Birdwatching

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Four women birdwatching; all are looking through binoculars
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Birding is popular because it’s easy to get started, and it offers increasingly greater rewards the more you learn. It’s also an inexpensive hobby — a field guide and pair of binoculars are all you need.

Read on for tips on how to get started identifying Missouri's birds around your home or out in the field. This section provides information on:

  • Birdwatching tools
  • Identifying birds
  • Bird behavior and habitats
  • Great places to watch birds in Missouri
  • MDC bird-related events
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Boy with binoculars
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Featured Topics
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Woman with Binoculars
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Learn about binoculars and field guides as well as birding apps and other helpful tools.

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Learn key features that will help you tell bird species apart.

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Upload and store your bird sightings in this online database and view sightings of other birders around the world. 

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The Great Missouri Birding Trail was created to show birders the best places to find birds around the state. 

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Great Places For Birdwatching

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view from Barn Hollow
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Barn Hollow Conservation Area is located in Texas County, approximately three miles north of Mo
Atchison
This area provides access to the Nishnabotna and Missouri Rivers.

Birding Events

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7
Registration period: May 1 - May 28
Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2024 8:30 am - Wednesday, May 29, 2024 12:00 pm
Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center
Do you love biking… and birding? Then this program is for you. Join us as we go for a leisurely ride to look for birds on Mokane Road in Callaway County, just north of Jefferson City. Mokane Road is one of the top birding hotspots in Central Missouri. This program is for birders of all experience levels. We will meet at the MDC Airport Hanger on the south side of the Jefferson City Airport, directions will be emailed before the class. Binoculars, bikes, and helmets will be provided for all that need them. Make sure to bring a water bottle. Participants under the age of 18 attending the program without an adult (18+) will need a signed permission form to take part in the program. Registration required. Ages 15+
Registration period: May 24 - June 17
Date: Monday, June 17, 2024 12:00 pm - Monday, June 17, 2024 1:00 pm
Location: Online only

If you missed it the first time, here it is again! Please join us for a virtual program during lunch time to celebrate birds!

From heroic acts to being messengers, and symbols from good and bad, birds are important characters in legends, folklore, and mythology. Celebrate our feathered friends by discovering the beauty and glory of birds in Missouri. Learn how their histories, personalities, and their influence has impacted how they are perceived and seen by mankind. This program will highlight a few songbirds.

An email will be sent with the link a day before the program by noon. If you register after that time, another link will be sent the morning of the program to ensure everyone has the correct link to join.

Registration period: May 24 - June 20
Date: Thursday, June 20, 2024 7:00 pm - Thursday, June 20, 2024 8:00 pm
Location: Online only

If you missed it the first time, here it is again! Please join us for a virtual program during lunch time to celebrate birds!

From heroic acts to being messengers, and symbols from good and bad, birds are important characters in legends, folklore, and mythology. Celebrate our feathered friends by discovering the beauty and glory of birds in Missouri. Learn how their histories, personalities, and their influence has impacted how they are perceived and seen by mankind. This program will highlight a few raptors and waterfowl species.

An email will be sent with the link a day before the program by noon. If you register after that time, another link will be sent the morning of the program to ensure everyone has the correct link to join.

Date: Friday, June 21, 2024 9:00 am - Friday, June 21, 2024 11:00 am
Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Volunteer Naturalist Myra Scroggs will help you find some common nesting birds during this indoor and outdoor program. Ages 7 to adult.
Registration period: April 24 - June 25
Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2024 8:30 am - Tuesday, June 25, 2024 10:30 am
Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Learn some identification tips and birding basics, including how to properly use binoculars. We’ll start with a short presentation in the classroom and then hit the trails to look for birds. Ages 7 to adult.
Registration period: May 6 - June 30
Date: Wednesday, July 3, 2024 9:00 am - Wednesday, July 3, 2024 11:00 am
Location: Shaw Nature Reserve
Join us for a beginner bird ID program July 3rd and discover the various feathered visitors you’re likely to encounter throughout the year in the state of Missouri. This program reviews 20+ common Missouri birds, their physical characteristics, and what foods they’re attracted to. Also, tips will be provided on how to create a bird-friendly environment to attract birds to your backyard. The program will conclude with a birding hike along some of Shaw Nature Reserve's paths.
Date: Friday, August 2, 2024 6:30 pm - Friday, August 2, 2024 7:30 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Join photographer Paul Moffett in exploring the birds of the confluence. After retirement Paul started work on documenting, via photography, the birds of the confluence area. He's documented over 300 specimens in that 20 mile stretch between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers confluence and the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers confluence. He volunteers for Audubon at Riverlands primarily working with the Swan Society and Missouri Department of Conservation.

This program is part of our Nature Center @ Night series, the building will remain open until 7:30pm.
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Missouri's winter eagle watching is spectacular. Find places to view eagles on your own, or join us at some of the many Eagle Days events scheduled around the state.

Eagle Days Events

There are no events scheduled at this time.