Monday, April 16, 2018

Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center

On our last day in Cape Girardeau we decided to get out and do a little hiking.  Yesterday Mark had tried to play a local disc golf course but between the wind and sprinkles he only made it through 10 holes before calling it off.  But we noticed that the local Nature Center was in the same park, and after raining all night we were ready to get out of the RV for a while.

Out front we found that Purple Martins had already started nesting in their nest gourds.

The nature center is one of the best we’ve ever been in. 

There are lots of hands-on exhibits for all ages, a scientific research laboratory, aquariums, and interactive exhibits.  Lots of programs are offered and on this day the program was for mudpuppies (ages 3 - 6).  Everyone looked like they were having a great time.

Scientific research laboratory

There is an indoor wildlife viewing area that overlooks some feeders. We saw some colorful birds and our first hummingbird of the season, a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird. 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird female

Indigo Bunting

American Goldfinch

There is a kids only fishing pond and fishing poles are available for check out.  100 of the fish have been tagged and if caught a prize is given. 

Kids only fishing pond.

As rare as they are we seem to be seeing a lot of two-headed snakes:

The X-ray was very interesting:

There was a live snapping turtle but he wasn’t interested in getting his picture taken.

Plastic snapping turtle.

Tail end of a snapping turtle.

There are 2 miles of hiking trails on the property.

Our first stop was the Wood Duck Swamp.  We didn’t see any Wood Ducks but there were other birds.

We saw several Common Grackles. Compared to the nuisance Great-tailed Grackles in Texas, the Common Grackles are considered "Good Grackles".

There were several different woodpeckers, including this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

A sure sign of Spring arriving is male birds molting into their bright breeding plumage. This male Yellow-rumped Warbler was starting to look good. You can see where the nickname "Butter-Butt" comes from.


And this male American Goldfinch was much brighter than the one we saw at the feeders.

There were a couple of sinkholes:

When the roof of a cave collapses a sinkhole is born.

If you're in the area this is a wonderful place to spend a few hours.

Birds seen around the Nature Center: 

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Brown-headed Cowbird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Northern Cardinal, American Robin, Blue Jay, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Louisiana Waterthrush, Red-bellied Woodpecker, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Mourning Dove, Canada Goose, White-throated Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Carolina Wren, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Easter Phoebe, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Purple Martin, Indigo Bunting, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, House Finch, Common Grackle, White-breasted Nuthatch.


  1. The only thing worse than a one-headed snake......

  2. We're going to start looking for a three-headed snake. Gotta' be one out there somewhere!