Discover Nature

Every week there are new marvels to look for in the outdoors, and Discover Nature highlights these attractions. The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Candice Davis brings us the stories of river otters, luna moths, red buds, and other actors as they take center stage in nature’s theater.

This timely and topical program is the audio counterpart of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Natural Events Calendar.

You can hear Discover Nature, Mondays at 7:31 a.m. and 5:18 p.m.

Local support for Discover Nature is provided by Adam Gohn, Attorney at Law.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

 January 3 - January 9

Discover Nature this week as you watch for red-tailed hawks perched along highways, and consider what their presence says about other resident wildlife.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Found across the Eastern and Midwest portion of the United States, the blue jay is a native Missouri songbird. It's a wonderful bird to start with when learning bird identification, especially for children.

Jays are conspicuous because of their size and striking color. White patches and black bars highlight the bird's blue wings and tail. And the white underbelly and black necklace on its front are easy to spot as well. A jay also sports a distinct crest on its head.

Missouri Department of Conservation / KRCU

December 20 - December 26

Discover nature this week and watch for evidence of beavers in your area. Measuring up to four-and-a-half feet long and weighing up to 90 pounds, these animals are classified as the largest rodents in North America. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, they will be feeding on sapling reserves throughout these winter months.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

December 13 - December 19

Discover Nature this week as you learn to identify the Christmas fern in Missouri’s landscape.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Christmas ferns will be most visible on woodland slopes this week.  Most ferns are annual in Missouri, though the Christmas fern overwinters and adds color to our winter season.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

December 6 - December 12

Discover Nature this week as Missouri’s wildlife den up or hibernate to avoid the cold.

Winter is a challenge for wildlife and many species have various methods of surviving the cold.

Some animals leave the state and don’t come back until spring. Others find sheltered dens and sleep until spring. Some remain in Missouri and stay active through the winter, but they still have specials ways of handling the cold weather.