Now is time to enjoy wildlife and plan to improve habitat

  • Published: Monday, March 6, 2023

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Spring is just around the corner and, with the final doldrums of winter, many Missouri wildlife species are showing an abundance of activity, says University of Missouri Extension state wildlife and fisheries specialist Bob Pierce.

“This time of year provides many opportunities for conducting management practices on your property and also for getting outdoors and observing wildlife,” Pierce says.

A variety of wildlife species will benefit from well-planned habitat management activities, whether in your backyard or in agricultural areas, he says. Learn more at

Some examples of wildlife activity occurring this time of year:

  • White-tailed deer bucks have shed or are shedding antlers.
  • Great horned owls have nestlings.
  • Bald eagles and red-tailed hawks are nesting.
  • River otters are having young.
  • Eastern gray squirrels are giving birth.
  • Coyotes are breeding.
  • Other furbearers such as skunks and raccoons are on the move and seeking mates.
  • Bluebirds and wood ducks are looking for nesting sites.
  • Salamanders may be seen searching for ephemeral ponds.
  • Spring peepers and chorus frogs may begin calling.
  • American woodcock are migrating through Missouri.
  • Wild turkeys can be observed feeding in open areas.

You can obtain resources and technical assistance to help meet your wildlife management goals from the Missouri Department of Conservation at

MDC also maintains numerous conservation areas that provide access for observing wildlife and for learning about various habitat management practices. Go to

Missouri State Parks are also excellent locations to observe wildlife, Pierce says. Go to

Missouri’s state bird, the eastern bluebird, is one of many wildlife species that can benefit from a wildlife habitat improvement plan. Photo by Noppadol Paothong, Missouri Department of Conservation.

Writer: Linda Geist

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Robert Pierce

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