MDC’s Burr Oak Woods offers February nature programs in Blue Springs

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Winter is a restless season in the outdoors during February. Trees are bare of leaves but on sunny days sap is moving from roots to treetops. Opossums and coyotes breed, great horned owls sit on eggs in nests. Visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs to learn more about wildlife, trees, and plants and what they’re doing during the winter season.

Individuals and families are invited to learn about owls and dissect owl pellets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4. Owls eat a variety of small mammals or birds during winter. What they discharge as solid dung holds bones, feathers, and other clues to their diet. MDC Naturalist Jada Tressler will talk about owl lore and help visitors dissect pellets and identify parts. The program is open to participants ages 6 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit

Hike in the snow or past mud puddles and pond banks and you will see wild animal tracks. Learn how to tell what they are and where they’re going at Wildlife Track-Tective from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11. Sarah Weekes, MDC natural resource assistant, will help participants create notebooks to aid in identifying animal tracks. This program is for ages 6 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit

Those squirrels prancing around in trees in winter, and visiting bird feeders, can play a role in fishing success. Learn how to use the hair from squirrel tails to make fishing lures from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 18. The meat from harvested squirrels is what most hunters seek, but the tails have a traditional use in fishing lures, too. For example, many forms of the venerable Mepps spinner lures utilize hair from squirrel tails. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fly tying and lure making equipment. But MDC will provide squirrel tails, hooks, and thread and can also provide loaner lure making gear. Alek Lanter, MDC conservation educator, will provide instruction. This class is for participants ages 14 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit

Sharpen your bird watch senses with a cup of hot coffee or tea and join others for Nature Rx: Coffee with the Birds, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. The monthly Nature Rx series immerses participants in nature with coaching on ways the contact can improve physical and mental health. The session starts indoors near the big glass windows watching birds at the center’s outdoor feeders. If weather permits, Lisa Richter, MDC naturalist, will lead a short birding hike outdoors. This session is for participants ages 18 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit

Visitors are invited to watch feeding time for fish and wildlife such as turtles and frogs every Wednesday and Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m. The snakes are fed every other week. Registration is not required. COVID-19 safety precautions are observed at all nature center activities. Don’t forget, hiking trails are also open throughout the winter. For more information about Burr Oak Woods, call 816-228-3766 or visit