Unfortunately, there are far too many stories of bird populations and bees in decline these days. Learn more in virtual programs by the Department of Conservation.

Birds: A Pulse Check on our Local Birdlife

Birds play significant roles in our world and are necessary elements of a healthy ecosystem.

People can learn more about how regional bird populations are faring at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s free virtual program “Birds: A Pulse Check on our Local Birdlife.” This online program will be 2-2:30 p.m. Aug. 5 and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center. This program is open to ages 12 and up. People can register for this program at:

MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center and the adjacent Wildcat Park provide several habitat niches for a variety of birds. MDC conservation educator and Missouri Birding Society board member Jeff Cantrell will share his bird observations at this area and will discuss the habitat needs of a number of species found in the area. He will also offer tips on what homeowners and landowners can do to help these species.

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.

Be a Friend to Bumblebees

Bumblebees were once common summer sights, but numbers of these large, yellow-and-black, fuzzy insects are declining throughout North America. Not only is that bad for the bee, but it’s also unfortunate for humans.

People can get information about bumblebees, why they’re declining, and what can be done to help reverse this downward population trend at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) free virtual program Be a Friend to Bumblebees. This online program will be 10-10:30 a.m. Saturday and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. This program is designed for people ages 12 and up. People can register for this program at:

Habitat changes and pesticide use are among the causes that have led to the bumblebee’s decline. That’s unfortunate because bumblebees are valuable pollinators. And, although their large size gives some people a greater degree of fright, bumblebees seem to be less aggressive than some stinging insects (although they will sting if they’re handled or bothered). People who sign up for the program will learn about the life cycle of the bumblebee and what humans can do to help bumblebee populations.

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.