Don't miss the chance to discover nature at these fun events!
Summer’s aflutter and nature is on the move. Watch for these natural events around these dates.
The orangespotted sunfish is a cousin of the more common longear sunfish and bluegill. This sunfish’s dazzling colors and small size set it apart. After growing for a year, it’s only as big as your thumb. It’s a feisty little fish, so you’ll still have fun reeling one in. You might think you landed a baby fish, but you may be eye to eye with a full-grown orangespotted sunfish.
This recently hatched fuzzball is a least bittern, still covered in downy feathers. Least bitterns are Missouri’s smallest herons, measuring only a foot long when fully grown. Listen for this secretive bird’s soft coo-coo-coo-coo at dawn and dusk. Look for them among the cattails, where they hunt for frogs, tadpoles, and insects. When spotted, a least bittern will “hide” by freezing, squeezing in its feathers, and pointing its bill straight up.
Angie Daly Morfeld
Nichole LeClair Terrill