MDC's Burr Oak Woods offers guided birding hikes

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – It is easy to simply notice a bird, but more interesting to recognize a species and understand how they interact with people and nature. An almost endless variety in colors, shapes, habits and quirks is what draws curious people to the outdoor adventure known as birding. The Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs will offer a series of free birding excursions this spring to help people connect with birds and nature.

All ages are welcome on the birding hikes. No registration is required. People of all birding levels, experienced or newcomers, are welcome. Participants may borrow MDC binoculars for the hike or bring their own.

MDC staff will lead a Guided Bird Hike 7 to 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 4, at the Nature Center at 1401 Park Road. The "Bird Nerd Naturalists" will help participants spot and identify birds or answer questions about them.

A "Birding Off the Beaten Path" hike will be offered 7 to 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, at the Nature Center. Participants should meet at the front gate.

Water shoes might be helpful for the "Birding Burr Oak Creek" hike 7 to 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 6. MDC naturalists will lead a hike along the creek that gives the Nature Center its name. The stream corridor harbors some unique bird species.

Participants should meet at the Bethany Falls Trail parking lot.

The Nature Center offers a variety of habitat such as forest, native prairie grass restorations and open woodlands, plus the area has a pond and a scenic stream where a wide variety of bird species can be spotted. For more information about the birding hikes or other family-friendly nature programs at the Nature Center, visit