KEARN (J.N. “Turkey”) MEMORIAL WILDLIFE AREA
acres Johnson and Pettis Co.
DeLorme 35, F-10
MDC; for more information call 660-530-5500
Unit #1 is entered on its west side from Johnson Co. SE 1201. To reach Unit #1 from Knob Noster, go south
on MO 23 for 7 miles, then east on SE 600 for 2 miles, and south on SE 1201 to
the entrance. Entry to Unit #1 from
the south (from Windsor and/or Unit #2) via SE 1201 requires jogging west on SE
775 north on SE 1101, then right (east) on SE 725.
can be entered from the south on SE 1301 Rd. (the Johnson/Pettis county
line). This road runs north from the
intersection with Eldorado Rd. (Pettis Co.) and SE 725 (Johnson Co.).
Unit #2 from the south (Windsor), go north on Rt. WW, then right (east, but
road quickly turns north) onto SE1201.
The entrance is on the right opposite SE 775
is on Rt. B, two miles east of the intersection with Rt. AA, reached from Units
#1 and #2 by turning right (south) onto Rt. AA from Kearn Rd, Eleorado Rd. or
Wells Rd. From Green Ridge, take Rt. B
west to Unit #3.
ADA Information: The
fishing dock and privy at North Lake are accessible. Beyond the immediate lake areas, birding by
car is advised for those with difficulty walking over uncertain surfaces.
When to Visit/Species to Expect: Although Greater Prairie-Chickens
were present in this part of Johnson and Pettis counties into the 21st
century, none have been reported in recent years.
Although there are wooded hills, birders’ time here would be most productive near the lakes and in the grassland and brushy areas. Management focuses on upland species (deer, turkey, rabbits, squirrels, doves, and songbirds).
greatest habitat diversity and accessibility are in Unit #2, with two lakes and
internal roads. Unit #1 is accessible by
road (SE 650) east/west and through the southern portion (SE 1301).
a good spread, species-wise, but sparse reporting currently leaves many gaps in
the occurrence records.
The duck species list here is short, more likely due to the limited number of birding visits, rather than lack of birds in season. Northern Bobwhite and Wild Turkey are present. Flycatchers reported are probably not representative of the area’s potential, but Scissor-tailed has been reported and should be expected.
Watch for Loggerhead Shrikes and Bell’s Vireos in the grass area studded with brush/bushes between the two lakes. Red-headed Woodpeckers use the standing dead trees in the lakes, as do Tree Swallows. Purple Martin, Bank and Barn Swallows have occurred.
species are well represented. In
addition to the internal area, in winter and early spring, the brushy fence
line on CR NE 1201 along the west side of Unit #2 can be very good for birding
by car (little traffic, but keep an eye on the rear view mirror). Fox. Field,
and White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Junco, and Eastern Towhee are among
species present in the appropriate season.
Features of interest to birders:
Acreage figures include all three units.
Nearly 900 acres are old field and non-prairie grassland, and 325 are
cropland. Forest and woodland acreage is
no designated trails; but several mowed tracks lead into the grass areas,
several of them accessible from perimeter parking areas. In Unit #2, a boat ramp, fishing docks and
fishing a jetty provide good viewing at 25-acre North Lake. The dams at North and South Lake (9 acres)
can be walked. In Unit #1, Shop Lake (1.5 acres) can be viewed on the south
side of the road bisecting the unit.
1 privy at North Lake
Ticks and chiggers should be expected and precautions taken in warm weather. This is an active hunting area; be aware of
hunting seasons and hunter presence.
Nearby Birding Sites: Knob
Noster SP, Pertle Spring (Warrensburg), Perry Memorial CA, Farrington Park
(Windsor), Paint Brush Prairie CA, Spring Fork Lake.