by Joanna and Eric Reuter, Field Trip Coordinators

February 10, 2024 field trip at Woodpecker Hollow.

Spring brings lots of opportunities for birding and other outdoors fun. Check the CAS events listing for details of upcoming field trips; additional trips will likely be added for peak migration season in late April and early May. If you’d like to lead a trip, or if you have an idea for one, let us know:

Some last-minute trips are a possibility, especially if the BirdCast migration forecast looks promising a few days out. If you haven’t already,  sign up for the email list so that late-breaking announcements of new trips will come to your inbox.

Here are some additional events that might be of interest to CAS members, though they’re not official CAS events:

Monday webinars: The Missouri River Bird Observatory (MRBO) hosted an exceptional collection of webinars this winter, and they are continuing their online learning series with four webinars in April. Visit the MRBO Webinar webpage to sign up for the upcoming webinars, and to find links to the archived Winter Learning Series webinars, all of which are available for free online viewing.

Monday April 8: Solar eclipse. Whatever your eclipse viewing plans, be sure to stay attentive to changes in the soundscape of birds, insects, and amphibians during the big event!

Saturday April 13: Native Plant Sale at Bradford Research Center. This overlaps with the CAS Second Saturday walk, but there’s another chance at a local plant sale in May.

Sunday April 21: Columbia Earth Day Festival.

Saturday April 27: Birds, Bees, and Blooms Festival in Arrow Rock. Bird walks, wild edibles walks, and much more!

Friday May 3 to Sunday May 5: The Missouri Birding Society’s Spring Meeting is based in St. Joseph this year.

Saturday May 11, Birding Big Day: The second Saturday in May is Global Big Day, a worldwide birding event sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. There won’t be a CAS “Second Saturday” trip, because this is the traditional date of the CAS-sponsored Migratory Bird Count for Boone County; look for details to be posted to the website. Another May 11 event is the annual bird walk at Prairie Garden Trust, a wonderful nature-watching destination in Callaway County; this walk will be led by Lottie Bushman, and advance registration through Prairie Garden Trust is required. For registration information, and to learn about other nature walks, see the Prairie Garden Trust events calendar.

Saturday May 18: Native Plant Sale at Bass Pro Shops.

Cicada emergence: The cicadas are coming! Their emergence will have a variety of impacts on the ecosystem. For example, many species of birds are expected to feast on the abundance of insect protein, and this could affect the consumption and abundance of other “normal” food sources. There’s a citizen science project for reporting observations of bird foraging during the outbreak.

Thanks to all who have led and participated in field trips so far this year. Let’s hope for some sensible weather and a great migration that ushers lots of long-distance migrants through central Missouri this spring!