May 5th – Blue River Parkway Spring Migration Bird Census

Join us as we walk the Blue River Parkway hiking/biking trail through Minor Park to conduct a spring migration bird census. We’ll search for migrating passerines such as warblers, flycatchers, vireos, and thrushes. We’ll also search for year-round residents using this habitat. This census assists KC WildLands as part of their ongoing mission of land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. This activity counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists.

Your leader for this trip is Don Arney. Meet at 7:00 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot. Be prepared to walk a couple miles along sometimes uneven trails, and watch the website for updates if the weather appears uncooperative. For more information, contact Don at 816-918-5371 (voice/text) or by email 22sora@gmail.com.

 

June

Saturday, June 10th – Blue River Parkway Breeding Bird Census

Join us as we walk the Blue River Parkway hiking/biking trail through Minor Park to conduct a breeding bird census. We’ll search for summer and year-round residents using this habitat. This census assists KC WildLands as part of their ongoing mission of land stewardship around the Kansas City Metro region. This activity counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists.

Your leader for this trip is Don Arney. Meet at 7:00 am at the Blue River Parkway Trailhead and Minor Park Tennis Courts parking lot. Be prepared to walk a couple miles along sometimes uneven trails, and watch the website for updates if the weather appears uncooperative. For more information, contact Don at 816-918-5371 (voice/text) or by email 22sora@gmail.com.

 

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

 

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.

1/22/23 – Ten individuals enjoyed checking multiple areas around Wyandotte County Lake for winter visitors. Lake activity was relatively low, but a few swans were present and all expected woodpeckers were found.

1/21/23 – Four birders joined trip leader, Don Arney, on this annual winter census. Bird activity was generally lighter than expected, but human activity was greater than usual on this lovely winter morning, including a large (25+) group of trail runners, as well as a few mountain bikers. Small mixed-flocks of foraging chickadees, titmice, downy woodpeckers, and golden-crowned kinglets were encountered sparingly and high in the trees, but were able to be viewed without disturbance. Highlights ranged from a cooperative small flock of white-throated sparrows to an adult bald eagle.

1/17/23 – Ten people conducted the census on a pleasant winter morning. 22 species were tallied with highlights being two Pileated Woodpeckers, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Sharp-shinned Hawk and really nice looks at a vocalizing Hermit Thrush. This was the 12th census done at the request of Kansas City Wildlands.

12/3/22 – Six individuals explored Lyon, Coffey, and Osage counties in east-central Kansas. A cooperative Long-tailed Duck at Lyon State Fishing Lake as well as a first winter Short-billed Gull and Black-legged Kittiwake at Redmond Outlet Park were the rarities found on this trip, but relatively –

11/26/22 – Twenty-one birders explored the pools and moist soil grassy areas around the Loess Bluffs NWR automobile tour route on Saturday. Standing water was unfrozen because of the week’s warmer overnight temps. In addition to waterfowl, highlights included great looks at several raptors including Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Short-eared Owl, and a very cooperative Taiga race Merlin. 

Trip Reports and Year Totals – 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

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.