Are you a birder or a bird watcher? If so, flock to Pulaski County, Missouri! Over 400 different kinds of birds have been identified in the state, with over 100 species already identified in Pulaski County. Almost 40,000 acres of Mark Twain National Forest lie within our boundaries. Pulaski County also offers two Missouri Department of Conservation Areas, four public river accesses, two towersites, and an impressive public park system along the Roubidoux River in Waynesville.
Birding is the most popular spectator sport in Missouri and is a wholesome hobby and activity for all ages. Bird watching can provide quality one on one time with Mother Nature and is also a great way to introduce a younger generation to the great outdoors. Whether hiking, biking, or canoeing in Pulaski County, Missouri you will see songbirds, birds of prey and quite possibly the magnificent Bald Eagle.
Bloodland Lake (Fort Leonard Wood) is a popular fishing location that is handicap accessible. Anglers fish here for Bass and Sunfish. 36 wild bird species have been identified in this 40 acre wetlands habitat including Canada Goose, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, and Bufflehead.
Driving Directions to Bloodland Lake on Fort Leonard Wood: From I-44, take Exit 161. Go south on Business 44 to the front gate of Fort Leonard Wood. Obtain a map and directions at the front gate.
Missouri Department of Conservation Bloodland Lake Information: http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Applications/MOATLAS/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=200301
Bloodland Lake Printable Field Checklist:
Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area is over 175 acres and includes grassland, wetlands, and forest habitats. This area includes over 6 miles of Roubidoux Creek frontage and almost a half mile of Gasconade River frontage. Anglers fishing for Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish seek out the waters of the Gasconade while Trout anglers enjoy the Red Ribbon Trout Stream portion of the Roubidoux Creek. The Deer, Dove, Quail, Rabbit, Squirrel, and Turkey populations make this location popular with hunters also. Almost 100 species of wild birds have been identified in Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area including Wood Duck, Green Heron, Merlin, Wild Turkey, and numerous types of sparrows, tyrant flycatchers, wood warblers, and blackbirds and orioles.
Driving directions to Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area: From Interstate 44 take Exit 159. Travel west on Historic Route 66 (Highway 17) to Waynesville. After crossing the Roubidoux River Bridge make a right (north side) onto Revere Lane. Parking area is one mile north of Waynesville on the north side.
Missouri Department of Conservation Roubidoux Creek Area Information:
Roubidoux Creek Conservation Area Printable Field Checklist:
Ryden Cave Conservation Area is a remote 30 acre area that includes two caves, Ryden Cave and Stockpen Cave. Both caves are closed to the public to help prevent the spread of White-nose syndrome in bats. However the area is open for birding and 15 species have been identified to date including Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-throated Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.
Driving directions to Ryden Cave Conservation Area: From I-44 take Exit 169 and go south approximately 17 miles on J Highway. Turn right on K Highway. Continue onto Western Road. Continue onto County Road TT-825. Ryden Cave Conservation Area is on the left (south) side.
Missouri Department of Conservation Ryden Cave Conservation Area Information:
Ryden Cave Conservation Area Printable Field Checklist:
Mitschele Access includes a boat ramp which makes it a popular spot with boaters in Pulaski County. Canoeist also use this public access when starting or ending a float trip along the winding Gasconade River. This one acre area has a good population of Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish and a fair population of Suckers. Wild birds also enjoy Mitschele Access- over 30 species have been identified here, including: Louisiana Waterthrush, Eastern Kingbird, Carolina Wren and Red-winged Blackbird.
Mitschele Access is a great birding location year round with Spring, Summer, and Autumn the most active. Cliff Swallows can be seen nesting on the bridge.
Driving directions to Mitschele Access: From Interstate 44 take Exit 150. Travel north on Highway 7 about 3 miles to the Gasconade River Bridge. Entrance to the access is on the left (north) side of Missouri Highway 7.
Missouri Department of Conservation Mitschele Access Information:
Mitschele Access Printable Field Checklist:
Riddle Bridge Access also includes a boat ramp which makes it a popular spot with boaters in Pulaski County. Canoeist also use this public access when starting or ending a float trip along the twisting Gasconade River. This 9 acre area includes wetland, grassland, and forest and woodland habitats. Riddle Bridge Access has a good population of Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish and a fair population of Crappie. The bridge is the start of an 18-inch Smallmouth Bass Special Management Area that extends to the Route D bridge at Jerome in Phelps County. Popular with canoeist and anglers, Riddle Access is also a great spot for birding. Almost twenty species have been identified here including several types of woodpeckers, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Turkey Vulture.
Driving directions to Riddle Bridge Access: From I-44 take Exit 161 and travel six miles south of Saint Robert on Highway Y. The entrance is on the left immediately before the Gasconade River Bridge.
Missouri Department of Conservation Riddle Bridge Access Information:
Riddle Bridge Access Printable Field Checklist:
Ross Access is popular with canoeist on the scenic Big Piney River. This 4+ acre area has a good population of Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish and a fair population of Crappie. A portion of this area is a 15-inch Smallmouth Bass Special Management Area. It is also a popular place for swimming and rock skipping. Almost a dozen species of wild birds have been identified in this forest and woodland habitat, including Great Egret, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Yellow-belted Sapsucker.
Driving directions to Ross Access: From I-44 take Exit 169 and go south approximately 17 miles on J Highway. Turn right on K Highway and travel approximately 2.5 miles onto Western Road. Take Western Road to Windsor Lane. Go approximately 0.5 mile north on Windsor Lane.
Missouri Department of Conservation Ross Access Information:
Ross Access Printable Field Checklist:
Schlicht Springs Access is a 12 acre handicap accessible area near the former Schlicht Mill, dating back to the 1840’s, which was once a popular resort and boasted a lodge, post office, and general store. The area was named after John Schlicht who purchased the mill in 1876. Today, Schlicht Springs is popular with boaters and canoeist for its boat ramp. It is also popular with anglers who fish the Gascoande River’s good population of Bass, Catfish, and Sunfish and its fair population of Crappie. The area is made up of grassland and forest and woodland habitat. Birders have identified over 20 species of wild birds including Sharp-shinned Hawk, Downy Woodpecker, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Kentucky Warbler.
Driving directions to Schlicht Springs Access: Traveling from Crocker Missouri, take Highway 133 which heads south and west of Crocker approximately five miles to Resort Road. Turn south (Left) on Resort Road and travel approximately 1.25 miles to Riverside Road. Turn east (left) on Riverside road and travel approximately one mile to the access.
Missouri Department of Conservation Schlicht Springs Access Information:
Schlicht Springs Access Printable Field Checklist:
Dixon Towersite is known for its good population of deer, squirrel, and turkey and is accessible to hunters. Most of this areas 48 acres is Oak-hickory forest and woodland. 22 species of birds have been identified here including Turkey Vulture, Barred Owl, Mourning Dove, and several types of woodpeckers.
In late spring and summer expect to see Pine Warblers, Chipping Sparrows, Eastern Wood-Pewee and Great Crested Flycatchers.
Driving Directions to Dixon Towersite: Travel three miles west of Dixon on Highway 133. Site entrance is on the left (southeast) side.
Missouri Department of Conservation Dixon Towersite Information:
Dixon Towersite Printable Field Checklist:
Fort Leonard Wood Towersite is also known for its good population of deer, squirrel, and turkey and is accessible to hunters. This area has over 60 acres of forest and woodland and 26 species of wild birds have been identified here. Some of these include Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, and Purple Martin.
Driving Directions to Fort Leonard Wood Towersite: From Interstate 44 take Exit 161. Travel one mile east of Saint Robert on Z Highway. Entrance is on the right (south) side.
Missouri Department of Conservation Fort Leonard Wood Towersite Information:
Fort Leonard Wood Towersite Printable Field Checklist:
Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville)is part of the public park system in the city of Waynesville. This site includes a town habitat and frontage on Roubidoux Creek. This area includes White Ribbon and Red Ribbon Trout Areas. Roubidoux Spring has a flow of almost 38,000,000 gallons per day and is also a popular recreational spot for cave certified scuba divers. Laughlin Park is also one of only seven sites on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail in Missouri. Waynesville also maintains a tree identification area in Roubidoux Park. A brochure is available at City Hall, located at 601 Historic Route 66. Wild birds love Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks as well, with over 50 species identified to date. Some of these include Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, and Song Sparrow.
Driving directions to Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville): From Interstate 44 take Exit 159. Travel west on Historic Route 66 (Highway 17) to Waynesville. Laughlin Park is on the left (south)side immediately before crossing the Roubidoux River and Roubidoux Park is on the right (north) side immediately before the bridge crossing. Both parks are downstream from Roubidoux Spring.
Missouri Department of Conservation Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks Information:
Laughlin/Roubidoux Parks (Waynesville) Printable Field Checklist:
Tweet your Pulaski County wild bird photos to us at @PulCoUSA! #PulaskiCountyUSA
For more information about things to do in Pulaski County, Missouri visit Pulaski County Tourism Bureau at http://www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com or http://www.facebook.com/PulaskiCountyUSA.
For more information on bird watching in Missouri visit The Audubon Society of Missouri at http://www.mobirds.org or http://www.facebook.com/153704444682191.
Thank you SO much for this article! I live in Richland, and just got a new camera, and I am very anxious to get out within Pulaski County and start taking photographs of the beautiful birds that surround us!
We are glad that you enjoyed this article! We would love to see some of your Pulaski County bird photography once you get going! You can tweet them to us @PulCoUSA or you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. —Laura
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I enjoy watching for the return of the Turkey Vultures to the little valley across from Frog Rock and seeing them soar over the valley below the bluff that overlooks Roubidoux Spring. Saw 60_to 70 yesterday at the temp shot up to 66 F before the sun sat.
We are glad that you had a successful bird outing in Pulaski County! Please keep us posted on your adventures! —Laura
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