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MONITEAU CREEK CONSERVATION AREA

Eric Seaman, Spring 2016
844 acres, Howard Co., Delorme 30, I-3
GPS: 39.0976282,-92.5870228
MDC owned; for information call 573-815-7900

Directions: From Columbia, take I-70 West to Highway 40 (Exit 121). Head north on Highway 40. Turn North on Rt. J. Turn West on Rt. EE. Three parking lots can be accessed by going straight on Rt. A, and another is reached by turning west on Rt. W.

When to Visit/Species to Expect: Early spring thaw is good for waterfowl, migration. Sora are here if the wetlands last after spring. The area has been reliable for Harris's Sparrow in winter and Fox Sparrow in spring. Chipping, Field and Grasshopper Sparrows are summer residents. The limited warbler list for the site is due in part to a low number of visits in the appropriate seasons. Bell’s Vireo breeds here in brush-dotted grasslands. Sedge Wren has been reported in late July, the Missouri-based second breeding season for the species.

ADA Information: Trails are not level. Best viewing opportunities for birders with difficulty walking are from in or near a vehicle in parking lots.

Features of interest to birders: The wetlands are accessed from an easement coming from the southeast parking lot on Rt. A.  A field road reached and traveled by foot can take birders north along the wetlands to fields and wet forest.

The parking lot on Rt. W takes birders to a pond, Moniteau Creek, fields and the hardwood buffer between Moniteau Creek and the fields. The hotspot for migratory warblers appears to be the hardwood buffer between Moniteau Creek and the fields. Grassland birds appear to be more prevalent from the Rt. W parking lot.

The private land just northwest of the wetland and north of Moniteau Creek supported a blue heron rookery as late as 2012. There is a scenic view of a creek bluff northwest of the Rt. CC parking lot.

Toilets: None.

Camping: Primitive camping allowed off the parking lots at Rt. CC, the northernmost Rt. A and Rt. W.

Hazards/Limitations: This area is popular during deer and turkey season. Wetlands are intended to swell with floodwater during wet seasons. Midway Arms owns the land east of Rt. A and south of Rt. CC and uses it for hunting and shooting events, so it can get loud around the Rt. CC section.

Nearby Birding Sites: Fayette Lakes (D.C. Rogers*, Peters* and Ricketts), Dairy Farm Lakes #1 & #3, and Davisdale Conservation Area.

Moniteau Creek map