Explore nature’s nightlife with free evening programs at Busch Conservation Area Dec. 13 and 14

News from the region
Saint Louis
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ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Nature does not come to a stop when the sun goes down, and nature lovers shouldn’t stop exploring after dark either. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is giving a peek into post-sunset life in the outdoors with two free evening programs the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles.

MDC naturalists will host an Owl Prowl Friday, Dec. 13 from 6:30-8 p.m. Discover a who’s who of hooting owls—barred, horned, screech, and more during this after-dark excursion. Participants will learn what makes owls such effective night time hunter and why they’re so vocal this time of year.

“December is usually when owls start to call, and the cooler nights are a great time to hear them,” said MDC Naturalist Nicki Wheaton.  The prowl will offer a chance at hearing two of Missouri’s most common owl species, the barred and the great horned.

The nighttime explorations continue at Busch Conservation Area with a Night Hike Saturday, Dec. 14. Enjoy the crisp night air, get some exercise, and experience the sounds and sensations of the night during a moderate hike on the Busch Hiking and Biking Trail. The trail is mostly level but rocky and is approximately 3 ½ miles in length.

“Visitors might catch the yelp of coyotes howling or hear two or three species of owls calling their mates,” Wheaton said.

Participants should dress for the weather, wear comfortable walking shoes, and be prepared to spend time outside for both programs.

There is no charge for either program, but advanced online reservations are required using the links below:

The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is located at 2360 Highway D in St. Charles, about two miles west of Highway 94.

MDC offers many free educational events and programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis reginal events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.