Check out the new Great Missouri Birding Trail at several events around the state designed to introduce the new virtual “trail.”
The trail is not a physical site, but is a Great Missouri Birding Trail website designed to help beginner and seasoned birders find and explore the “best of the best” places to birdwatch around Missouri. The website includes an interactive map of the best birding sites around the Show-Me State with information on various aspects of bird conservation. Pages include birding tips, beginner basics, landscaping and property improvements for birds, and how to get involved with local bird organizations.
The Great Missouri Birding Trail was initiated by Mike Doyen, president of the Missouri Bird Conservation Foundation. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Bird Conservation Foundation now collaborate on the trail.
MDC is hosting events throughout the state. The first 25 people at each event will receive a Great Missouri Birding Trail tote bag or water bottle. Attendees will also get trail bumper stickers and lens cloths for cameras and binoculars.
Events are scheduled for:
- May 11 in Springfield at the MDC Springfield Conservation Nature Center, 4601 S. Nature Center Way
- May 12 in Rolla at the Audubon Trails Nature Center, 550 Meriweather Court
- May 17 in the Kansas City area at the MDC Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Road in Blue Springs
- May 18 in the St. Louis area at the MDC Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, 11715 Cragwold Road in Kirkwood
- May 19 in Columbia at the MDC Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, 6700 W Route K
- May 24 in Kirksville at the MDC Northeast Regional Office, 3500 S. Baltimore
- May 26 in Cape Girardeau at the MDC Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, 2289 County Park Drive
“In today’s technological world, paper maps can become outdated quite quickly,” said Sarah Kendrick, MDC state ornithologist. “The Birding Trail is a mobile-friendly website with an easy-to-use map of our best birding sites for access anytime, anywhere.”
Doyen said the best birding locations include mostly public land, such as conservation areas and state parks, and feature various types of bird habitats, such grasslands, wetlands, woodlands, forests, glades and savannas.
According to Doyen, Missouri has nearly 1.5 million bird watchers, age 16 and older, and the activity has a $1 billion annual economic impact in the state.