Newsletter of the Columbia Audubon Society | Summer 2019

Mon. Apr. 1, 2019

CAS News & Notes for April 2019

Upcoming events

CAS has quite a few events planned this spring. April field trips will be heading to Grindstone Creek, Prairie Garden Trust, Schnabel Woods Natural Area, while May trips will include Hinkson Creek and Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary. April also features a  field trip/workshop on learning to record bird vocalizations and a variety of special programs related to CAS’s 60th Anniversary; note that there will be no regular membership or board meetings in April. May will feature the annual North American Migratory Count on Saturday, May 11 and CAS’s annual spring picnic on Saturday, May 18; look for more information in the May newsletter.

In addition to the individual event listings posted online, CAS is also testing a stand-alone page listing pre-planned events further into the future as a planning guide for members. Please take a look and send any feedback to John Besser or Eric Reuter.

Spaces remain available for bird-vocalization field trip/workshop

If you’re interested in learning how to make basic bird recording using your smart device or a basic voice recorder, and how to visualize these by creating your own spectrograms, sign up for this free event on Saturday morning, April 6, hosted by CAS members Eric & Joanna Reuter at their property 12 miles north of Columbia. As of publication, 9 openings remain.

CAS members invited to Burroughs Audubon Society (KC) spring events

Kansas City’s Burroughs Audubon Society has invited all Audubon members in the region to their Annual Dinner and Silent Auction and Raffle at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, 2019. The event is at Unity Village in Kansas City (same venue as the 2011 Spring ASM meeting).

Our speaker is Dr. Daniel Patterson, Emeritus Professor of English from Michigan State University. He will discuss John James Audubon’s writings with a special emphasis on Audubon’s journey up the Missouri River in the 1840s. According to the University of Nebraska Press, “Daniel Patterson is the first scholar to locate and assemble three important fragments of the 1843 Missouri River journals”, and he offers wonderful new insights into Audubon during his last journey through the American West in his newest book, The Missouri River Journals of John James Audubon. In 2011, Dr. Patterson also published John James Audubon’s Journal of 1826: The Voyage to the Birds of America. A book signing will follow the program.

There will be a BAS history display, a prime rib and chicken buffet, and lots of great items including football tickets, special field trips, books, artwork, and more for purchase. Registration information is available at the link above.

Migration forecasts and real-time migration maps at BirdCast

Spring migration is underway, and the website BirdCast offers some great tools for those interested in understanding migration patterns. Most songbirds migrate overnight, and the actual migration can be tracked on weather radar (see this article from eBird for an explanation). BirdCast provides a forecast for migration intensity across the U.S. for the upcoming three nights, so if you have limited time to bird but flexibility in when you’re outside, this can be a good tool for assessing when you have the best chance of seeing new arrivals. The site also provides real-time maps of nightly migration based on radar. Check out BirdCast and enjoy the spring migration.

New Chat editor needed

-by Eric Reuter
Following the May newsletter, I plan to step down as Chat editor. I took over from Jan Mees in fall 2014 and have really enjoyed contributing to CAS in this way. I’m grateful to CAS for allowing me to do this interesting job, but also feel that organizations are healthiest when there is some turnover among those responsible for keeping things running. The new online system CAS implemented several years ago was partially meant to make it easier for future volunteers to manage published content and can easily be taken over by someone else.

Producing the Chat requires publishing nine monthly newsletters (September through May) that report on the organization’s activities and producing/sharing other content that may be of interest to CAS members or any online readers. The Chat editor oversees the publication of news stories, event and field trip listings, minutes, and any other timely content in cooperation with the website manager (Doug Miller) with guidance from the board. The editor may also compose emails within CAS’s system when needed to share short-term news.

If you might be interested, please contact me with any questions; we’ll have all summer to train a replacement. If there are no other interested parties, Joanna Reuter is willing to take over.

March board meeting unofficial summary

Official meeting minutes will be posted to the website after approval at each subsequent board meeting, meaning they are delayed from immediate publication. Below is an unofficial summary of business discussed on March 20, 2019. Please contact a board member with any questions.

February minutes:  Approved without dissent.

Treasurer’s report:  Approved without dissent.

Board members discussed the proposed budget for 2019-20, including possible increases to the amount budgeted for grants and scholarships for students. Current revenue from membership dues barely covers administrative and office expenses. The picnic shelter at Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary needs to be repaired; it would be appropriate to use the tractor insurance money for that project.

CAS 60th Anniversary:  Update from the 60th Anniversary Committee’s March 14 meeting. Board members discussed the program for the April 26 reception and the events scheduled for April 27.

Request for Young Birder Scholarships: Discussion of a request received for two scholarships to attend the American Birding Association’s Camp Avocet, an 8-day camp for young birders ages 13-18. The 2019 camp will be held in July at the University of Delaware’s Virden Center, Lewes, DE. Workshops and field trips are led by ABA staff and guest instructors. Board members reviewed the applicants’ essays explaining why they would like to attend Camp Avocet. The recommendation that CAS provide half of the $1,500 camp tuition for each child and make the expenditure a special allocation out of the 2018-19 budget was approved.

Discussion of CAS developing a formalized process for awarding scholarships to young birders, including adding website/newsletter content advertising opportunities available for young birders.

Missouri River Relief Request for Scholarship Funding: Board members discussed a request from Missouri River Relief for funding to support student attendance at the Missouri River Academy summer program.

CFM Membership:  CAS has been approved for membership in the Conservation Federation of Missouri; an article will be placed the Chat to explain the advantages of this affiliation.

MoBCI Grants: Applicants are needed for the Jerry Wade Youth Habitat and Education Program (YHEP) grants, funded through the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI). $38,000 is available for grants, and the application is being streamlined. YHEP grants provide financial support to projects that improve habitat for birds in Missouri and that involve students in grades K-12. Applicants must be youth educators, such as teachers and 4-H and scout troop leaders. A broader article may be written about CAS affiliates, including CFM and MoBCI, and CAS may add a page on the website about its affiliate organizations.

Chat:  Eric R will step down as Chat editor June 1. He will place a notice in the April Chat to recruit a replacement. If no one volunteers, Joanna Reuter is willing to serve as editor.

Field Trips:  Review of upcoming CAS field trips through May. John Besser,  Lynne Hooper (Boone County’s urban hydrologist), and Dave Dittmer (a forester with Columbia Parks and Recreation) will lead a walk along Grindstone Creek on Wednesday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m.; participants will learn how streams and their diverse riparian communities benefit Columbia’s residents and visitors, including migratory birds.

Education:  Two bird programs—“Feathers” in February and “Migration” in March—were presented at the Columbia Public Library. The maximum 15 children attended each session; more programs are planned for fall. Library policy prevents taking  students outside for bird identification and field work.

Bird Counts:  Volunteers are needed for the Migratory Bird Count on May 11.

Spring Picnic:  The annual spring picnic will be held in May at the Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary shelter.

Future Board Meetings:  There will be no board meeting in April because of the CAS 60th Anniversary events on April 26 and 27. It may be necessary to hold a special board meeting to approve the 2019-20 budget or to approve the budget by an e-mail vote.

Supporting CAS

Carrying out our mission through education, conservation, and outreach takes a wide variety of resources, from the valued time of dedicated volunteers to the financial support of members and donors. We welcome and appreciate all participants and supporters of our work through their generous donations of time, money, or other resources.

Submitting material to The Chat

The Chat is published online on the first of every month from September through May. Submissions are welcome, including photographs, stories, and suggestions for content; please contact News Editor Eric Reuter. The submission deadline is the evening of the 25th of each month.

Mon. Apr. 1, 2019

CAS Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary This April

-by Jan Mees

What do April 26, 1785 and April 26, 2019 have in common? The former is the birth date of John James Aubudon, while the latter is the date Columbia Audubon Society is celebrating its 60 year anniversary! CAS members Nancy Bedan, Lottie Bushmann, Lori Hagglund, Judy Lincoln, Jan Mees, Doug Miller, Lori Turner, and Allison Vaughn have been working since October on special events to commemorate these important dates. Mark your calendars for any or all of the following events:

CAS members only:

Friday, April 26: 5:30–7:30 p.m. Boone County History and Culture Center, 3801 Ponderosa Street in Columbia. CAS members and spouses and special guests are invited to a gala open house for food, drinks, birds, and a short program to honor the CAS’s past and to enjoy ongoing friendships and future work of our amazing organization.

Saturday, April 27: 8–9:30 a.m. Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, 3607 Bray Avenue. Special guest Audubon performer and storyteller, Mr. Brian “Fox” Ellis, will lead a “Bird Walk with Audubon”

Two community events (in cooperation with Columbia Public Schools and Columbia Public Library) are also planned featuring Mr. Ellis:

Saturday, April 27:  10:30–11:30 a.m. Fairview Elementary School Media Center, 909 Fairview Road. “Audubon’s Birds”

Saturday, April 27: 2–2:45 p.m. Columbia Public Library, Children’s Program Room “Birds’ Tales”

Prior to the weekend’s events several CAS members will be guests on David Lile’s Columbia Morning talk show on KFRU AM 1400 on Friday, April 19 at 8:30 a.m. to look back at the history of CAS and to discuss the current and future accomplishments of CAS.

Mon. Apr. 1, 2019

CAS is now an affiliate member of the Conservation Federation of Missouri

-by Bill Mees and John Besser

Last month, the CAS board voted for our organization to become an affiliate member of the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM). This article provides some context for this decision.

What is CFM?

The mission of CFM is “to ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnerships.”  CFM is a private organization made up of thousands of Missourians who work together to better our natural resources and represent Missouri’s citizen conservationists. Actively involved in state and national issues that relate to conservation, the Federation has long been a prominent and effective voice before the Missouri General Assembly, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

As we explored becoming an affiliate with CFM, it quickly became evident that many of the organizations already affiliated with CFM have the same interests and objectives as CAS.  The CAS Board feels affiliation provides an avenue to enable interested CAS members to stay informed about pending legislation at the state and national levels.

Despite becoming an affiliate of CFM, CAS does not lose its own original voice on conservation issues. Nor have we sold or shared our membership list with CFM or any other entity. However, we encourage CAS members to visit the CFM website to learn more. If you take a moment to peruse the list of affiliates, you will see that CAS is keeping some very good company.  Also, if you choose to register with the CFM Legislative Action Center, you will receive CFM alerts aimed at informing you of legislative actions concerning conservation.

Why does CAS affiliate with other organizations?

Columbia Audubon Society has long been affiliated with other conservation organizations whose missions are complementary to our own, and who can provide additional information and bring additional resources to bear on issues affecting bird conservation. Our most long-standing (since 1959) and fundamental affiliation is with the National Audubon Society. Although NAS sometimes seems very distant from our local concerns, as our parent organization it does supports us with some membership dollars. More importantly, this legendary conservation organization can play a role in bird conservation at a national and international scale that a local chapter like ours can hardly imagine. Closer to home, CAS is an affiliate of the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MOBCI), which is sometimes called an “association of associations”. Bill Mees, CAS’s representative on the MOBCI Steering Committee, rubs shoulders with representatives of conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and the Missouri Prairie foundation, as well as several Missouri state agencies. Together these diverse groups find common ground in recommending grant funding for projects to benefit birds and bird habitat in Missouri. Finally, CAS has similar interests to those of Audubon Society of Missouri, which is NOT affiliated with National Audubon Society, but rather serves as an independent statewide organization focused entirely on birds and birders and is home to the Missouri Bird Record Committee.

Columbia Audubon Society is supported in part by a generous contribution from


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Upcoming Events

Nature walk along Hinkson Creek

Wednesday, May 1st | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.


Summer book discussion: Welcome to Subirdia, by John M. Marzluff

Wednesday, June 19 | 6:30 p.m.