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.


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.



Saturday, June 3rd – Meet the Martins! (LIMITED TO 12 PARTICIPANTS)

Would you like to observe a nesting colony of Purple Martins up close and personal? Do you have questions about attracting and hosting Martins? Please join us for a special outing with William (Bill) Warnes, a Kansas Master Naturalist who has spent decades caring for these fascinating birds. We will be checking out nests at Bill’s property. Group size is limited to minimize disturbance of the birds.

Your trip leaders are Mike and Elizabeth Stoakes. We will meet at the parking area of Shelter 1 at Kill Creek Park in Johnson County at 5:00 PM and proceed to Bill’s house nearby. Those wishing to take a short bird hike beforehand can meet us at this location at 3:00 PM. Please register by sending a message to by June 1, with ‘Martin Trip’ in the subject line. Please include the names and number of people in your party, plus ONE contact number for updates, etc. Thank you!


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


Tuesday, June 13th – Jerry Smith Park Spring Breeding Bird Census

Join us as we visit this restored prairie and city park to conduct a 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 any lingering migrating warblers, vireos, flycatchers, thrushes and primarily focus on year-round and summer residents that use the habitat of this Kansas City park for breeding purposes. Counting birds at this park counts toward volunteer hours for Master Naturalists.

Your leader for this trip is Sherry Leonardo. Meet at 7 am at the Jerry Smith Trailhead Parking lot at the top of the ridge. Dress for walking along the 1.5 mile long trails. Participants should spray or prepare for ticks and bring sunscreen. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages in addition to your binoculars. For more information, contact Sherry 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.

5/20/23 – Fourteen individuals walked along the trails near Schlagle Library after a presentation on Prothonotary Warbler nest boxes. 

5/10/23 – Sixteen individuals met at Antioch Park and walked the paved trails enjoying a nice variety of northbound migrants. Cooperative Magnolia and Blackburnian Warblers in addition to Vireo diversity highlighted the walk among both old and new friends.

5/8/23 – Ten individuals slowly walked Tomahawk Creek Streamway between Antioch and Switzer, finding many northbound migrants. The birds were not very cooperative however as most only showed well for a couple of people in the group among the large leafs.

5/5/23 – We had 10 birders walk the paths from 7 to 10 AM at Blue River Parkway. The group observed fifty-eight species including a Prairie Warbler. We also had good looks at eight Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.

5/3/23 – Sixteen individuals gathered at Evergy Wetlands in Gardner Kansas and enjoyed a nice diversity of shorebirds at this location as well as New Century Fieldhouse.

5/3/23 – Eleven birders surveyed Jerry Smith Park. Surprise of the morning was a Wood Thrush clearly heard by everyone. A new bird for the park! Other highlights were good looks at a Yellow-breasted Chat and a couple of Lark Sparrows, watching a female Bluebird leave a cavity nest hole and a male fly in with food in its bill and seeing a Gnatcatcher sitting on a nest.

4/29/23 – Eleven birders enjoyed a beautiful spring morning at the confluence of Kansas City’s great rivers. Walking slowly along the paved trails produced several Warbling Vireos, a few Brown Thrashers, Lincoln’s, White-throated and Harris’s Sparrows, and Baltimore Orioles. A number of Northern Rough-winged Swallows patrolled the river’s edge. A treat for those who were quick enough to catch the action was a Peregrine Falcon chasing a Bald Eagle along the Kansas River towards the Missouri.

4/4/23 – Nine birders enjoyed a beautiful, rain-free morning at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Besides a carpet of ephemeral wildflowers on the south side of Wolf Creek, highlights included nice looks at Pileated Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Hawk and active pairs of Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Phoebe, and Louisiana Waterthrush.

3/9/23 – Four people observed several woodcocks performing their courtship flights on a chilly, wet evening. Flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles and European Starlings were also seen.

3/8/23 – Nine intrepid women showed up despite the chilly, wet weather. They were rewarded with quite a show from several low-flying american woodcocks. Action was non-stop, until a couple of vocal Great-horned Owls moved into the nearby tree line. Earlier in the evening, there was a Barred Owl fly-by.

3/4/23 – Nineteen individuals met up to explore areas around Clinton and Perry Lakes. Waterfowl and gull diversity was limited, but we enjoyed a calm day finding many first of year northbound migrants like this Wilson’s Snipe and a lingering winter visitors like this Winter Wren

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.