by Eric and Joanna Reuter

We’re excited to take on the role of field trip co-coordinators for CAS and have a lot of ideas for fun and diverse events. Here’s a brief update on what’s happened recently, what’s upcoming, and how CAS members can get involved.

Past trip report

  • First Friday walks at 3M Wetlands from September to December attracted 15–24 attendees each with a range of 25–34 species.
  • November’s Birding Without Binoculars trip at CANS attracted 13 attendees (including several young people and beginning birders) with 14 species. We had fun studying visual and aural ways to distinguish common birds, especially woodpeckers.
  • December’s Boone County Blackbird Roost trip attracted 18 attendees with 8 species, including, of course, the mass descent of ~2 million mixed blackbirds into the roost field as dusk fell.

Upcoming trips

Future trips (see CAS website for full details) include a heron rookery count at Gans Creek, the annual Twilight Timberdoodle Trek at Rocky Fork Lakes, a migrants and wildflowers walk at Wild Haven, and a Whip-poor-wills and Chuck-wills-widows walk at Rocky Fork Lakes.

Trip planning

We have many more ideas for future trips, but our planning would benefit from knowing what is of interest to you. Beginner-focused, and/or advanced? Targeted at certain species, or certain habitats (woodland, grassland, wetland, etc.)? Skills-focused (such as birding by ear)? Local vs. further afield? Weekday vs. weekend? Morning vs. afternoon? Full day vs. an hour or two? Planned well in advance vs. announced ~6 days out when weather forecasts are more reliable?

One specific idea we have is to host a series of “Little Listens” (a play on the more traditional Big Sits) to encourage new (or seasoned) birders to really focus on practicing listening skills and to learn to identify birds by sound during the arc of spring migration. Tell us if this is something you’d like to see happen, because we’re most likely to pursue this if it seems that there is in fact interest.

We also need volunteers to lead field trips. This does not require any level of birding experience, simply a commitment to take the lead in making sure a trip happens in an organized and safe manner. You can review the guidelines for field trip leaders we published on the CAS site when we last coordinated field trips back in 2019. Please contact us if you’d like to help out by leading a trip, whether you have a specific one in mind or are open to suggestions.

To get in touch regarding field trips, email We look forward to hearing from you!