Discover Nature Notes

Mighty Monarchs

Sep 04, 2017

Monarch butterflies in the eastern U.S. and Canada fly more than 2,000 miles to the same forest in Mexico every fall.  In the spring they return.  Four generations make the round trip.  The migration of monarch butterflies is truly a natural wonder and navigation marvel.  You can learn more about these popular pollinators and how you can help bring monarchs back from a serious decline in this week's Discover Nature Note.  You can also watch videos of a new monarch emerging and a woman from Columbia, Missouri who raises monarchs.

Monarch Butterfly

The Hummingbirds of the Fish World

Aug 28, 2017

You're most likely to see them in clear, swift, shallow waters. Their bright colors and fast dashing movements will give them away and so they are aptly named darters. Learn more about these flashy fish in this week's Discover Nature Note. You can also find Discover Nature Notes at on the homepage. This week's special bonus feature includes an audio podcast with MDC Scientist Doug Novinger, talking streamside about the iconic niangua darter, only found in Missouri.

Photograph of a Niangua darter

An American Original Landscape

Aug 21, 2017

It was named by French expolorers, cared for by Native Americans, sustained by fire and when the steel plow broke it; it fed the world.  The tallgrass prairie is truly an original American landscape.  Learn more about this special habitat and where you can explore remaining Missouri prairies in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Schwartz Prairie

Nature in Totality

Aug 07, 2017

Wildlife doesn't plan ahead for an eclipse but have been known to react to totality in interesting ways. As they experience a very short night in the middle of the day, birds, insects and other wildlife respond to changing light conditions.  Learn more about how animals behave during an eclipse and conservation areas in the viewing path in this week's Discover Nature Note.


Total solar eclipse with visible corona

Celebrating 80 Years of Conservation

Jul 31, 2017

The Missouri Department of Conservation is celebrating 80 Years of Serving Nature and You.  Our rich conservation heritage has been possible thanks to Missouri citizens and partners.  Learn ways you can get involved to shape the next 80 years and offer your ideas at open houses throughout the state in this week's Discover Nature Note.

A closeup of an acorn

The Katydid Song

Jul 24, 2017

You can hear them calling the loudest on summer evenings, in synchronized surround sound.  Learn how katydid's make their sound in this week's Discover Nature Note.

A bright pink katydid on a green leaf

The Bald Trees with the Knobby Knees

Jul 17, 2017

If you want to visit an other-worldly looking destination then you can't beat Missouri's swamps.  And these wouldn't be complete without the bald cypress trees with the knobby knees growing up out of the water.  The best views are at Allred Lake Natural Area and a great time to go is in the fall around Halloween when they reach peak fall color.  Learn more about Bald Cypress Trees by clicking through this week's Discover Nature Note.

bald cypress tree at Allred Lake Natural Area

Wild Fruits of Summer

Jul 10, 2017

If you're wild about wild fruits or looking for new adventure, then summer is a great time to go berry picking in the Show Me state.  Learn some fun facts about three popular summer fruits and when and where to find them as well as a tasty recipe in this week's Discover Nature Note.

wild blackberries

Red, White and Blue in Nature

Jul 03, 2017

Happy Independence Day and Happy 80th Anniversary for the Missouri Department of Conservation! To mark the holiday and anniversary milestone, we are celebrating red, white and blue in nature this week. It's surprising how often these colors appear and where. You can see these colors on display and learn more in this week's Discover Nature Note.

wild turkey

Have You Seen This Fish?

Jun 26, 2017

It's a commoner with an identity problem and kids love to catch them.  Learn more about this colorful underwater predator  in this week's Discover Nature Note.

green sunfish


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