Learn about Great Missouri Birding Trail at MDC Runge Nature Center

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) welcomes Missouri Bird Conservation Foundation President Mike Doyen to the Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City. Doyen will speak about the development of the Great Missouri Birding Trail and offer insight on the value it brings to the state.

Doyen will speak from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, at Runge Conservation Nature Center, 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City.  The presentation is free and open to the public.

Initiated by Doyen, the Great Missouri Birding Trail launched in May 2017 as a partnership between MDC and the Missouri Bird Conservation Foundation with support from other state and federal agencies and birding organizations.

MDC State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick explained the Great Missouri Birding Trail as not a physical trail, but a website (GreatMissouriBirdingTrail.com) for beginner and seasoned birders to find and explore 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“In today’s technological world, paper maps can become outdated quite quickly,” said Kendrick.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 added that the best birding locations include mostly public land, such as conservation areas and state parks, and feature various types of bird habitats, such as 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 improve their backyards or properties for birds in other ways.”

According to Doyen, birding is one of the fastest growing activities in Missouri, the nation, and around the world, with nearly 1.5-million birders age 16 and older.

To view the online trail and event information, visit GreatMissouriBirdingTrail.com. For more information about birding in Missouri visit nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/activities/bird-watching. For more information about Doyen’s presentation on Oct. 12, contact the Runge Conservation Nature Center at (573) 526-5544.