Enjoy a coffee and learn about coffee's connection with birds at May 11 MDC program

News from the region
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JOPLIN, Mo. – If combining a cup of coffee with a short birding hike sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday morning, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has the perfect program for you.

People who want to learn how their morning cup of Joe is connected with some species of birds should register for the MDC program “Birds: Birds and Brews.” This free event will be from 8-10 a.m. on May 11 at MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin. The address of the Shoal Creek Center is 201 Riviera Drive in Joplin. This event is being put on by MDC, the Ozark Gateway Audubon Chapter, and the Wildcat Glade Nature Group.

During the indoors portion of this program, participants can enjoy a cup of coffee while MDC Naturalist Jessie Ballard explains the connection between coffee and the species of birds that have migratory treks that connect Missouri with the coffee-growing regions of Central America and South America. These birds, which are called neotropical migrants, include painted buntings, scissor-tailed flycatchers, various species of warblers, and a number of other species. Learn more about the long travels of these birds between their summer and winter habitats and what can be done to improve living conditions for these birds here in Missouri and elsewhere along their migratory routes.

Following the indoor part of this program, MDC staff and Ozark Gateway Audubon Chapter volunteers will lead participants on a short hike (approximately a mile in length) on the Shoal Creek Center’s trails to learn more about where neotropicals may be seen at this time of year and, hopefully, to catch a view of some. Binoculars will be provided, but participants are welcome to bring their own, too. Participants should wear shoes and clothing suitable for comfortable walking on a trail. People can register for this program at:


Though this program is free, registration is required to participate. Use the link above.

People can stay informed about upcoming programs at the Shoal Creek Center by signing up for text alerts and e-mail bulletins. People who have questions about how to sign up for text alerts from the Shoal Creek Center can call 417-629-3434.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual and in-person programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/events.