Get Outside in May

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

Make Way for Warblers

May is the peak of warbler migration in Missouri. These pint-sized birds make their way back to the Show-Me State from their southern wintering grounds to delight us for another season. Learn more about them at

Dogged by Dogwoods?

Missouri is home to five species of dogwoods, all of which begin blooming in May. Dogwoods are shrubs or small trees with distinctive flowers, fruits, and bark. In flowering dogwoods, Missouri’s official state tree, the flowers are positioned in clusters at the branch tips. These clusters have four showy white bracts that resemble petals. In other species, the flowers lack such bracts and are not as showy, with only small white, cream-colored, or greenish-yellow petals. Those species include:

  • Alternate-leaved dogwood
  • Rough-leaved dogwood
  • Gray or stiff dogwood
  • Swamp or silky dogwood

To learn more about Missouri dogwoods, visit

Be Bee Aware

Bumblebees are becoming more noticeable this month. At least six species of bumblebees call Missouri home. These hard-working pollinators are important for humans agriculturally, horticulturally, and environmentally. Considering many bumblebees are declining, if you find bumblebees on your property, leave them be and consider yourself lucky. Watch them from afar through the season and take pictures. To learn more about Missouri’s bumblebees and how you can help them, visit

What’s That Sound

Missouri outdoors in the spring is like a symphony of sound. Just one of those contributors is the green frog, which breeds from late April through mid-August, and while doing so, the male calls with an explosive bong. The sound is reminiscent of a loose banjo string. To familiarize yourself with the rest of the symphony, visit MDC’s online Field Guide page on frogs at

Copperhead Study Findings

Friday, May 10 • 7–8:30 p.m.

Online only

Registration required by May 10. To register, call 888-283-0364 or visit

All ages

Copperheads conjure up curiosity, mystery, and even fear. In truth they are one of Missouri’s most intriguing and often least understood venomous snakes. Ben Jellen, associate professor of biology at the University of Health Sciences & Pharmacy in St. Louis, has conducted a study of copperheads at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center over a period of five years. Learn about his latest findings at this special virtual presentation.

Family Fishing Days 

Friday, May 17 • 4:30–7:30 p.m.

Stephens Lake Park, 2001 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201

Registration is not required.

All ages (children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult)

Join us for a family fishing day in the park. Fishing poles, tackle, bait, and instruction will be provided. This is a great opportunity for anyone you know who is interested in fishing but does not have the gear to do so. Stop by to grab a fishing pole and start fishing! Participants do need a fishing permit during this event. For more information, contact Community Education Assistant Huston Spellman at 573-815-7900, ext. 2926 or

Find more events in your area at

Discover Fishing

Want to make connections? Why not discover fishing? It’s a great way for everyone to have fun outdoors and learn about conservation. With fishing you can:

  • Find adventure and excitement
  • Spend quality time with family
  • Escape the stress of everyday life
  • Reconnect with friends
  • Make lifetime memories

Download the MO Fishing app today to make it even easier!

Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Blue-eyed Marys bloom.
  • Crappie spawn.
  • Coyotes are quiet, bearing young.

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