Some people call Missouri “flyover country.” But migrating birds think of it as “stopover country.” Millions of feathered flyers flap across the Show-Me State during their spring and fall migrations. Some birds stay for just a few days. Others spend summer or winter here. Either way, our state’s wetlands, prairies, and forests offer perfect pit stops for these tired and hungry travelers.
Why do birds travel such long distances? To feed and breed. Birds move north in spring to take advantage of lots of food and nesting sites. When food grows scarce or they’re done raising babies, they head south. How do they know when it’s time to go? They get the itch to migrate from changes in temperature, day length, and food supplies.
Can you match the bird to the route that it takes during fall migration? Write the letter of each route above the number for each bird. If you get all of them right, it will answer this riddle:
Because it’s too far 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
You may have seen this little bat fluttering around your neighborhood at dusk. It feeds on flying insects like moths, wasps, leafhoppers, and beetles. In the summer, it roosts in the trees, sometimes high up in the canopy. In fall, it gathers with others at cave entrances to mate. Then it seeks out the most humid and warmest part of the cave to hibernate in until spring. Babies are born in May. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/field guide.
Angie Daly Morfeld
Nichole LeClair Terrill