13 birds you’ll see around the Kansas City metro

Picture of great blue heron by @carmen_desloge
Hard to be blue when you see a heron at one of our many metro lakes. | Photo by @carmen_desloge

Whether you’re a “wake up to the sound of birds” type, or a “please be quiet I’m trying to sleep” type, we’re at that part of the year where there’s a soundtrack to our Kansas City mornings.

Here’s the pitch: imagine getting out of bed in the morning, sitting out on the patio, or going for a hike. Instead of just a bunch of random noise, you hear the songs of a kingbird or chickadee. You could even learn their colors, habits, and favorite foods. The upshot: You should really get into birdwatching.

You could wing it, or…

A little bit of preparation goes a long way. However, you don’t need to drop your tax return on binos (although it couldn’t hurt to look).

What might help:

Meet the stars of the show

  • American goldfinch |📍 Open areas, scattered trees | 🗓️ Year-round (but changes color in winter) | Song
  • American robin |📍 Woods, residential areas | 🗓️ Year-round | Song
  • Bald eagle |📍 Lakes, rivers, wetlands | 🗓️ Mostly fall-spring | Song
  • Barred owl |📍 Woods | 🗓️ Year-round | Song
  • Black-capped chickadee |📍 Woods, feeders, residential areas | 🗓️ Year-round | Song
  • Common nighthawk |📍 Fields, towns (mid-flight at dawn + dusk) | 🗓️ Spring-fall  | Song
  • Eastern kingbird |📍 Open fields + woodland edges | 🗓️ Spring-fall | Song
  • Great blue heron | 📍Lakes, ponds, streams | 🗓️ Year-round | Song
  • Mourning dove |📍 Open + urban areas | 🗓️ Year-round | Song
  • Northern shoveler |📍 Lakes, ponds, wetlands | 🗓️ Spring, fall, sometimes winter | Song
  • Red-headed woodpecker |📍 Woods | 🗓️ Summer, sometimes winter | Song
  • Red-winged blackbird |📍 Wetlands, near streams, some pastures | 🗓️ Year-round | Song
  • Summer tanager |📍 Woods | 🗓️ Spring-fall | Song