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Curiosity in birding has spiked within the final two years. The exercise has a simple level of entry however can rework right into a lifelong ardour. It’s additionally a passion that welcomes a large spectrum of contributors, who can casually take pleasure in watching birds or zealously pursue their targets.

The one factor birding requires (after birds, clearly) is stillness and commentary. Charming, curious and typically aggressive birds supply a glimpse right into a world that operates from a very totally different perspective and mindset than ours.

Birding additionally tunes the birder to the setting, connecting them carefully to the climate, the seasons and the time of day, in addition to the tune, sight and motion of the birds.

Reclaim that reference to nature. There are many locations and sources for the start or skilled birder, together with subject guides, web sites and golf equipment. Try our earlier avian adventure and skim on to be taught how one can join with our feathered mates.

Yard hen watch

Participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count, which began Friday and goes by way of Feb. 21. It’s an important excuse to spend a while outside (although, when you’ve got strategically positioned hen feeders, you’ll be able to take part from the consolation of your window seat) whereas collaborating in a worldwide initiative.

GBBC has been in motion for 25 years, however should you’ve by no means participated and even birded earlier than, watch the webinar and take a look at the urged Merlin Bird ID app, by way of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. eBird (additionally from Cornell) is one other common app that will help you establish and document the birds you see.

Document your observations and submit your findings to assist seize (metaphorically, after all!) hen populations across the globe. If you happen to don’t have a yard, you would observe from one other accessible house, corresponding to a close-by metropolis park. Be a part of KC Parks on the Trailside Middle on Holmes Highway to take part within the Nice Yard Chook Rely throughout a one-mile hike alongside Indian Creek Path (various times Feb. 19-21), led by a volunteer from Missouri Grasp Naturalists.

As you get to know your local birds, the guests will stand out. Many birders maintain lists of birds they observe. In accordance with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, there are roughly 500 species of birds that dwell or go to the Midwest — comprising simply 5% of the estimated 10,000 species worldwide.

One other vital counting day is Global Big Day, which coincides with World Migratory Bird Day. Final yr, GBD broke data for each contributors and hen observations. This yr it happens on Saturday, Might 14, from 12 a.m. to midnight.


Whereas most birds favor wilder areas, many have tailored to human-shaped environments and made them their very own.

City birding

Simply since you is likely to be caught within the metropolis doesn’t imply you’re bereft of birds. Whereas most birds favor wilder areas, many have tailored to human-shaped environments and made them their very own.

Rock pigeons, robins and crows are ubiquitous and simple to establish. Peregrine falcons discovered respite within the crevices of skyscrapers. Cliff swallows construct mud nests below bridges. Canada geese will typically cease visitors close to Brush Creek, red-tailed hawks are sometimes seen using the updraft over the UMKC Volker campus and turkey vultures frequent the skies above highways.

Although starlings are thought of nuisance birds, there’s no denying the mysterious fantastic thing about a murmuration, seeming to drift and shift in opposition to town skyline. In actuality, the flock is attempting to evade a predator, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a sight to behold. See this video taken close to the River Market.

Perhaps it’s dishonest, however you don’t need to journey to Antarctica so as to add penguins to your listing. Be a part of the Kansas Metropolis Zoo for his or her Penguin March, Feb. 19-20 and 26-27. You can too observe the penguins just about anytime through the KC Zoo Penguin Cam. (If you happen to test in through the evening, you’ll see them sleeping, which is legitimately cute.)

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Inside an hour or so of town, nature preserves and wildlife refuges present protected environments for migratory birds to relaxation and refuel.

Into the wild

If you happen to want to see all kinds of birds, you’ll get to journey to totally different biome: wetlands, grassland, forests and extra. Devoted birders journey the globe, however there’s loads of selection near residence, particularly with Kansas Metropolis located alongside the migratory path for a lot of species.

Between March 1 and June 1 within the spring, and Aug. 1 to Nov. 15 within the fall, try BirdCast to see which migratory birds are touring by way of the area.

Undecided the place to start out? KC Birding Walks shares possible birding places, organized by area, and among the forms of birds you would possibly see in that space.

Inside an hour or so of town, nature preserves, conservations, and wildlife refuges present protected environments for birds to relaxation and refuel, together with Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge (south of Louisburg, Kansas), the Baker Wetlands (Lawrence, Kansas), Green Hills of Platte Wildlife Preserve (Parkville, Missouri), Smithville Lake (Smithville, Missouri), and Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge (north of St. Joseph, Missouri).

Some places, corresponding to Marais des Cygnes, present checklists for the forms of birds recognized to frequent their acres, what time of yr to see them and the way widespread or uncommon they’re — together with the Nice Blue Heron, Big Egret, in addition to quite a lot of warblers, woodpeckers and extra.


Curiosity in birding has spiked within the final two years. The exercise has a simple level of entry however can rework right into a lifelong ardour.

Constructive setting

Sadly, many hen species are threatened, primarily as a consequence of human encroachment. In accordance with the American Bird Conservancy, one of many main conservation teams, 11 hen species have been added to the extinction listing in 2021 by the USFWS, and almost three billion birds have been misplaced since 1970.

For each native birds and yearly guests, there are methods to boost the setting and appeal to quite a lot of birds. Be a part of the Missouri River Bird Observatory on the Burroughs Audubon Society of Larger Kansas Metropolis at Lake Jacomo for a free, outside seminar sequence about “Seven Easy Actions to Assist Birds.” The following one is March 19.

The Jap Bluebird is the Missouri state hen, however for many years it was in peril. Mill Creek Streamway, a 17-mile path in Johnson County, is a part of the Nationwide Bluebird path, with over 60 nesting containers. From Nelson Island, on the northern finish of the path, you may as well spot bald eagles fishing within the Kansas River through the winter.

Lakeside Nature Middle, in Swope Park, rehabilitates injured animals and has quite a lot of birds on show that may’t be launched again into the wild. Additionally they have directions for encouraging and defending chimney swifts, do you have to be so fortunate to have their nest in your chimney.

You can too assist the birds who’re simply passing by way of on their arduous migrations. The Nationwide Wildlife Federation shares the top 10 tips from the American Chook Conservancy. There’s additionally a push to cut back gentle air pollution in cities, which disorients nighttime migrators.


There are many tips about starting birding, however before you purchase an costly pair of binoculars, spend hours learning a subject information, or obtain an app, there’s an easier solution to begin: Get exterior.

Flock collectively

Birding is commonly a solo endeavor, however the easiest way to be taught is to affix skilled birders within the subject. Native birding golf equipment host subject journeys to places across the metro, a lot of that are free to attend. Shops devoted to hen provides might help with subject guides and feeder provides. There are additionally on-line communities, which permit folks to share their footage of birds, get assist figuring out an unusual hen and in addition assist alert people to uncommon birds within the space.

This winter, birders spotted Snowy Owls within the space, in a uncommon irruption far south from their Arctic local weather, although sadly, these sightings have gotten extra frequent as local weather change alters their habitat.

In early March 2021, the Fb group Kansas Birding alerted members to a blue heron rookery — with 12 nests — alongside Indian Creek Parkway in Overland Park. Organizations embody the Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City, Kansas Ornithological Society, Jayhawk Audubon, and Missouri River Bird Observatory. Burroughs additionally homes a nature library that’s free to guests for in-house use of the gathering.

There are many tips about starting birding, however before you purchase an costly pair of binoculars, spend hours learning a subject information, or obtain an app, there’s an easier solution to begin. Get exterior. Sit quietly. Take heed to the birds and attempt to distinguish totally different calls. Choose only one or two birds in view and examine their markings and mannerisms. The extra you get to know the birds in your neighborhood, the simpler will probably be to broaden that information as you proceed your birding journey.

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