Cape Nature Center Hosts Birding Walks For Great Missouri Birding Trail

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Bird Conservation Foundation hosted a celebration of the completion of the Great Missouri Birding Trail Friday morning in Cape Girardeau at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. According to Desert Seidelman of Marble Hill, the event was a perfect way to continue learning bird species as she and her son, Jude, participate in the Big Birding Year at the nature center.

“We started tracking the bird species we see back in April to keep up with the Nature Center’s big birding year and we’ve sighted 17 species so far,” Seidelman said. “Although we’ve put up feeders at home for years, we never really paid attention to what birds we were seeing until now. It’s really fun and a good thing for us to do together.”

After a brief opening ceremony with Birding Trail signage unveiled, Seidleman and other guests took a short birding walk on part of White Oak Trace, the nature center’s two-mile wooded trail. They received a Great Missouri Birding Trail tote bag or water bottle, Trail bumper stickers and lens cloths for cameras and binoculars.

The Great Missouri Birding Trail was initiated by Mike Doyen, president of the Missouri Bird Conservation Foundation. It is now a partnership between MDC and the Foundation with support from other state and federal agencies and birding organizations.

Online Trail for Actual Birdwatching

MDC State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick explained the Great Missouri Birding Trail is not a physical trail, but a website ( for beginner and seasoned birders to find and explore the “best of the best” places to birdwatch around Missouri. The website includes an interactive map of the best birding sites around the Show-Me State with information on various aspects of bird conservation. Pages include birding tips, beginner basics, landscaping and property improvements for birds, and how to get involved with local bird organizations.

“In today’s technological world, paper maps can become outdated quite quickly,” said Kendrick.  “The Birding Trail is a mobile-friendly website with an easy-to-use map of our best birding sites for access anytime, anywhere.”

Doyen adds that the best birding locations include mostly public land, such as conservation areas and state parks, and feature various types of bird habitats, such grasslands, wetlands, woodlands, forests, glades, and savannas.

"Trail sites were chosen to feature Missouri’s high-quality habitats, and each one hosts a different suite of birds to identify and enjoy,” he said.  “Habitat is so important for birds. That’s why we encourage birders to landscape with native plants and improve their backyards or property for birds in other ways.”

According to Doyen, Missouri has close to 1.5 million birders, age 16 and older.

“Birding is the fasting growing activity in Missouri, the nation, and around the world,” he said. “Our estimated economic impact in Missouri is close to $1 billion annually.”

For more information, visit, or contact Doyen at, or Kendrick at 573-522-4115, ext. 3262, or