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Onondaga Cave State Park

Band of birders

By Tom Uhlenbrock

Missouri State Parks

LEASBURG, Mo. – After measuring, weighing and banding the tiny fluff of green feathers, Lanny Chambers had a special treat.

“Hold out your hand,” he said.

Chambers gently placed the female ruby-throated hummingbird upside down on the palm of my hand.

The bird blinked, and I could see it breathing. The buzz I felt was the beat of its heart, 20 times a second. But it didn’t budge, laying trance-like, feet up, watching me with its black eyes.

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7 Wonders of the Ozarks

THAYER, Mo. – Peering from an overlook into the chasm of Grand Gulf State Park, it is easy to see why the area is known as the “Little Grand Canyon of the Ozarks.”

Deeper than it is wide, the sheer rock walls drop some 130 feet, revealing the remnants of a collapsed cave. Part of the cave roof that didn’t tumble down some 10,000 years ago remains as a 250-foot-long natural bridge.

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Peering from an overlook into the chasm of Grand Gulf State Park, it is easy to see why the area is known as the “Little Grand Canyon of the Ozarks.”

Young blood energizes State Parks

Of the hundreds of green-shirted State Parks Youth Corps workers at Missouri’s parks and historic sites this summer, Jamie Myers had the coolest job.

Myers worked as a guide at Onondaga Cave State Park, taking visitors on tours of one of America’s most spectacular caves. In the sultry heat of summer, the cave was a comfortable 57 degrees.

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Of the hundreds of green-shirted State Parks Youth Corps workers at Missouri’s parks and historic sites this summer, Jamie Myers had the coolest job.

Bats make themselves at home in Missouri’s state parks

LEASBURG, Mo. – You don’t have to go far to find bats at Onondaga Cave State Park.

Just inside the interior glass doors that lead into one of America’s most spectacular caves, a dozen or so tiny balls of dark fur clustered together on the ceiling a few feet above visitors’ heads.

“Those are little brown bats and eastern pipstrelles, which are also called tri-colored,” said Tara Flynn, a naturalist with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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You don’t have to go far to find bats at Onondaga Cave State Park.
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