Get Outside in March

By MDC | March 1, 2024
From Missouri Conservationist: March 2024

A Limited-Time Concert

Listen as white-throated sparrows tune up for their spring concert, which begins with two clear, slow whistles, followed by repeated three-syllable phrases on a higher pitch — hew, hew, whe-he-he, whe-he-he, whe-he-he, sometimes translated as sweet, sweet, Canada Canada Canada. Another version became a nickname for this species: Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody. But, this concert is a limited engagement. They’ll be gone by May.

Fish Tales

If you want to tell the biggest fish story of your life, now is your chance. March 15 marks the opening of paddlefish season. These sharklike fish, with elongated, paddlelike snouts, can get up to 7 feet and 160 pounds or more! That’s a whopper of a fish. For more information, visit

Head to the Water

As the temperatures increase, so does the activity of species inhabiting our waterways. Visit a fast-flowing Ozark stream on a sunny spring day and keep an eye out for caddisfly larvae, aquatic snails, aquatic sowbugs, crayfish, and more. Crayfish are fascinating and fun to watch. By mid-March females of most crayfish species are carrying eggs. 

Signs of Spring

If you’re searching for the first signs of spring, look up. Trees often offer the first pop of springtime color. Red maples bloom in March, and even though their reddish flowers aren’t spectacular, not much else is blooming, so we have good reason to enjoy them. Redbud trees also start blooming in late March. They’re one of our showiest native flowering trees.

Conservation Nature Centers

  • Burr Oak Woods, Blue Springs:
  • Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau:
  • Discovery Center, Kansas City:
  • Powder Valley, Kirkwood:
  • Runge, Jefferson City:
  • Shoal Creek, Joplin:
  • Springfield, Springfield:
  • Twin Pines, Winona:

Discover nature with us.

The Mints: Fresh Breath for Pollinators

Tuesday, March 12 • 12–1 p.m.

Online only

Registration required by March 12. 

To register, call 888-283-0364 or visit

All ages

There are few families of plants which are more sought after by native bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies than the aromatic mint family. This program will teach you to easily identify this family and many of its members. Additionally, we will discuss various mints to plant in your gardens and fields to attract and benefit local wildlife … and freshen up your dinner table fare. This program is part of the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center Native Plant Seminar, a week of virtual and in-person programs leading up to a native plant sale on Saturday, March 16.

Turkey Hunting: Where Can I?

Wednesday, March 13 • 12–12:30 p.m.

Online only

Registration required by March 12. 

To register, call 888-283-0364 or visit

All ages

Spring turkey season is just around the corner. Now is the time to be scouting and figuring out where to hunt. We will discuss the rules and regulations for spring turkey season and locations where you can hunt.

Natural Events to See This Month

Here’s what’s going on in the natural world.

  • Black bears become active.
  • Pawpaws bloom.
  • American toads call.
  • Copperheads leave winter dens.
  • Bald eagle chicks hatch.

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation – Marcia Hale