Note from the President

April Election We have a three-year term board position to vote on .  The only candidate is Greg Leonard, but you will be given an opportunity for a write-in candidate. Instead of voting at the April general meeting, we will be voting on-line and by regular mail. On Monday, April 19th, those members who receive

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Upcoming Fieldtrips, Joint Fieldtrips with Missouri Birding Society in May!

These Columbia Audubon Society field trips are co-sponsored with the Missouri Birding Society (MBS, formerly Audubon Society of Missouri) as events in the MBS 2-week Spring Meeting activities taking place around the state. MBS, founded in 1901, is the independent statewide organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of birds and other wildlife; to education

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Nature Area Notes

  What’s in a name? Bill Mees, Nature Areas Chair, wants to put a new name on an old building. The former ‘workshop’ at Wild Haven is now retired, empty, and surprisingly tidy! This structure was built by Lee Jenkins, who donated Wild Haven to CAS, and It dates from the 1960’s or perhaps earlier.

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Legislative Action: Note from the Conservation Chair

House Joint Resolution 55 (HJR 55) “Modifies the conservation commission membership composition and requires the election of the commissioners.” The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is governed by a four-person Conservation Commission, made up of members appointed by the governor, each serving year-year terms. HJR 55 wants to change all that, bringing membership from four to

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News from the President

Board Position There’s still time to nominate someone for the three-year board position. To nominate someone, make sure they are willing to serve and submit that person’s name to  Brooke Widmar at brookewidmar@gmail.com.  You can also self-nominate. Nominations are due by March 9th. March Program On March 17th, in place of our regular monthly meeting,

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Conservation Federation of Missouri Conference this week!

It’s the Conservation Federation of Missouri’s convention this week, March 1-6! Over this week, the 10 resource advisory committees will be meeting to present and vote on resolutions relating to conservation issues impacting Missouri. The pre-filed resolutions can be seen here: www.confedmo.org/resolutions2021/ General ticket registration for those break out sessions is already closed, but all week

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Nature Area Notes

Most years, February is the month when winter’s grip loosens a bit and we get a hint of the coming spring. This year, we spent most of the month inside our homes, trying to avoid both coronavirus and frostbite. But we know that March will bring warm weather, spring wildflowers, and migrating birds, and many

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Proposed Changes to Membership Levels

Reviewing membership subscriptions over the last decade, we’ve seen our members becoming increasingly generous with their support. As time has passed, the bulk of the local membership dues shifted from mostly $15 and $25 levels up to the $25 and $50 levels. Because of that — and also because these tiers have not been reviewed

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Note from the President

Greetings, Columbia Audubon Society! We have a guest columnist from St. Louis Audubon Society this month, and great updates from our committees. Board Position up for Election There is one three-year board member position opening up that will need to be filled this year.  I have appointed a nominating committee to find candidates. The committee

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February is National Bird Feeding Month

February became National Bird Feeding month in 1994 by Congressman John Porter. Being one of the toughest months of the year for birds to survive, he was determined to help feed birds during this time. The month encourages people to provide food, water, and shelter to wild birds in areas with cold temperatures and limited natural

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Keeping Cats Indoors to Help Birds (and cats)

As St. Louis Audubon Society works towards protecting bird populations in Missouri, we cannot ignore the impact that free-roaming cats have on birds.  In 2013, scientists estimated that free-roaming cats annually kill between 100-350 million birds in Canada and 1.3 – 4.0 billion birds annually in the US.   In 2015, scientists further calculated that cat

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Prescribed Fire Legislation in Missouri

Prescribed burns are an important management tool for many Missouri landscapes, and specifically for many bird habitats. Ground nesting birds and their offspring need open space on the ground for movement, and if there is too much thatch buildup, that will limit their ability to move around. There are countless other benefits to prescribed burns,

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CAS Ends CoMoGives Campaign with Great Success!

Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) is happy to report the results of a successful 2020 CoMoGives (CMG) campaign. Thanks to the generosity of donors, CAS will add $12,400 to our treasury.  These funds will be used to continue the CAS programs that support education (field trips for students, scholarships for teachers and support of the Boone

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Note from the President

Happy New Year and welcome to 2021. One of the things my wife and I have been doing on New Year’s Day is recording the first bird we see of the year. Sometimes it’s a challenge. In 2018,  the temperature was -7° F when we started our feeder count. The first bird we saw was

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Columbia’s 2020 Christmas Bird Count is a Success!

Saturday, December 19 dawned clear and sunny, providing a lift for the dozens of birders who rose early to participate in the CAS Christmas Bird Count. Unfortunately, the day soon turned overcast, humid, and cold, making the day difficult  for both birds and birders. Despite the unpleasant weather, eBird checklists rolled in steadily throughout the

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CAS Board Meeting Highlights for December 16, 2020

Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the last meeting: Motus Tower The Missouri Department of Conservation sign shop will manufacture the memorial plaque for the Brad Jacobs Memorial Motus Tower with funding from the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation. Nature

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Activism for Bird Conservation

Start off the new year speaking up for birds, and take actions to stay informed on state, national, and global issues! According to the National Audubon Society, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to over 200 bird species. While this refuge is almost 3,000 miles away from us here in Missouri, it’s critical land

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Note from the President

I hope all is going well with you and that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. December promises to be a busy month with the CoMoGives campaign starting on December 1st and the Christmas Bird Count on December 19th. Instead of our usually chili tallying supper we’ll be having a ZOOM meeting to discuss the day’s birding.

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ComoGives Campaign Begins Dec. 1

CoMoGives officially begins December 1, 2020. This online platform provides 142 nonprofit groups, including Columbia Audubon Society, an opportunity to raise funds for their organizations. In 2019, 90 donors contributed over $10,000 to CAS through CoMoGives. Our goal for the 2020 campaign is $10,000. CoMoGives is the only fundraising effort for CAS. CAS is proud

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20201219

Christmas Bird Count Details

All Day

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly everything we do during 2020, and the Christmas Bird Count is no exception. Given the risks associated with face-to-face gatherings, The National Audubon Society has given local chapters like CAS the freedom to decide whether to conduct their local count or not. There is a strong sentiment among the

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In Memoriam: Francis Garland Russell, Jr.

On Thursday November 19, 2020, Columbia Audubon Society lost a true friend, Francis Garland Russell, Jr. If you’ve walked the trail on the west side of Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary you have probably seen Garland’s house, just beyond the cedar lined fence row.  The land we call Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary was donated to us

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Nature Areas Update

Anyone who owns property knows there is always something to do, whether it is mowing, weeding, or picking up sticks. As the owner of Columbia Audubon Wild Haven and Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, it’s the same for the Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) At your house you call them weeds. At CAS they’re called invasives. Several

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CAS Board Meeting Highlights for November 17, 2020

Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the last meeting: Motus Tower update So far $1235 has been donated to the Brad Jacobs Memorial Motus Tower, with the remainder being supplied by CAS. Jim Gast has sent thank-you notes to

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News and Notes

November Zoom Program Features Mike Powell with the Greenbelt Land Trust Please join us via Zoom for our next membership meeting and program at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, Nov. 18th. Mike Powell, Executive Director of the Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri, will provide an update on Greenbelt projects, help us understand how land trusts work,

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Welcome to our new Membership Chair and Conservation Chair!

I’m Shelby Thomas, and I am the new Membership Chair. I am currently a freshman in college taking classes at Moberly Area Community College (MACC). I have not yet decided on a major. I began birding in about 2015 and joined Columbia Audubon Society soon after. I have enjoyed getting to know a lot of

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Wild Haven Bush Honeysuckle Hack

We enjoyed a beautiful day and hike of about 1.3 miles one-way to reach the south end of the yellow trail that dead ends at a rocky section of Hinkson Creek.  Our target was on the other side of the creek – a patch of bush honeysuckle (BH) I had spotted three years ago when

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Missouri Birding Society joint fieldtrip with CAS

On Saturday, September 26, there was a joint field trip to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park along with the Missouri Birding Society (formerly ASM). In all, 24 birders including 5 leaders showed up to cover the trails at the Devil’s Icebox parking lot, as well as the Gans Creek and Karst trails. We ended up

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CAS Open House at the Nature School

Twenty-plus Columbia Audubon members attended the Open House at the Boone County Nature School site on Saturday, Oct. 17. Mike Szydlowski and Ragan Webb from Columbia Public Schools and Brian Flowers with the Missouri Department of Conservation led walking tours of the site and provided an update on various aspects of the project along the

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Christmas Bird Count during a Pandemic

Scheduled for December 19, the 2020 Christmas Bird Count- like every other event we have sponsored during the pandemic- will look a little different. We will go forward with the count, but will not host the Chili Supper for compilation. We will send out details soon regarding data collection and compilation. The National Audubon Society

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CAS Participating in CoMoGives Dec. 1-31

Columbia Audubon Society will be participating in the annual CoMoGives community fundraising campaign for area non-profit organizations. The online giving campaign is coordinated by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri. CAS has participated in the CoMoGives annual community fund drive for five years. This is the only fundraising done to benefit the efforts of Columbia

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Vote for the Birds!

  Didn’t think you could have a newsletter this close to Election Day without a reminder to vote, did you? Things to know about voting in Boone County: In-person absentee voting is available at the county clerk’s office (801 E. Walnut) until 5:00 p.m. November 2nd, vote inside in room 236 or utilize the outdoor

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Note from the President

I hope you got out and birded during the beautiful September weather. Fall can be difficult time for me to identify species. A lot of birds are quiet and have a different color than in the spring. I’ve trained myself to look for motion in trees, but the falling leaves can distract me from finding

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Birding Update for Eagle Bluffs

My name is Brady Lichtenberg and I am a wildlife biologist for MDC, and the area manager of Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. I earned my BS in fisheries and wildlife sciences in 2016. I have been an employee of MDC since 2012, and have been at Eagle Bluffs since 2016. As many of you know,

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Columbia Audubon Society’s Wild Haven Nature Area- A quiet place to see more than birds

On 3 Sep. 2020, following the advice and directions from CAS member John Besser, I went to Wild Haven Nature Area to look for birds and butterflies. It was a very pleasant morning when I arrived at 9:30 and mostly quiet except for the calls of a few local permanent resident bird species. I was

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CAS Board Meeting Highlights for August 19, 2020

Full minutes may be found at: http://www.columbia-audubon.org/meeting-minutes-for-august-19-2020/ Nature Areas David and Jean Neely, Bill Mees and John Besser have finished repairing the Wild Haven shelter. Roxie Campbell has also joined in helping to clear the trails at Wild Haven and placing additional markers to make the trails easier to follow. David Neely, John Besser, Bill

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Conservation Federation Legislative Portal Available

The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) has been the “Voice for Missouri Outdoors” for the last 85 years. They house the newly redesigned Legislative Action Center (LAC) where Missourians can make an account to learn who their legislators are, stay up to date on conservation-related legislation, and have the opportunity to easily contact their elected

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Note from the President

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been birding and a member of Columbia Audubon since the early 1990s. I worked at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park for 24 years in a variety of positions, including park superintendent, and retired in 2016. I had an English Literature professor who divided his class into

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Work Continues at Nature Areas during COVID-19

How many times have you heard that we are living in unprecedented times, wear masks, social distance, and quarantine?  I’m not even going to imagine having a swab stuffed up your nose.  All this could really put a stop to almost any planned activities, but not so with Columbia Audubon Society. The spring warm-up experienced

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Birding 3M Wetlands during Quarantine

In 2013-2014, Columbia Parks and Recreation Department approached Columbia Audubon Society and asked if we could provide a match to a grant for wetland restoration along the MKT. We were unclear of their demands, but it ended up that they were in need of plant lists and interpretive panel text and photos. Columbia Audubon stepped

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CAS Programs and Fieldtrips

CAS Adapts Programs, Meetings to Current Conditions Columbia Audubon will not be able to meet at our usual location, the Unitarian Universalist Church, for the foreseeable future, so meetings and programs will take various forms this year. Weather permitting, we plan to hold actual meetings—outside, with masks and social distancing—in September and October. We’ll rely

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CAS Board meeting highlights for June 17, 2020

Complete minutes of this meeting may be found at http://www.columbia-audubon.org/meeting-minutes-for-june-17-2020. Financial Issues CAS had provided the Columbia Public School District with student scholarships for summer programs that have since been canceled due to COVID-19. Lisa Shenker has been in touch with CPS Science Coordinator Mike Szydlowski regarding the disposition of these funds. Lottie Bushmann, Lisa

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CAS Board meeting highlights for July 15, 2020

Complete minutes of this meeting may be found at http://www.columbia-audubon.org/meeting-minutes-for-july-15-2020/. Audit Committee Members of the Audit Committee will be Greg Leonard, Jean Leonatti and Eric Seaman Conservation Chair Brooke Widmar responded to Jim’s e-mail looking for a Conservation chair. She is the Director of Administrative Operations of the Missouri Prairie Foundation and the representative for

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2020–2021 CAS Election Announcement

On May 13, at our final meeting for the fiscal year, the CAS Board of Directors accepted a slate of nominees for the elected positions that will become vacant on June 1. The nominating committee, led by Nancy Bedan with the assistance of Jan Mees and Lori Hagglund, recommended the following candidates: Proposed Slate of

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News and Notes for May 2020

President’s Corner by John Besser, President Birding in the time of covid-19. Restrictions on ‘social distance’ this spring have had many serious social and economic consequences, and cancellations of Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) meetings and field trips are far from the biggest problems we face. Still, spring migration is the most cherished time of the

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Watch for Nesting Activity this Spring and Summer

by Joanna Reuter During the pandemic, many of us are likely to find that birding involves regular visits to local spots rather than far-flung adventures to distant destinations. One way to make the most of this is to pay special attention to nesting patterns and savor the benefit of being able to follow a year

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News and Notes for April 2020

President’s Corner By John Besser CAS cancellations and “social distancing”. It sure seems like more than a month since the last Chat. Our world is changing rapidly in response to the spread of the pandemic coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Changes in our little organization seem pretty trivial compared to the upheaval around

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Interacting with Nature during a Time of COVID-19 Concern

by Joanna Reuter Spring is unfolding much as usual with the arrival of migrants, the blooming of wildflowers, and the chorus of frogs and toads. Yet the joys of spring are tempered this year by concerns about the coronavirus and what harm it will inflict on the human communities we cherish. The strong desire to

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Sightings: March 2020

by Joanna Reuter Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area Sadly, the 25th anniversary celebration scheduled for March had to be canceled due to a combination of miserable weather and coronavirus caution. Here’s a photographic celebration highlighting some March observations: The eagles are nesting: Cheryl Rosenfeld captured an excellent photo sequence of a Horned Grebe eating a fish.

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News and Notes for March 2020

by Joanna & Eric Reuter March field trips & events As the weather improves, the field trip calendar will become busier. We’ll start the month off right away with a “birding without binoculars” walk at Stephens Lake Park on the afternoon of Sunday, March 1. The month’s highlight will be the Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area

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