Enjoy Spring Warbler Day with MDC at Big Buffalo Creek on May 12

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Kansas City
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Cole Camp, Mo. – Each spring, colorful warblers of various species migrate north through Missouri forest habitats. Join the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for a guided Spring Warbler Day hike from 7:15 a.m. to noon on Friday, May 12, at the Big Buffalo Creek Conservation Area southeast of Cole Camp. Hikers will meet at sunrise at the area’s campground and pit toilet, which is reached off Big Buffalo Road in Benton County.

The hilly, forested area supports a wide variety of wildlife and is a haven for warblers migrating northward. Warblers are small, insect eating birds that spend winters in Central and South America. Many species have brilliant colors hues, especially the males, in yellows, blues, oranges, and greens. Some species nest in the Midwest. But most pause here to refuel with leaf-eating insects before heading to nesting habitat in the evergreen forests of Canada and the northern United States.

Participants will need to wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring drinking water. Some hiking will be on steep slopes. Krista Noel, MDC natural history biologist, and Lisa San Diego, MDC assistant natural history biologist, will lead the hikes. They will talk about warbler biology and ecology, help hikers spot birds, and answer questions. Big Buffalo Creek, a clear Ozark stream, meanders through the area. The conservation area is part of a broader priority geography where MDC works with private landowners to support a sustainable and healthy watershed and associated ecosystems.

Spring Warbler Day birding is open to all ages. Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4Ai