discover nature

Missouri Department of Conservation / KRCU

July 12 - July 18

Discover nature and learn about a bird that was likely one of the earliest inhabitants of our continent. According to fossil records, the great blue heron inhabited our continent around the same time as mammoths and saber-toothed cats.

Found in Missouri’s wetland areas, this elegant bird will stand tall at attention, creating no ripple. He waits for his prey to approach, then spears it with his bill before flipping it into the air and swallowing it whole. He then resumes his post, preferring to fish and live alone.


Discover nature this week in Ursus americanus, or the American Black Bear – the largest and heaviest wild mammal in Missouri.

The black bear is the only bear found in Missouri and most of them live south of the Missouri River.

For black bears in Missouri, the fur is predominantly glossy black; the muzzle is brown, and there is usually a white patch on the chest. Males and females look alike, though females are usually smaller than males. Black bears can weigh anywhere from around 100 to 900 pounds.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

June 28 - July 4

Get outside and discover nature as bats begin to bear their young this week.  One way you can discover nature is by helping to protect the Indiana bat.

The nocturnal habits of bats, their affinity for eerie places like caves, and silent, darting flight have made them the subjects of folklore and superstition. They’re the only mammals capable of true flight, and they’re active at a time when most people prefer to be indoors. 

Missouri Department of Conservation / KRCU

Discover nature this week and take the sting out of summer.

The perception that stinging insects are instinctively aggressive at any time and place is wrong, and blinds us to the role they play in nature's balance. Many stinging insect species are essential for the pollination of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Others are important predators of pest insects that eat both wild and cultivated plants. 

Missouri Department of Conservation / KRCU

Discover nature this week in the belted kingfisher.

If you’ve spent much time along Missouri’s streams, you’ve probably heard the chattering call of the belted kingfisher. Missouri Department of Conservation biologist, Danny Brown, wrote about the belted Kingfisher for Missouri’s Conservationist Magazine.  He described the bird as one of Missouri’s avian jewels, which you can see for yourself this summer if you keep watch along Missouri’s streams.