Kansas City, Mo. – Blinds added to the Cooley Lake Conservation Area wetland are open for use by wildlife watchers. Missouri Department of Conservation crews built the blinds last autumn. They are available for photography at the area east of Liberty off Missouri 210, just northeast of Kansas City in Clay County.
Cooley Lake is an old oxbow, or former channel, of the Missouri River. A shallow-water wetland, it attracts shorebirds, waterfowl, songbirds and birds of prey.
On April 12, the spring waterfowl migration was still in evidence. Several species of ducks, a flock of pelicans and Canada geese were using the marsh.
MDC utilizes the blinds for a special managed youth waterfowl hunt in autumn. But they are available at other times for use by photographers and wildlife watchers.
Access is only available by hiking on levees adjacent to the wetland, some blinds are a long walk from parking areas. Users should be aware that water levels fluctuate and conditions can range from dry to flooded at some blinds.
The 1,348-acre area also includes a forested bluff and some upland areas north of the oxbow. A farm road and some trails provide hiking opportunities.
For information on Cooley Lake Conservation Area, including maps, visit http://on.mo.gov/1r09Cgi.