On Sunday, May 19, Audubon members enjoyed lovely potluck food, incredible weather, a nice nature hike and all of the improvements that have been made to Wild Haven Nature Area in recent months. The May meeting was President Lori Turner’s last meeting as president, and incoming president Lottie Bushmann had some words to share after

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Dolores Pearl Clark, 87

Sat. May. 18, 2024

Republished from the Columbia Tribune, May 16, 2024 Dolores was one of two daughters born to Carl and Berthenia Denny on a farm A dozen miles southeast of Clinton, Mo. She attended a one-room school and graduated from Clinton High School in 1955. She married Bill Clark on August 11, 1955, and the marriage produced

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Note from the President

Wed. May. 1, 2024

First and foremost, I’d like to say thank you for entrusting me as your president. It was a joy serving you all and helping where I could. My tenure as President ends on May 31. Here’s a list of accomplishments we’ve made through the year to help achieve our mission: Nature areas Columbia Audubon Nature

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Editor: Brad Jacobs was a longtime Columbia Audubon Society member and incredible person and ornithologist who truly left a legacy for bird conservation not only in Missouri, but worldwide. Former State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick penned this call to action for all of us as a way to commemorate his unfortunate passing four years ago on

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Contact your MO Representative to support HB 2412, which bans the sale of disruptive and invasive plant species in Missouri. HB 2412, the Invasive Plant Bill, aims to prohibit future sales and intentional distribution in Missouri of five invasive plant Species: Burning bush, Callery pear, Climbing euonymus (also known as wintercreeper), Japanese honeysuckle, and Sericea

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If you’ve been wanting a book on how to build bird boxes, then Bird Man Mel Toellner’s new book, Making Bird-friendly Birdhouses (2024), is the book for you! I’ve been wanting to build some nest boxes for different species and this book has plans for 15 species of birds and even a few bat houses.

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In error, submitted photos from Hannah Vonder Haar’s Hog Island Audubon Camp as part of her 2024 scholarship from CAS were missing from her article in the April Chat. The following photos highlight some of her experiences while at Hog Island Audubon Camp. Vonder Haar spent some  time exploring Hog Island and practiced her photography

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Columbia Audubon Society Board of Directors Meeting April 17, 2024 Meeting conducted at Boone Electric Cooperative Present: Lori Turner, Eric Wood, Judy Lincoln, Shelby Thomas, Greg Leonard, Jim Gast, John Besser, Reed Gerdes, Eric Seaman, Louise Flenner, Lottie Bushmann Time called to order: 6:04 p.m. Previous minutes: Judy Lincoln moves to accept the March 2024

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Note from the President

Mon. Apr. 1, 2024

Notice of Election   Pursuant to Article IV D section 2 of the bylaws, notice is given of an election for candidates for the board of directors to be held at the general meeting on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.  The meeting starts at 7:00 PM and will be held in the Amp room of the

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Meet the CAS Board Candidates!

Mon. Apr. 1, 2024

At the April 17th membership meeting, members will vote on our new slate of candidates. Here’s a little information about the three new officers! President, Lottie Bushmann: “I came to birding later in life. My spark bird was a Cedar Waxwing. A flock flew into my yard and in that moment when I first laid

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Spring brings lots of opportunities for birding and other outdoors fun. Check the CAS events listing for details of upcoming field trips; additional trips will likely be added for peak migration season in late April and early May. If you’d like to lead a trip, or if you have an idea for one, let us

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Hannah Vonder Haar was a 2023 Columbia Audubon Society scholarship winner and attended Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine last summer. She has worked as an educator in different capacities for 15 years. She has served as an art integration specialist, an adjunct professor, a faculty supervisor for pre service teachers, an elementary classroom teacher

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The Columbia Audubon Society is happy to announce the recipients of our summer scholarship for educators! The winners will attend a week long summer ecology or ornithology workshop at the National Audubon Society Camp on Hog Island in Maine. Each award covers tuition, room, and board for an intensive multi-day course of field study and

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Wild Haven’s New Amenities

Mon. Apr. 1, 2024

Wild Haven Nature Area is 103 acres located at 6900 O’Rear Road.  This impressive property includes a nearly mile long stretch of Perche Creek enjoyed by visitors who hike the Yellow trail.  The four well marked trails branch across the property’s different habitats, each offering different hiking experiences. The work of Columbia Audubon’s volunteers continues

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Columbia Audubon members were recently invited to tune into Burroughs Audubon Society’s monthly meetings and presentations. These are free webinars that may be of interest! You need to register in advance to get the link to the webinar, which you can do here: General Meetings < Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City Prothonotary Warblers:

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Columbia Audubon Society Board of Directors Meeting March 20, 2024  Meeting conducted at Boone Electric Cooperative Community Room Present: Lori Turner, John Besser, Judy Lincoln, Eric Seaman, Eric Wood, Shelby Thomas, Reed Gerdes, Greg Leonard, Louise Flenner Time called to order: 6:04 pm. Previous Minutes One Correction was made in the spelling of Dave Neely’s

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CAS Membership Potluck Picnic Sunday May 19th at Wild Haven  Nature Area from 3-7pm.    Lovely New Outhouse is operational. Nature Walk starts at 3:15. CAS will provide drinks, utensils, napkins, and table cloths. We will introduce our new officers and give a recap of the past year.

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Hummingbird Banding , HumGroup, and Related Hummingbird Banding Projects. We will learn about the delicate process of banding Missouri’s smallest birds, how and why Veronica got started; other banding groups, and what we can learn from this scientific activity. This will be presented in a powerpoint, there will not be live bird banding at this

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Join us on Wednesday, March 20th as we welcome Stephen Bybee to talk about his work in Columbia’s Kiwanis Park. Stephen serves as the Project Director for Missouri Conserva&on Corps, a local nonpro’t dedicated to engaging the community on invasive species, na&ve plants, and climate resilience. Since 2021, Missouri Conserva&on Corps has organized more than 45

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Note from the President

Fri. Mar. 1, 2024

I would like everyone to know that we have a Nominating Committee that is taking nominations for: President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer and Director. These are the positions that will be expiring on May 31st. Bill Mees and Lisa Schenker comprise the committee and they have a slate of candidates: President (2 yr. term): Lottie Bushmann

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The new pit latrine at Wild Haven is almost complete! Nature Areas Committee Members David Neely and Bill Mees have been hard at work getting this structure ready for use. We’ll have an update when it is completed, but meanwhile, know that the construction is very solid, and a lot of work has gone into

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Columbia Audubon Society Board of Directors Meeting February 21, 2024  Meeting conducted at Boone Electric Cooperative Present: Eric Wood, Lori Turner, Louise Flenner, Shelby Thomas, Eric Seaman Greg Leonard, Jim Gast, Bill Mees Time called to order: 6:00 pm  Previous minutes: Jim corrected last month’s minutes to reflect that the meeting started at 6:03, not

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Note from the President

Thu. Feb. 1, 2024

Our January Membership meeting was on the 17th. We had 15 members attend the presentation put on by local Biologist, Ben West, who works for USGS here in Columbia. His research focuses on the effects of oil spills on migratory birds and he gave a great presentation on which birds were most affected by the

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Mark Glenshaw is widely known for his work on owls in Forest Park in St. Louis. He will be speaking at the February membership meeting Feb. 21, 7pm at Boone Electric Cooperative (1413 Rangeline) in the Amp Room. See the full lising in the Events calendar. Do you ever see or hear an owl in

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Field Trip News & Notes

Thu. Feb. 1, 2024

Updates from the field trip co-coordinators: Seeking a ride-share coordinator It’s come to our attention that evening field trips and meetings may pose a barrier for those uncomfortable with driving at night. With board approval, we’re looking to set up a way for people in this situation to arrange a ride to field trips or

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The Missouri River Bird Observatory (https://mrbo.org) (MRBO) Winter Learning Series Webinars continue with topics of conservation concern in Missouri. Join MRBO for the webinars every Monday in February at 6:30 p.m. CST. February 5 – Rare Insects of Missouri and Their Conservation with Steve Buback, Missouri Department of Conservation Insects are the most diverse and

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Dick Luecke served as a Board Member on CAS between 1977-1980, and served as President in 1976-1977. He was remembered by longtime CAS members as being “a kind man and a good birder.” The following is the obituary that ran in the Missourian in January.   Richard H. Luecke, age 93 of Columbia, Missouri, passed

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In 2004, CAS was a founding member of the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative, an organization dedicated to all wild bird conservation. As a step-down organization from the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, MoBCI plays an important role in habitat improvement in Missouri, as well as larger role working to protect birds throughout their life cycle.

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CAS is an affiliate organization with the Conservation Federation of Missouri and also with the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative. CAS pledged a 200$ to MoBCI who offered a challenge grant to other MoBCI affiliates to serve as an official sponsor of the Grasslands Summit. MoBCI, with the help of CAS, will be listed as a

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Note from the President

Mon. Jan. 1, 2024

Happy New Year! I hope you are able to get out and do some first of the year birding today. We want to first thank you all for your generous donations to CoMoGives this year! We reached and even exceeded our goal of $10,000, ending the campaign with $10,470.00 all with loving donations from our

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The 2023 Columbia Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday December 16. Early birders faced light rain, but temperatures were mild and we persevered to generate a species list of 99 species. This list exceeded totals of 86 and 88 for the previous ‘covid years’ and was the highest tally since 102 species were seen

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The Effects of Oil Spills on Birds Parts of talk: • Two major oil spills that affected birds (Exxon-Valdez and Deepwater Horizon) • What kinds of birds are affected by oil spills? • How does oil affect birds? • Who is involved after an oil spill occurs and how do they help birds? • Initial

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When last we spoke (December 1st CHAT), we were waiting for the final step before the CANS prescribed burn, waiting for the weather conditions to coincide with the carefully designed “Burn Plan.” John Timmermann’s call came late afternoon December 13th: “Tomorrow is looking good for a burn.” The following morning, Bill Mees and John Besser

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Note from the President

Fri. Dec. 1, 2023

Last year at this time, I wrote about a Columbia resident that had 2 Rufous Hummingbirds at their feeder. As far as I know, that didn’t happen again this year. But, we do have a Limpkin, and as of November 29th it’s still present at Twin Lakes Recreation Area off of off Chapel Hill! It

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The weather is colder. Grasses, wildflowers and forbs are turning brown and drying out. A small dusting of the “white stuff” confirms it. It might be time to conduct a prescribed fire. That is the future for the prairie at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. Columbia Audubon Society has contracted with John Timmermann who specializes in

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CoMoGives Underway!

Fri. Dec. 1, 2023

CoMoGives officially began on Giving Tuesday – November 28th and runs through December 31st. We are excited to be part of this annual online fundraising drive once again that helps local nonprofits raise money to help our community. In 2022, 117 donors contributed over $11,000 to CAS through CoMoGives. Our goal during this year’s campaign

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Columbia Audubon Society is excited to announce our participation in the 2023 CoMoGives fundraising campaign for the 9th year running! This annual online fundraising drive for Mid-Missouri nonprofit organizations begins on the National Day of Giving – Tuesday, November 28th and runs through December 31st. 174 nonprofits are participating in CoMoGives this year and we

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Note from the President

Wed. Nov. 1, 2023

We had our first meeting at our new location on October 19th. I received some feedback from those who could attend. Sounds like we need to invest in a microphone and some speakers. I’ll be working on that so that we have it set up for November’s meeting which is on THURSDAY the 16th. You’ve

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CAS November meeting November 16, 7pm Boone Electric Community Bldg – Amp Room 1413 Rangeline St. TRAIL AND TRAP CAMERAS. Presented by Bill Palmer. Bill will explain how he uses remote cameras to capture otherwise impossible to get photographs of birds including hawks, eagles and warblers as well as mammals such as deer, coyotes, and

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The Columbia Audubon Society is accepting applications from mid-Missouri educators to attend a week long summer ecology or ornithology workshop at the National Audubon Society Camp on Hog Island in Maine. Scholarship recipients must be a teacher or nature educator working in Audrain, Boone, Cooper, Howard, Monroe, or Randolph counties. Each award covers tuition, room,

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The following is Bill Mees’ address at the dedication of the Council House at the Boone Count Nature School. The creation of the Council House was made possible by a generous donation from CAS. Several CAS members attended the dedication: Dave and Nancy Bedan, Lisa schenker, Lottie Bushmann and her husband, Jean Leonatti, June and

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New Benches at CANS

Wed. Nov. 1, 2023

Students from Fairview Elementary School visit Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary on occasion. Students often run to secure a seat on single benches scattered along the trails. This year, Ilia Dimov, working to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, has helped alleviate the scramble for seats. Ilia, with the help of scouts from Troop 708, has

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Honeybees Pollinate and….

Wed. Nov. 1, 2023

A previous issue of the CHAT presented the new trail-side interpretive pollinator sign. The first photos on the sign depict the European Honeybee as well as a typical white box bee hive. The honey bee was included for several reasons. Did you know, it is not a native insect. Early European colonists introduced the honeybee

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Note from the President

Sun. Oct. 1, 2023

With our new season we are pleased to announce all of our accomplishments for the fiscal year of 2022 to 2023. We hope to see you at our October meeting with Edge Wade presenting on her beginning at birding and at some of our fieldtrips! Check the Events listing for all the great events we

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Time really does fly. It was the fall of 2012 that Columbia Audubon Society sponsored the first field trip to Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary for second grade students. Since then, the field trip has grown each year until every Columbia Public Schools’ elementary school now participates. For those of you contemplating the numbers, that translates

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The Columbia Audubon Society, a founding member of the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative, will be donating 100$ after a CAS Board approval as a sponsorship match to MoBCI for the Conservation Federation of Missouri’s upcoming Grasslands Summit. CFM is partnering with MDC and NRCS to bring you the Missouri Grasslands Summit, a three day event

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October Workdays at CANS Prairie We need volunteers on two workdays in Early October to help prepare for a prescribed burn on the CANS prairie: Saturday October 7 — Seed Collection. We will collect native grass seed from the established prairie planting. This seed will be used to over- seed portions of the existing prairie

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CAS Board Meeting Minutes for Sept 26, 2023 Attending: Lori Turner, Judy Lincoln Eric Seamon, Lottie Bushmann, Lisa Schenker, Shelby Thomas, Greg Leonard, Eric Wood, John Besser, Bill Mees, Allison Vaughn, Jim Gast, Reed Gerdes Meeting called to order 6:03pm April minutes were approved after a spelling correction of MoBCI. Jim Gast moved, Eric Wood

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Note from the President

Fri. Sep. 1, 2023

It’s the end of an era for Columbia Audubon Society. We have been holding our monthly meetings for decades at the Universalist Unitarian Church in their sanctuary. Earlier this year, they asked us to move our meetings to the basement meeting room. This got us thinking – should we consider moving to a more modern

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Summer at the Nature Areas

Fri. Sep. 1, 2023

Summer means school is out, and there’s no homework. But for Columbia Audubon’s nature areas, summer is the growing season, the time when the work really begins at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary and Wild Haven Nature Area.. Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary The deer exclosures erected in the late spring are already demonstrating the damage associated

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Sometimes we can work together to provide for the preservation of birds and mitigate the effect of expanding human encroachment on their territory. I recently had a positive experience working with Parks and Rec Dept.in Columbia on their plan for a mountain bike trail at Gans Creek Recreation Area (GCRA). When the City acquired the

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Columbia Audubon Society Open House Picnic will be held Sunday September 17th at Wild Haven Nature Area, 6900 E. O’Rear Road, 3-6:30 p.m. Columbia Audubon members, friends and neighbors are invited to stop by, starting at 3 p.m., to learn about chimney Swift roosting improvements recently completed at Wild Haven Nature Area as well as

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Part four in an occasional series, Birds in Big Numbers Chimney Swifts are master flyers that spend virtually all daylight hours on the wing, fueling their flight with a diet of insects. As long-distance migrants, they spend the summer breeding season in North America and the winter in South America. Commonly described as “cigars with

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Missouri Conservation Corps would like to thank the members of the Columbia Audubon Society for helping to coordinate and lead an educational bird hike in Columbia’s Kiwanis Park this spring. In May 2023, CAS president Lori Turner and members Eric and Joanna Reuter, Jim Gast, and John Besser organized and facilitated a bird hike and

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On August 24-25, the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative hosted its 19th annual conference at the Columbia Country Club. This year’s theme centered around conservation efforts in urban and suburban areas of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation’s One Health Initiative, a focus on expanding conservation into underserved or otherwise compromised areas. Nature Areas Committee

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Hi all! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer – or at least finding some ways to survive the drought! I know our folks have already felt like they have had a long hot (and dry) summer and we are only half way through it. But, with it turning into July we thought it would

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Registration is now live for the 2023 MoBCI Conference to be held Thursday-Friday August 24-25 at the Columbia Country Club. The theme this year is One Health: Community Conservation in Missouri, centered around MDC’s recent initiative to expand their conservation funding to urban and suburban areas. Registration can be found here.  Along that theme, this

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The First Friday Bird Hikes at 3M continue to be very popular and in the news. On Friday, June 2, birders were joined by a KRCG reporter  who wrote the following article with a lot of great photos. See here

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Boone County, Missouri, birders have maintained the tradition of a spring migration count, although no state or national migration count currently exists. This countywide effort, which takes place on the traditional Big Day (second-Saturday in May), is an opportunity for many birders in the area to team up to find and count birds in their

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In a recent meeting with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Columbia Audubon learned that Eagle Bluffs CA will be providing regular updates on the status of the pumps. MDC has provided CAS and MBS with a lot of information that can be found in the link. See here

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Note from the President

Mon. May. 1, 2023

I’m sorry if you had to miss our April presentation, Forest Park Owls: Hiding in Plain Site. Those in attendance listened as Mark H.X. Glenshaw told stories from his 18 years of studying the pair of Great Horned Owls in Forest Park that he lovingly named Charlie and Sarah. I don’t want to give any

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Nature Areas Notes

Mon. May. 1, 2023

    Lots of activity at the two primary nature sanctuaries, CANS and Wild Haven. If you haven’t been out lately, wildflowers and migration are in full swing! At Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS): We have been watching the emergence of various seedlings on the west side of the creek, which was seeded in winter

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Columbia Audubon Society will continue its tradition of doing a Boone County-wide Bird Count on the second Saturday of May). Our count will be held on the same day the ‘Global Big Day’ promoted by eBird, and all the data from the Boone County count will be entered into eBird, so participants will be able

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The March issue of The CHAT informed you that construction had begun on the Boone County Nature School’s Council House.  At that time, the ground had been leveled and concrete forms identified the outline of the yet-to-be poured concrete floor. Today, there is more progress to report.  Photos taken April 26 show the structure nearing

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April Meeting Minutes-April 19

Mon. May. 1, 2023

Columbia Audubon Society Board of Directors Meeting April 19, 2023  Meeting conducted at Unitarian Universalist Church Present: Lori Turner, Louise Flenner, Judy Lincoln, Eric Seaman, Lottie Bushmann, Jim Gast, John Besser, Shelby Thomas, Bill Mees Time called to order: 6:05 pm Treasurer’s Report Eric Seaman reports the Community foundation is one month behind in releasing

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Notice of Election

Mon. Apr. 3, 2023

Notice of Election Pursuant to Article IV D section 2 of the by-laws, notice is given of an election for candidates for the board of directors to be held at the general meeting on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023. The meeting starts at 7:00 PM and will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia.

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Note from the President

Sat. Apr. 1, 2023

Happy Spring! I hope everyone is getting out to see their first of the season birds. Frank and I have been busy moving into our forever home on just over 18 acres in Harrisburg. Our property has 2 creeks running through it and we have American Woodcocks in our backyard!! I plan on having field

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I recently became aware of the app PocketSights Tour Guide which allows universities, community organizations and individuals to create tour routes. The app uses GPS allow the user to follow a path while providing content and images about various points of interest. Since individuals can use the app for free, I designed a tour through

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Spring Field Trips and More

Sat. Apr. 1, 2023

Spring is here, and migration is getting underway! A variety of CAS field trips and other community birding opportunities are coming up, so check out the offerings and mark your calendar.  As always, reminder notifications of CAS events go out by email; if you’re not already on the email list, be sure to sign up.

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If your best guess for the definition of “acrocarp” involves something about a gymnastically talented fish, then you should consider taking part in the recently developed self-guided moss walk at Wild Haven Nature Area. You’ll learn what an acrocarp actually is, but the walk isn’t about memorizing scientific jargon. Instead, it’s an opportunity to become

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The April membership meeting will be held April 19, 7pm at the Universalist Unitarian Church. Our presentation will be by Mark H.X. Glenshaw who is an award-winning naturalist who has closely observed and documented the lives of Great Horned Owls in Forest Park, a large urban park in St. Louis, Missouri, since December 2005.  Mark’s

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Local birder and Columbia Audubon Society friend Chelsea Mosteller made the CoMoKIDS section of the Columbia Missourian! See here for a link to an article about her recent project that will help young birders learn their birds!  

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Boone County Nature School Council House Several years ago, Columbia Audubon Society made a donation of $30,000 for the construction of a Council House at the Boone County Nature School.  Members’ excitement about the project was exceeded only by the pride of having been one of the original supporters of the first-of-its-kind Nature School. Then

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Note from the President

Wed. Mar. 1, 2023

Wow, it’s already March?! This year is already passing by faster than ever. Back in November the board approved the purchase of a new interpretive sign that will be mounted at CANS, close to the parking lot. The sign will be designed to help educate visitors on pollinators and how they use our prairie for

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Birds in Australia: Australia and the continental USA have about the same land area and number of bird species – 900 more or less – even though most of Australia consists of deserts and other arid landscapes. I will show a video that consists of photographs and video collected over about three years of periodic

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Time really does seem to fly. After two years of preparation work Columbia Audubon Society seeded 15 acres with native Missouri grasses and forbs on January 21, 2016. This process converted what was a fescue dominated pasture to a facsimile of a prairie. The summer of 2022 was the seventh growing season for the prairie

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Missouri Conservation Corps began as a volunteer effort to simply cut and remove the honeysuckle growing in Columbia’s Kiwanis Park.  Before our group was formed, now-MCC board member Steve Johnson lived across the street from Kiwanis Park and had been working with some neighbors to clear the honeysuckle.  I became involved in this effort in

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Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the January 2023 CAS board meeting: Committee Reports Nature Areas  John Besser reports that Bill Mees got information from the city of Columbia on the deer hunt at Bonnie View near CANS. The

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Note from the President

Wed. Feb. 1, 2023

Happy February! I hope everyone got some good New Year birding in. I’ve been quite content watching birds from the comfort of a chair inside my house. It can be difficult finding time to go birding and I find myself putting it on the bottom of the list. For our January Membership meeting we had

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Part three in an occasional series, Birds in Big Numbers If you want to see as much biomass of a single bird species as possible, at one place and time in the state of Missouri, what should you be looking for? A blackbird roost hosting millions of birds? Nope. A high-density commercial poultry house? Nope.

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Come enjoy the experiences and expertise of long-time Master falconer, Steve Heying, as he gives a presentation on “Falconry” Wednesday, Feb 15th, at 7pm at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, 2615 Shepard Blvd. Steve’s history in falconry began in 1964 with a Passage Goshawk. Steve has had a hawk in his care everyday since 1968. Steve is

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MDC welcomes the new state ornithologist, Kristen Heath-Acre. Kristen has worked in a variety of ecological settings from Panama to the Texas plains, demonstrating a passion for learning and developing new skills. She is currently employed by the University of Missouri – Columbia as an MDC and Mark Twain National Forest collaborator in a lead

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Columbia Parks and Recreation Department posted a flyer at CANS that notifies people that there will be a prescribed fire at the Bonnie View NS prairie. This is the first prescribed burn at this prairie that was seeded January 2016.  With much planning and with a good outcome, this will be the first burn with

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The final tally for the 2022 Christmas Bird Count is published below. Special thanks to John Besser for working through all the eBird reports to pull this information together! COLUMBIA CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT — DECEMBER 17 2022 TALLY SHEET — ALL BIRDS SPECIES Taxon Total: Snow Goose 751 Ross’s Goose 20 Greater White-fronted Goose 151

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Note from the President

Sun. Jan. 1, 2023

Another year has passed and we can now celebrate the new year. We have so many things to be thankful for – one is being able to assemble for the Chili Supper after a very cold, windy Christmas Bird Count. This year’s CBC fell on December 17th. There are so many people that make the

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It is hard to put into words what it means to the CAS board that so many members, neighbors, friends and family members donated during this holiday season to help us reach our goal of raising $10,000. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking the time out of your busy schedule during the most hectic time

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Join the Missouri River Bird Observatory this winter for a free webinar series about birds. The flyer below lists the full schedule.  Registration and events in January can be found here

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Field Trips

Sun. Jan. 1, 2023

We’re excited to take on the role of field trip co-coordinators for CAS and have a lot of ideas for fun and diverse events. Here’s a brief update on what’s happened recently, what’s upcoming, and how CAS members can get involved. Past trip report First Friday walks at 3M Wetlands from September to December attracted

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After the busy holiday season and Christmas Bird Count, we can slow down and pay attention to individual birds in their environment and their place in it. More than numbers on a list, we can come away with memorable insights and more understanding. Here’s a note from our hostess: “Hey there, I’m Bridget Butler. I’ve

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CAS Makes a Difference Through Education and Outreach With the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count behind us, and 2023 ahead of us, it’s almost time to start making new bird lists! It’s also a good time to make a list of the many ways that Columbia Audubon has participated in Outreach and Education missions this

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CAS Teacher Scholarships

Wed. Dec. 7, 2022

Molly Wheatley was the 2020 recipient of a CAS Teacher Scholarship. Because of COVID, she attended the Hog Island Audubon Camp in 2022. I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Hog Island, Maine studying birds. As a teacher, science is one of my favorite topics. My students loved the unit on bird watching!

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Pollinators are needed to produce one out of every three bites of food you eat. There are over 450 species of bees in Missouri. Flies, spiders, beetles and even birds and bats can be pollinators. Insect pollinators live a portion of their lives as a caterpillar. A pair of Black-capped Chickadees will feed their hatchlings

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ComoGives Underway!

Thu. Dec. 1, 2022

CoMoGives officially began on Giving Tuesday – November 29th and runs through December 31st. We are excited to be part of this annual online fundraising drive once again that helps local nonprofits raise money to help our community. In 2021, 113 donors contributed over $11,000 to CAS through CoMoGives. Our goal during this year’s campaign

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Note from the President

Thu. Dec. 1, 2022

Columbia had a rare visitor in November. Amanda Jackson lives in south Columbia and emailed me on November 4th with a picture attached of a hummingbird she thought could be an Allen’s. I sent the picture to people that know more that I – a Rufous Hummingbird would be the most likely species this time

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Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the November 21, 2022 CAS board meeting: Treasurer’s Report Eric Seaman reports money was transferred from the PayPal Account to the General Account to increase security. Nature Areas John Besser reports a large,

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The opportunity to observe millions of blackbirds in a single roosting site is back! In January 2020, Joanna and I first reported a massive concentration of blackbirds using a winter roost site in northern Boone County. Many viewers were drawn to the site by the fascinating spectacle of millions of birds flooding into a single

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Columbia Audubon Society is blessed with “silver linings” in the form of wonderful members who volunteer their time and expertise. The properties owned by CAS are another example of a silver lining. Among the properties owned is Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS) – a great birding destination open to the public. If clouds can have

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Months ago, the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department was making plans to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the founding of Columbia. Included in the celebration was the recognition of trees in Columbia that were present to “see” the establishment of Columbia, Missouri. Columbia Audubon Society was contacted to confirm interest in participating in the celebration

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Nature Area Notes

Thu. Dec. 1, 2022

CANS Stream Team On Wednesday, November 9, Bill Mees and I met with Sarah Davis, leader of a stream team that is interested in monitoring water quality of Scotts Branch Creek. We walked the creek from our footbridge downstream to the city boardwalk. There wasn’t much stream to find, only a series of pools with

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The following letter came from Ragan Webb of Columbia Public Schools after the Band With Nature program last month. Many thanks to all who support this program. Following the letter is a list of birds banded and recaptured this year. Audubon Board and Members- Thank you so much for your support of CPS Science, especially

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Columbia Audubon Society is excited to announce our participation in the 2022 CoMoGives fundraising campaign for the 8th year running! This annual online fundraising drive for Mid-Missouri nonprofit organizations begins on the National Day of Giving – Tuesday, November 29th and runs through December 31st. 152 nonprofits are participating in CoMoGives this year and we

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The following comments were drafted by our former Conservation Chair to Planning and Zoning regarding zoning siting guidelines for renewable energy in Columbia. The board voted to support and send the comments. To: Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission The National Audubon Society and our local group strongly support properly sited photovoltaic solar power that

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Note from the President

Tue. Nov. 1, 2022

Happy November to you! Our CAS board members have been busy continuing our mission of nature education and habitat preservation. Lottie Bushmann and Lisa Schenker – our Education Co-chairs – visited several CPS elementary school classes throughout October talking about birds and nature. Some of the talks involved hands-on activities that got the students engaged

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The Education and Outreach Committee has had a busy fall. Lisa Schenker and Lottie Bushmann were able to meet with all 3 5th grade classrooms at Fairview Elementary School over 2 days at the end of September. Each class had a tutorial on binocular use and then an hourlong bird walk. The children did a

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Songbird Station, a longtime Columbia Audubon corporate partner, has announced that it will donate 5% of seasonal and holiday décor and collectible purchases made between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25, 2022, to either Columbia Audubon Society or Mobility Worldwide. Customers must request the donation and designate the charity at the time of purchase. Songbird Station

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Registry for Access to MU Agriculture Research Sites Is Open for Permit Registration Birders are being offered renewal of the privilege of birding on several University of Missouri agricultural research sites in central Missouri. The Missouri Birding Society (MBS), with the approval of MU administrators, has developed a registry system for birders wishing to access

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Note from the President

Sat. Oct. 1, 2022

Wow, September flew by!! I hope everyone is getting out and enjoying those fall migrants. I wasn’t able to attend the MBS Fall Meeting that was in Columbia this past weekend but saw reports from fellow birders enjoying the field trips. My fondest birding memories have been made on field trips. There’s something special about

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Introducing the CANS Bee Hive

Sat. Oct. 1, 2022

After several years absence, honeybees have been reintroduced to the prairie section of the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. This is not to say that wild honeybees have not been living in the forested area of the Audubon sanctuary or that honeybees from the hive at Fairview Elementary School have not been foraging in the prairie,

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites landowners to a prescribed burn workshop on Oct. 14 and 15. The field day portion will be available both days, but participants should only attend one day. Prescribed burning can be a valuable tool for managing native plant diversity and controlling undesirable vegetation, but it

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Bird Watching Uses and Expectations at the Central Missouri Research, Extension and Education Center (CM-REEC) https://moaes.missouri.edu/central-missouri-research-extension-and-education-center/ Eleven properties totaling 7,200 acres in Central Missouri. Baskett Forest, Bradford Research Farm, DeLine Community Research Site, Duley-Miller Erosion Plots, Foremost Dairy, Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Farm, Rocheford Turkey Research Farm, Sanborn Field, Sorenson Estate, South Farm, and Beef

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Bill Mees, longtime steward of the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS) prepared a formal statement that he presented before the Columbia City Council urging their acceptance of adding Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary to the city’s managed deer hunt schedule. After months of research, twig browse surveys, and anecdotal evidence, the Nature Areas Committee and longtime

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It’s Volunteer Time for Band with Nature Every fall since 2012 Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) has sponsored a field trip we call Band with Nature.  This event invites every second-grade student in Columbia Public Schools for an educational visit to Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. The students participate in a bird banding demonstration, dissecting owl pellets,

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Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the September 21, 2022 CAS board meeting: Nature Areas John Besser has agreed to be the new Nature Areas Chair. Bill Mees reports the STEM alliance had a photography program highlighting nature photography

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is nearing the finish line! It would provide $1.4 billion a year to states and Tribes to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered in every corner of the country, including roughly $21 million to Missouri. It has support from Democrats and Republicans, and it just passed the House of Representatives because people

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Eastern Bluebird Trail at CANS

Sat. Oct. 1, 2022

Columbia Audubon Society and the City of Columbia partner to support the survival of the Eastern Bluebird (EABL) through the establishment and monitoring of the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS) and Bonnie View (BV) nest box trails.  The BV nest box trail is easily accessed from Rollins Road near Fairview on the North and intersects

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In Memoriam: Susan Hazelwood

Thu. Sep. 1, 2022

The Missouri birding community lost a dear friend this week.  Susan Hazelwood passed away Sunday, August 28th after a long battle with cancer. Susan’s contributions to non-profit organizations in Missouri are inspiring and we cannot measure the positive impact she has had to our Missouri birding community and habitat restoration efforts. Susan joined Columbia Audubon

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Note from the President

Thu. Sep. 1, 2022

Happy September! I hope you were able to stay cool during the hot, dry summer we had.  Fall is almost hear and for some, it’s the best season of all—cooler weather, pumpkin patches, beautiful fall colors, bike rides on the trail and migrating birds.  It’s always been my favorite season and this year it will

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Science always starts with a question. Scientists then design a study to find the answer. How many bumble bee species reside in Missouri? How are they distributed across the state? Are populations stable, increasing, or decreasing? These and other questions will be answered by the Missouri Bumble Bee Atlas. The MBBA will assist natural resource

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September  18th is our kick off meeting and picnic for CAS! It will be held at the Bonnie View Shelter near Rollins roundabout NW of Fairview School. We have the shelter rented from 4-8.  Bring your own picnic supper and beverage. Utensils provided. Socializing until 6pm At 6:45, Andrew Biggs, Assistant Director from MU Research Extension

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The CoMoGives campaign kicks off in late November, and as part of CAS’s campaign, we like to send out a charismatic winter bird postcard. We’re looking for a high resolution image that will be printed on a large format postcard to mail out to members and donors from years past. Credit will be given to

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During the summer, everything seems to slow down a little, but nothing really stops.  In fact, for CAS habitat restoration efforts quicken. AT CANS, many seedlings were planted in early spring with the intention of re-establishing some of Missouri’s missing brushy, bushy species.  Unfortunately, the heat combined with the lack of precipitation conspired to thwart

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Thank you all who have donated to help fund the research project that will be stationed in Colombia to monitor Cerulean Warblers on their wintering grounds! This is an amazing opportunity for USFWS to collaborate with SELVA to gather data and will surely be the start of many collaborative projects for other neotropical migrants in

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Sarah Kendrick, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Midwest Motus Coordinator, has teamed up with SELVA, a non-profit conservation group dedicated to studying and learning more about migration in Colombia, to start a 2-year long research project that needs our help.  SELVA will be Motus radio-tagging Cerulean Warblers (CERWs) on their wintering grounds in

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AREA: COUNT: SPECIES: 1 625 59 2 252 40 3 436 65 4 1074 90 5 0 0 6 3 1 7 1225 88 8 1790 98 9 262 53 10A 2708 133 10B 273 53 10C 0 0 11 1492 92 12 1230 90 13 454 71 ALL 11822 169 Here (below) is the

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by Sarah Kendrick, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Biologist and Midwest Motus Coordinator The Columbia Motus station has its first Motus tag detection – and it has a great story! In late 2021, a Motus station was purchased by CAS in honor of Brad Jacobs and placed in partnership with the Missouri Department

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by Brady Lichtenberg, Missouri Department of Conservation We’ve received some questions about the tree removal projects we’ve been working on for the past few years at Eagle Bluffs CA, so I am hopeful that this article will help to answer the common ones. In pool 2, we removed mostly cottonwoods and some willows because waterfowl

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Note from the President

Sun. May. 1, 2022

This is my last column as president of Columbia Audubon Society. I regret that we weren’t able to meet in person more often, but I think the Zoom meetings worked out well. I have enjoyed sharing eBird tidbits with you and hope that you found them useful. I want to thank Nancy Bedan for doing

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The highest rank obtainable in Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts of America) is the rank of Eagle Scout.  There are many requirements necessary to receive the final rank including multiple merit badges, active leadership and participation in the scout’s troop and completing an Eagle project.  The project is selected by the scout and must provide

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Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the April, 2022 CAS board and general membership meetings: COLUMBIA AUDUBON SOCIETYBOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGApril 20, 2022 Meeting conducted online via Zoom Treasurer’s Report Eric Seaman notes that CAS funds managed by the

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 There’s a lot happening in April. There are field trips, an in-person program and our election of board members.  Be sure to visit our website, https://www.columbia-audubon.org/, for all the details.  While you’re there, you can read a Missourian article about the Columbia Motus station. April Program I hope you’ll attend our April membership meeting. We

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Pursuant to Article IV D section 2 of the by-laws, notice is given of an election for candidates for the board of directors to be held at the general meeting on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.  The meeting starts at 7:00 PM and will be held at the Twin Lakes shelter. The candidates for office are:

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CAS has applied for a second grant to cover the cost of the installation of an interpretive panel discussing the pollinators that use CANS on the prairie. Grant dollars will pay for the hardware and laminated panel, while all content and graphic design, as well as photos, will be donated by CAS members or other

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Spring is finally here and the number of nice days is increasing.  Migration is almost here too, just ask the Eastern Phoebes who are already here fly catching.  But all property owners, whether birders or not, know it’s time to start spiffing up the yard and planning the garden.  This is true for Columbia Audubon

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As mentioned in the March issue of the Chat, Columbia Audubon is beginning to examine the impacts of deer herbivory on plant life at CANS. For two days in early March, I joined Bill Mees who oversees management of CANS to collect deer browse information on the site’s shrubs. In late winter when supple buds

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Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the March 16, 2022 CAS board meeting: 2022–2023 Budget Jim Gast encourages the board to look over the proposed budget for the coming season and let Eric Seaman know if there are any

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The Missourian published their article about the new Motus tower CAS funded in honor of Brad Jacobs. Here’s a link to the article: https://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/local/a-new-migratory-tracking-station-detects-birds-as-they-fly-over-columbia/article_06be9592-9a44-11ec-8594-a306405b0545.html

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The State Historical Society of Missouri is hosting a revolving exhibit in the gallery of watercolor paintings by wildlife artist David Plank. Some of you may be familiar with his prints that we offered as premium gifts for donations to CoMoGives several years ago, one of a Northern cardinal and the other of an Eastern

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March Program moves to March 23rd. We have a treat in store for Columbia Audubon members in March. Instead of our regular March 16th membership meeting, CAS is co-hosting a Warbler Identification Webinar, via Zoom, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23rd . The webinar will be presented by Dr. Sara Morris, who teaches field

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Columbia Audubon is seeking another grant donation from Boone Electric for CANS to promote our restoration efforts in the way of funding another interpretive panel. The theme of this panel will be the pollinators of CANS. We are seeking photos of pollinators taken from CANS itself, not wanting to muddy the waters with pollinators from

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Ever find yourself frustrated with hard-to-identify warblers? Struggling with the less-distinct female and juvenile birds? Columbia Audubon is teaming up with the Missouri Birding Society and the Missouri River Bird Observatory to sponsor a warbler identification webinar, via Zoom, on Wednesday, March 23, from 7-9 p.m. The webinar, titled “Tips, Tricks and Tools for Warbler

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Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the February 15, 2022 CAS board meeting: Nominating Committee Shelby Thomas reports a slate of candidates is still being assembled for the next election. Jim Gast will place another call for candidates in

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 Election I have appointed Lori Turner, Shelby Thomas and Laura Hillman to be the nominating committee for this year’s election which will be held in April. We need candidates for president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and board member. If you are interested in becoming an officer or want to nominate someone (make sure that person

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https://www.columbiamissourian.com/innovations/education/green-future-students-build-houses-to-understand-eco-friendly-architecture/article_5edc3da2-544d-11ec-9c31-9f481be5cd46.html Congratulations to Smithton Middle School teacher Heather Jones, who was featured in the Columbia Missourian’s Jan. 27 “Innovations in Education” special section. Heather received a scholarship from Columbia Audubon to participate in Educator’s Week at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine. Read the full article in the link above about how she brought her skills

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ComoGives Campaign 2021 Report

Tue. Feb. 1, 2022

2021 marked Year 7 of participation by CAS! Thank you CoMoGives donors! Thanks to the generosity of 115 donors, CAS will add approximately $11,000 to our treasury.  CAS was also awarded a Challenge Grant from CoMoGives in the amount of $500 for raising the second highest amount among organizations with an operating budget of $25,000

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The mission of the Columbia Audubon Society is “to preserve the natural world and its ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife, and the earth’s biological diversity through education, environmental study and habitat restoration and protection.” As such, and as a land managing organization, we aim to preserve and protect our land holdings for the

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Nature Area Notes

Tue. Feb. 1, 2022

Progress of CANS Prairie Expansion After several years of preparation, we successfully spread native grass and wildflower seed in the 6-acre expansion of the CANS prairie restoration, located on the west side of Scott Branch Creek (map). This project started with removal of Eastern Redcedar that had invaded the former cow pasture, followed by two

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Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the January 18, 2021 CAS board meeting: Audit Committee Report The Audit Committee (comprised of Boyd Terry and Judy Lincoln) has completed their review of CAS financial accounts for the last fiscal year.

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Note from the President

Sat. Jan. 1, 2022

Happy New Year and here’s to a wonderful 2022.   CoMoGives Campaign Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we raised $10,507 for the 2021 CoMoGives campaign. January Program Join us—via Zoom—for Columbia Audubon’s January program, Bird Nests–The Wonder of Avian Engineering  on Wednesday, January 19th at 7:00 PM. Paige Witek, education coordinator for the

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Nature Area Notes

Sat. Jan. 1, 2022

 Wild Haven prescribed fire On December 2, a crew of 15 volunteers conducted a 20-acre prescribed burn in the creek valley west of the Wild Haven picnic area. Volunteers came from CAS, Boy Scout troop 242, and from ‘SAFE’, the MU student forestry club. Because many of our crew had limited experience, burn boss Roxie

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This fall’s unseasonably warm weather continued on December 18, the day of the Columbia Christmas Bird Count. Temperatures were mostly in the 40s, above normal for the date, although the risk wind made it feel a bit colder and may have kept some birds in heavy cover. The turnout of count volunteers was high as

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Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the December 15, 2021 CAS board meeting: Committee Reports Conservation Dee Dokken presented a position paper circulating to various civic groups that CAS may sign urging the Columbia City Council to “develop a

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How to Enter CBC Data in eBird

Thu. Dec. 2, 2021

COUNT AND IDENTIFY BIRDS: This is the fun part! PREPARE ONE OR MORE EBIRD CHECKLISTS, using Mobile eBird app (e.g., on your smartphone) or eBird website (eBird.org) or Ask someone in your group for help with eBird data entry. DATA ENTRY DETAILS: Select an existing eBird hotspot or personal location or click on your location

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Note from the President

Wed. Dec. 1, 2021

Happy Holidays! I can’t believe it’s already December. I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. CoMoGives: The 2021 CoMoGives campaign has started.  This campaign is Columbia Audubon’s major fundraising campaign, and this year we have a goal of $10,000. I cannot wait to see what this year’s postcard looks like–it features a beautiful photo of

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Late in the 19thCentury, an annual Christmas Day celebration centered around a “side hunt.” A “side hunt” would land you in a federal courtroom in 2021. But, in the days before conservation was an issue, teams would form, and each team would try to kill as many birds (and other wildlife) as possible in a

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With all our section leaders in place for this year, the Christmas Bird Count is a go! Thankfully, birding is a safe, outdoor activity and we have plenty of birders in Columbia that plan to do just that. We will plan to send out our teams on Saturday Dec. 18th. Please contact your section leader

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The Missouri Department of Conservation has adopted new rules requiring fee-based permits for commercial photography or videography on MDC conservation areas. These permits cover any activity that “directly or indirectly results in financial benefit or gain.” MDC confirmed, in writing, that this has no exemptions, applying even to hobby photographers selling a few pictures at

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Nature Area Notes

Wed. Dec. 1, 2021

Six years have passed since we have conducted a prescribed fire in the open oak woodlands at Wild Haven. Our management goal for this area is to use periodic, low-intensity fire to maintain the open understory of the woodland and to help control invasive woody shrubs like Autumn Olive and Bush Honeysuckle. We’d like to

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Eighteen birders showed up to walk together at 3M wetlands on Friday, November 5, the first of our “First Friday” Bird Walks. It was a beautiful, frosty morning and pretty chilly when we started, but we had low winds, warm sun and plenty of birds to study. Sparrow populations here are strong. The group found

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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: Present: Doug Miller, Jim Gast, Bill Mees, Nancy Bedan, Shelby Thomas, John Besser, Jean Neely, Eric Seaman, David Wood, Allison Vaughn Treasurer’s Report Eric Seaman reports that U.S. Bank began

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You may recall that Columbia Audubon Society opposed a development of 113 houses just north of the Gans Creek Wild Area in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Although the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission has rejected plans for this subdivision in their current form, this process has exposed larger questions about planning issues impacting the

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Note from the President

Mon. Nov. 1, 2021

I can’t believe it’s already November. Lottie Bushmann’s First Friday Field Trip kicks off on November 5th. Contact Lottie at  lottie.bushmann@gmail.com for more information. The CoMoGives campaign starts on Tuesday, November 30th (Giving Tuesday). November Program Features Missouri Parks Association We’re going back to the Zoom format for our November 17th membership meeting. Two special

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Band With Nature at CANS 2021

Mon. Nov. 1, 2021

The weather was “iffy” at best for the 2nd grade field trip, Raptor Rehab was unsure they would be able to attend, MRBO was going to offer a program not attempted with this age group and the banding station was all new staff from Rockbridge High School.  With this prelude, what could possibly go wrong?

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A rainy Friday night did not deter over 250 people from attending the first-ever “Crepuscular Creepl” sponsored by Columbia Public Schools Science Department and Columbia Audubon Society. 125 carved pumpkins lit by glow sticks were displayed on the concrete trail from the entrance of Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, down the path and across the boardwalk,

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Approximately 35 Columbia Audubon members and special guests participated in an all-day “Big Sit” on Saturday, Oct. 16, at MU’s Bradford Farm–our first CAS field event since spring 2020. Vicki Park, Edge Wade, Noah Strycker, Lottie Bushmann and Paul McKenzie talk birds.  Noah Strycker, author of “Birding Without Borders,” joined us for most of the

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CoMo Gives Begins November 30!

Mon. Nov. 1, 2021

Columbia Audubon Society will be participating in the annual CoMoGives online community fundraising campaign for area non-profit organizations.  148 organizations are participating in CoMoGives this year. CAS has participated in CoMoGives for six years.  Over $48,000 has been raised for CAS during past CoMoGives campaigns.  This is the only fundraising effort for Columbia Audubon Society. 

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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: Committee Reports Communications The question is raised about whether to send out e-mails promoting events not hosted by CAS, but that might be of interest to the CAS membership. Since

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Due to the recap of the Open House at Wildhaven Nature Area in the President’s note, this article will also serve as the Nature Areas Update. Conservation Chair I am pleased to announce that Dee Dokken is our new Conservation Chair. Dee joined the board in September.  She also serves as Conservation Chair for the

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To follow up on Noah Strycker’s presentation at MU on the evening of October 15, Noah will participate in the CAS ‘Big Sit’ on Saturday October 16 at the University’s Bradford Research and Extension Center (4968 S. Range Line Rd., Columbia, MO 65201). We will count and identify birds seen from our Big Sit count

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Pumpkin carvers needed! Below is a flyer that Mike Szydlowski has designed to advertise the pumpkin walk at CANS.  CAS as a Partner in Education is cooperating with the Columbia Public Schools’ Science Department for a pumpkin walk fund raiser.  Funds raised will assist students to participate in the extracurricular educational field trips to Grand

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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: Treasurer’s Report Eric Seaman notes the receipt of a $100 donation intended for the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS), in memory of a North Boone County resident who liked to

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In preparation for the upcoming Open House and Picnic at Wild Haven, we plan to do some clean-up around the picnic area on Saturday Sept. 11. We have ordered a roll-off dumpster and we plan to dispose of some fencing and some landscaping timbers. We also hope to demolish and dump one or both of

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Note from the President

Wed. Sep. 1, 2021

Welcome Back!  I hope you had an enjoyable summer. Conservation Chair Brooke Widmar, our Conservation Chair, is moving out of town so we need a new one. Job duties include: being alert to conservation issues including the conservation priorities of the National Audubon Society and of Missouri-based organizations such as the Conservation Federation of Missouri,

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We hope you can make it! Open House and Picnic Scheduled at Wild Haven Nature Area on Sept. 19 Columbia Audubon Society members, friends and neighbors are invited to an Open House and Picnic at Wild Haven Nature Area on Sunday, Sept. 19, from 3-6:30 p.m. CAS leaders will be on hand to visit with

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CAS CoMoGives Committee needs your help! The CAS CoMoGives Committee is seeking original, high-resolution photographs of a bird or multiple birds in winter for use in print and on-line materials during our upcoming CoMoGives campaign.  You will be given full citation/credit for sharing your photography skills. Dig back in your photo archives to find your

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“Superstar” Birder Noah Strycker to Speak at MU Noah Strycker, author and self-described “bird man,” will visit Columbia on Friday, Oct. 15, as the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Friends of Mizzou Botanic Garden. Columbia Audubon is co-sponsoring the event, along with the Missouri Birding Society, the MU Department of Fisheries and

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Each year, the Columbia Audubon Society earmarks dollars from our Education Fund to send a teacher to the National Audubon Society’s Hog Island Camp for educators. This summer, we sent a few teachers, and here’s a report from recipient Heather Jones on her experience:  It’s hard to put into words how attending Hog Island’s Educator

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Columbia Audubon Society Bylaws Adopted Date of Vote,      2021 Article I:  Name This organization shall be known as the Columbia Audubon Society, Incorporated, hereinafter called Society. Article II:  Purpose Section 1. The purpose and objectives of this Society shall be to preserve the natural world and its ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and the

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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: Committee Reports Nature Areas Bill Mees reports that one of the white oaks at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary is already being listed as a point of interest, as part of

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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected just about everything Columbia Audubon Society  has done over  the past year, but we have fought to maintain some of our traditions, including the Boone County-wide bird count held on the traditional ‘Big Day’, the second Saturday in May. Our ability to conduct this count during the pandemic has a

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Nature Area Notes

Sun. May. 23, 2021

NATURE AREA NOTES, May 2021 Progress at Wild Haven It’s been a busy year at Wild Haven, Columbia Audubon’s largest nature area. All the work that has been put into the area really shows, and we hope it will achieve our goal of making the area more welcoming and increasing public use of the area.

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Note from the President

Sat. May. 1, 2021

Board Election Results Congratulations to Greg Leonard who won re-election to the board. He will be serving another three-year term as director. Picnic on May 22nd Instead of a monthly meeting for May, we will be holding a picnic at Wild Haven on Saturday, May 22nd from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Provided there is

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Changes in Membership Dues

Sat. May. 1, 2021

This month, the board approved updating the membership levels and amounts. Membership levels have not been reviewed in over ten years so we decided it was time to streamline the categories. The new updates are as follows: $15 – Student and Senior (65+) $25 – Individual $40 – Family* $60 – Donor* $300 – Friend*

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The 2021 CoMoGives Committee is looking for interested CAS members and friends to help with the 2021 CoMoGives Community Fundraising Campaign which is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri. If you like writing, photo selection and/or have technical skills, this is the job for you! Put your skills to work with other dedicated

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New CAS Bylaws

Sat. May. 1, 2021

Columbia Audubon Society Bylaws Adopted Date of Vote,      2021 Article I:  Name This organization shall be known as the Columbia Audubon Society, Incorporated, hereinafter called Society. Article II:  Purpose Section 1. The purpose and objectives of this Society shall be to preserve the natural world and its ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and the

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If You Approve: New CAS Bylaws

Sat. May. 1, 2021

Please read the proposed bylaws that are being offered for your consideration and approval.  Some of the amendments are necessary to comply with life under COVID-19.  Currently there are no provisions for conducting the business of CAS electronically. Additionally, this presents an opportunity to clarify other questions:  1. How many eligible votes accompany a family

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State ornithologist Sarah Kendrick’s careful, page-by-page analysis and revision Enjoying Missouri’s Birds, a 42-page 6.5×9” FREE revised edition just out in March 2021 has a new sub-title:  A Beginner’s Guide to Birding.  It’ s available from MDC’s Nature Shop, either by toll-free phone at 877-521-8632 or online at mdcnatureshop.com, or at regional MDC offices, MDC

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Nature Area Notes

Sat. May. 1, 2021

All bird photos by John Besser, Nature Areas Committee: Indigo Bunting, Black and White Warbler, and Summer Tanager. Interpretive Panel signs by Jan Mees. Wild Haven wildflower walk draws a crowd About 20 people turned out for wildflower walk led by Roxie Campbell on April 11. The weather was great and lots of early wildflowers

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Lights Out Campaign and other updates! May Conservation Updates: We’re in the final stretch of the 2021 Missouri legislative session – only 4 weeks left! That is plenty of time for great conservation successes like the Prescribed Burning Act (HB 369 and SB 301) to be passed, but damaging bills can still make it through,

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April 20, 2021 Board Meeting Membership The proposed updated membership levels will be: $15 Student/Senior (65+); $25 Individual; $40 Family; $60 Donor; $300 Friend All “Friends” (both commercial and private) are entitled to recognition in the Chat and on the website. The revised membership levels are approved by the board. Nature Areas Albert Children’s Area. Jim

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Note from the President

Thu. Apr. 1, 2021

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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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

Thu. Apr. 1, 2021

  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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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

Mon. Mar. 1, 2021

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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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

Mon. Mar. 1, 2021

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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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

Mon. Feb. 1, 2021

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 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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Nature Area Notes

Mon. Feb. 1, 2021

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 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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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

Fri. Jan. 1, 2021

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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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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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

Fri. Jan. 1, 2021

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

Tue. Dec. 1, 2020

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 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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Christmas Bird Count Details

Tue. Dec. 1, 2020

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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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

Tue. Dec. 1, 2020

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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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

Sun. Nov. 1, 2020

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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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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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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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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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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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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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!

Sun. Nov. 1, 2020

  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

Thu. Oct. 1, 2020

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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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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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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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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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

Tue. Sep. 1, 2020

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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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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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

Tue. Sep. 1, 2020

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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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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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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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

Fri. May. 1, 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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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

Wed. Apr. 1, 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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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

Wed. Apr. 1, 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

Sun. Mar. 1, 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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by Joanna Reuter If you have a yard and/or a garden, this is a good time of year come up with a plan to make the space more enticing to wildlife such as beneficial insects and birds. Get inspired: Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in your Yard is a new

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Sightings: February 2020

Sun. Mar. 1, 2020

by Joanna Reuter Northern Boone County Blackbird Roost Activity continued at the blackbird roost in northern Boone County where birds numbering in the millions have been congregating each evening to roost for the night in a field of miscanthus (a tall grass that is a biomass crop). Watching the birds come in has been described

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President’s notebook: Special General Membership Meeting, 6:00 pm Wednesday February 19 by John Besser We will have a special general membership meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Church on February 19 at 6 PM, one hour before the scheduled presentation by Bill Palmer. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and vote on a proposal

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by Joanna Reuter At the January meeting, ~40 attendees were treated to an informative and enjoyable presentation from MDC State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick, who discussed three major topics: Missouri Bird Conservation Plan You’ve probably heard news about bird populations declining. It’s really important to have a solid understanding about which birds are declining and why,

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Sightings: January 2020

Sat. Feb. 1, 2020

by Joanna Reuter Audrain County swans & more A large pond/small lake on private land in western Audrain County, just east of Highway 151, has been a magnet for Trumpeter Swans the last few years. Even in years with deep cold, the water has remained free of ice, and nearby corn fields offer sustenance. County

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New Year, new events The Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) event calendar will kick off 2020 with an afternoon First Day Hike on the Grasslands Trail at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, in coordination with Missouri State Parks. On January 15, the first CAS meeting of 2020 will feature State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick. She has exciting

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Destination: Audubon, Iowa

Wed. Jan. 1, 2020

by Louise Flenner In September, George and I decided to travel home from our RV vacation on the North Shore of Minnesota by taking the long way home down the western side of Iowa along Hwy. 71.  The destination I was looking for was the town of Audubon, Iowa.  I had noted this place on

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Part two in an occasional series, Birds in Big Numbers by Joanna Reuter Blackbirds can congregate in enormous numbers, sometimes in mixed-species flocks with starlings and other birds. In eBird’s current dataset, Red-winged Blackbirds hold the world record for the high count of a single species, with an estimate of 40 million individuals during a

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Sightings: December 2019

Wed. Jan. 1, 2020

Raptors: Winter is a good time to view raptors, and many photos demonstrating their winter diversity were submitted to eBird and the Macaulay Library this month from Boone County. Here’s a selection:  The final photo in that sequence is a Prairie Falcon found by Shelby Thomas at South Farm on December 7. This was

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President’s notebook: Let’s eBird the Christmas Bird Count By John Besser, Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) President The Christmas Bird Count is probably the longest-standing activity of the National Audubon Society. The genius of this early “citizen science” project lies in its simplicity and consistency over the years. Each group participating in the CBC submits a

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by Eric Reuter, Field Trip Chair As Field Trip Chair, I have been researching liability questions for non-profits engaged in outdoor activities; this has opened a can of worms that must now be addressed. Because field trips are a core part of the Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) mission, the board has approved my formation of

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Please Consider Making a Gift to Columbia Audubon by  Nancy Bedan, CAS CoMoGives Committee Mid-Missouri residents can make donations to any of 138 nonprofit organizations through the 2019 CoMoGives fundraiser during the month of December. These organizations, Columbia Audubon Society included, offer exceptional programs and services to our community. The Community Foundation of Central Missouri

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by John Besser and Bill Mees Those attending the October CAS membership meeting at Fairview Elementary School heard about plans for a new ‘nature school’ from Mike Szydlowski, Science Coordinator for Columbia Public Schools (CPS).  This exciting facility will be located on a 207-acre tract donated by the Hank Waters and Vicki Russell, located off

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Sightings: November 2019

Sun. Dec. 1, 2019

This month’s sightings were once again compiled entirely from eBird and illustrated with photos embedded via the Macaulay Library. (Feel free to submit interesting observations and photos to me directly by email.) Anna’s Hummingbird: This November brought an early-season Arctic blast, not weather that one usually associates with hummingbirds. But, sure enough, a hummingbird showed

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From the editor This issue of The Chat comes after the annual Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) Band with Nature program gave around 1,350 students an opportunity to be inspired about birds and nature; these 2nd graders are from 69 classrooms representing 19 schools. In this issue, the two Columbia teachers who attended Hog Island Audubon

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Each year, the Columbia Audubon Society offers two scholarships for teachers to attend the Hog Island Audubon Camp off the coast of Maine. This past summer’s recipients, Emily Reynolds and Andrew Crawford, took part in the program “Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week”; their accounts of the experience are below, illustrated with Emily’s photos. Applications are

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—by Nancy Bedan, CAS CoMoGives Committee Columbia Audubon is participating in the annual CoMoGives annual fundraiser for area non-profit organizations again this year. The online giving campaign, which runs during the month of December, is coordinated by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri with support from several local businesses. Columbia Audubon has participated in CoMoGives

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Sightings: October 2019

Fri. Nov. 1, 2019

This month’s sightings were compiled entirely from eBird and illustrated with photos embedded via the Macaulay Library. (Feel free to submit interesting observations and photos to me directly by email.) Arrivals: Late September and October brought the return of a number of overwintering birds, including these regulars: Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers: The first-of-season sightings for our region

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From the editor -by Joanna Reuter The September issue of The Chat was a big one, so I decided to wait until this issue to introduce myself and my goals as editor. Though I’ve been a bird watcher for about three of my four decades, I still cherish the constant potential for discovery. I was

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The Eco Schoolhouse Horseshoe Award uses an artifact from the past to honor those whose actions aim to produce a better future through environmental education. The award is named for a horseshoe found during the construction of the Eco Schoolhouse, a LEED Gold building that was built with community support in 2008 after fire destroyed

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Raptor Rehab Q&A

Tue. Oct. 1, 2019

Judy Lincoln is a volunteer for Raptor Rehab, as well as an active member of the Columbia Audubon Society. She kindly answered a variety of questions about many aspects of Raptor Rehab: What is Raptor Rehab? The University of Missouri’s Raptor Rehabilitation Project, better known as Raptor Rehab, treats injured raptors with the goal of

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Sightings: September 2019

Tue. Oct. 1, 2019

September Broad-winged Hawk migration update.  The Hawk Watch Happy Hour “field trip” didn’t yield much in the way of hawks, but it drew ~20 people and was a good time nonetheless. (Email me if you were there and would like to have the eBird list shared with you). As of the time I’m writing this,

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President’s notebook: Welcome back! -by John Besser, Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) President Maybe you didn’t all spend your summer relaxing in the cool mountain air or ocean breezes, but it seems like some Columbia Audubon friends who did are reappearing, along with the returning college students and migrating shorebirds. Of course, our organization didn’t come

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Editor’s note: The Columbia Audubon Society helped to sponsor a recent trip to a birding camp in Delaware for two enthusiastic young birders, Josh Mosteller, 18, and Chelsea Mosteller, 14. Here, in an article by each, they share the story of how they became interested in birding and give an account of the camp, illustrated

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by Joanna Reuter Seeing lots of birds in a short period of time is exciting. Try to imagine: Many millions of blackbirds. Over a million geese (so many that satellite imagery was useful for estimating numbers). Tens of thousands of ducks. Tens of thousands of American Robins. Thousands of Broad-winged Hawks. Thousands of swallows. Thousands

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by Joanna Reuter Although a variety of raptors migrate south in the fall, Broad-winged Hawks do so in groups that sometimes number in the hundreds or thousands in Missouri. Getting to see “kettles” of Broad-winged Hawks riding thermals and/or cruising south is a thrilling and memorable experience. High count: Described as “the most extraordinary wildlife

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The “Sightings” column is a new addition to The Chat, and one that I plan to make a regular feature. It will highlight a sampling of interesting bird observations made since the prior newsletter, with emphasis on the six-county region (Audrain, Boone, Cooper, Howard, Monroe, Randolph) served by the Columbia Audubon Society. If you see

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News & Notes, Summer 2019

Tue. Jun. 11, 2019

– by John Besser, CAS President. Well, you can tell by the heat and humidity that it’s June, and for Columbia Audubon Society that means our fiscal year (FY2018) is over. At our meeting on May 15, the CAS Board of Directors took stock of our accomplishments and responsibilities at the end of the fiscal

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CANS Prairie Update

Tue. Jun. 11, 2019

– by John Besser, CAS President. Yesterday, I paid a visit to the 15-acre prairie restoration project at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, off Bray Avenue in West Columbia.  I think this is the fourth growing season for this project, and each year we see new plants reaching maturity. Three of the “new” species are

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CAS News & Notes for May 2019

Wed. May. 1, 2019

Upcoming Events May birding is just too good to restrict to weekends, so early May has two weekday afternoon/evening field trips scheduled, one on Wednesday May 1 at Hinkson Creek and  another on Tuesday May 7 at Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area. The first weekend of May is the Audubon Society of Missouri (ASM) spring

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-by Eric Reuter CAS celebrated its 60th birthday through a series of fun events during the last weekend of April, made possible by the hard work of committee chair Jan Mees and members Nancy Bedan, Lottie Bushmann, Lori Hagglund, Judy Lincoln, Doug Miller, Lori Turner, and Allison Vaughn. Friday reception Many CAS members convened at

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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

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-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

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-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

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Spring really is coming – By Eric Reuter Although central Missouri will experience temperatures ~30° below normal in the first week of March, watching birds reminds us that winter is on its way out. In just the past week here in northern Boone County, Joanna and I have observed tens of thousands of Snow Geese

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By Brad Jacobs, CAS past-president and retired MDC ornithologist For bird-watchers, a Big Year is a personal challenge to find as many bird species as possible. In 1991, Tim Barksdale achieved a Big Year record of 314 bird species for the state of Missouri. Though there have been several attempts to break that record in the

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President’s Notebook: Looking ahead, honoring the past – By John Besser This especially wintry January has kept us away from many of our favorite outdoor pursuits, but it gives us a good opportunity to reflect on our past successes and to plan for the future. CoMoGives Rocks! The year 2018 ended on a very positive

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– by Nancy Bedan, CAS CoMoGives Committee The Columbia Audubon Society received $9,405 in donations during the 2018 CoMoGives online fundraiser for community nonprofit organizations. Columbia Audubon will use the funds to maintain and expand its education and conservation programs in 2019. The CAS board plans to continue converting pasture land on the west side

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Many Thanks to Our CoMoGives Donors! -by Nancy Bedan, CAS CoMoGives Committee The 2018 CoMoGives fundraiser for area non-profit organizations ended at midnight Dec. 31; this was the fourth year of participation for Columbia Audubon. Although we won’t have final totals for the number of donors and dollars received until January, we are very grateful

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-by Allison Vaughn December 15th was a chilly but clear and calm day for the 2018 Christmas Bird Count. Over 45 participants fanned out across the 15 mile radius to count birds. Although the birding conditions were mild with little wind, full sun, and bearable temperatures, many participants reported that the birds were not very

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Bird Watching in Chile

Tue. Jan. 1, 2019

-by Joanna & Eric Reuter We recently had the good fortune to travel through the southern half of Chile, learning much about its ecosystems, history, and culture along the way. Though we mostly explored on our own using Chile’s excellent bus network and our own feet, a day spent with Raffaele Di Biase of the

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President’s notebook:Even December is Birding Season! — by John Besser As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, many birds have moved on to warmer climes to spend winters with their tropical relatives and many Missouri birders have moved back inside to get re-acquainted with their families. But even in this ‘SAD’ time

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– by Nancy Bedan, CAS CoMoGives Committee Please Consider Making a Gift to Columbia Audubon Mid-Missouri residents can make donations to any of 122 nonprofit organizations through the 2018 CoMoGives fundraiser during the month of December. These organizations, Columbia Audubon Society included, offer exceptional programs and services to our community. The Community Foundation of Central

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– by Allison Vaughn On a freezing Saturday morning, five members of CAS met at the AC parking lot to carpool to Lake of the Ozarks State Park. The original plan to hike Bluestem Knoll morphed into a hike on Rocky Top Trail as it provided more cover from the wind than the savanna of

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Adopt-a-Trail

Sat. Dec. 1, 2018

– by Bill Mees Several years ago, the city of Columbia instituted the Adopt-A-Trail program through its Parks and Recreation department. Beginning in 2017, Columbia Audubon Society assumed responsibility for a quarter mile segment of Scott‘s Branch Trail. The adopted segment runs along the south side of Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary and Bonnie View Nature

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From the President – by John Besser We had a great turnout for the second annual Big Sit at Eagle Bluffs, with about two dozen birders and sightseers stopping by over the course of the day. Among the visitors were a reporter and a photographer from the Columbia Missourian, who produced a nice feature article.

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—by Nancy Bedan, CAS CoMoGives Committee The Columbia community’s annual fund drive to benefit area non-profit organizations begins soon. This year, for the first time, the online giving campaign will open on “Giving Tuesday,” Nov. 27 and run through the month of December. The fund drive is coordinated by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri

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From the President – Have an active October with Audubon! – by John Besser Now that summer’s heat and humidity are finally behind us (let’s hope), October brings a flurry of activity from Columbia Audubon. There are lots of opportunities to get involved in a wide range of CAS events this month: ASM Meeting: Technically,

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– by Eric & Joanna Reuter If you’ve taken a walk at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary this year, you may have noticed an abundance of pawpaw (Asimina triloba) trees in some locations. These like to grow in colonies, generally within an existing understory, meaning that once they get established they can crowd out other

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-by John Besser Well, it’s time for me to take on the slightly prestigious but mostly thankless job of chapter president. Past President Laura Hillman was able to convince Bill Mees to take over as Vice President and program chair (a job I didn’t want), while I take over as president (a job Bill didn’t

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August 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 August 29, 2018. Please contact a board member with any questions. Budget: Approved offering an annual donation to

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How I Became a Young Birder

Sat. Sep. 1, 2018

How I Became a Young Birder

Ruddy Turnstone at Charlie's Pasture in Port Aransas, TX. Photo by Shelby Thomas.

– by Shelby Thomas   I am sixteen years old, a junior at Hickman High School, and have been birding since 2015. After watching the movie The Big Year, about a year-long birding competition, I decided to look in our backyard to see what birds were outside. I saw a bird that wasn’t like our

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The statewide Audubon Society of Missouri will be hosting its annual fall meeting in Columbia this year, a rare change from its usual location at Lake of the Ozarks. This is a great chance for Columbia-area birders to take part in this major event so close to home. The meeting features field trips, speakers, a

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CAS News & Notes for May 2018

Tue. May. 1, 2018

From the President – by Laura Hillman, CAS President I’ve done it again. I will miss both the May picnic and the Migratory Bird Count just to go to China. So I’d better say goodbye now, as my two years as president ends at the picnic. John Besser, the current Vice President, will take over

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Columbia Audubon Honored for Environmental Stewardship

Left to right: Laura Hillman, Allison Vaughn, Bill Mees, and John Besser accepted the 2018 Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement Award on behalf of Columbia Audubon Society at a ceremony on Wednesday, April 25. The awards were designed by Columbia glass artist Susan Taylor Glasgow. Photo by Nancy Bedan

– by Nancy Bedan At a ceremony on April 25, the City of Columbia recognized the Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) for its work in habitat restoration at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS) and for its community outreach and education programs. Eight organizations and businesses received the 2018 Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement Award, an honor

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– by Joanna Reuter Spring migration is a great season to brush up on bird song as a tool for identification, but vocalizations are fascinating for more than just ID. Scientific study of bird vocalizations is leading to better understanding of bird behavior and evolution. Also, paying attention to bird sounds in the back yard

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Geocache Placed at CANS

Tue. May. 1, 2018

– by Jim Gast In order to increase awareness of the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS) by the public, I placed a geocache near the trail.  Geocaching is a popular outdoor activity in which people use various navigational skills to find hidden containers of various sizes. Participants find the latitude/longitude coordinates at geocaching.com, then use

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From the President – CAS Board Elections for 2018-2019 – by Laura Hillman, CAS President It’s April and time to get out and bird, plant the garden, and kill the exotics. But it’s also time to get new officers for Columbia Audubon. The bylaws (PDF link) say that the nominating committee will work to create

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2018 Young Explorers’ Club

Sun. Apr. 1, 2018

– by Paige Witek, Certified Interpretive Guide  & Education Coordinator, Missouri River Bird Observatory Not too far from Marshall, in a town called Arrow Rock, a summer day camp for kids is starting up again! The Young Explorers’ Club is run through the Missouri River Bird Observatory, an organization dedicated to the conservation of Missouri’s

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Including Native Plants in Your Yard

Liatrus during drought- Becky Erickson

– by Becky Erickson, Missouri Native Plant Society (Hawthorn Chapter) The environment we now live in developed over the last 20,000 years, evolving a fabulous crazy-quilt of massive ecosystems and small microhabitats. The diverse fauna and flora that stimulate our eyes, ears, and heart found their niches and flourished in their own spaces as part

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From the President – by Laura Hillman, CAS President At four o’clock on the Friday before the February book discussion, we got the email: a copy of The Genius of Birds had returned to the library! Although it was raining, we jumped in the car and headed off to get it. The e-book had only given

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MRBO Encouraging Youth Participation in the Spring ASM Meeting

Youth birding at a Missouri River Birdi Observatory event - photo from MRBO

– by Paige Witek, Certified Interpretive Guide & Education Coordinator, Missouri River Bird Observatory The Missouri River Bird Observatory (MRBO) hopes that YOU will attend this year’s Audubon Society of Missouri (ASM) Spring Meeting! MRBO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Missouri’s migratory and resident birds through scientific research and monitoring,

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– by Joanna Reuter The Genius of Birds, subject of the upcoming book discussion, covers a lot of fascinating territory but has little in the way of illustrations. Fortunately, the internet can fill that gap, with images, maps, videos, audio, and articles about the research and birds that Jennifer Ackerman describes. Here are a few

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From the President As most of you know, we are trying to mix up the kinds of monthly programs offered by Columbia Audubon. January’s wonderful research-focused talk by the new State Ornithologist was the first standard lecture format. It was very well attended, as had been expected. In February Eric Reuter will lead a book

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by Nancy Bedan, CAS CoMoGives Committee The Columbia Audubon Society received $6,630 in donations during the 2017 CoMoGives online fundraiser for community nonprofit organizations. CoMoGives is conducted during the month of December by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri. A total of $712,569 was raised for the 114 local nonprofit organizations that participated in the

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by Eric Reuter Editor’s note: this story was updated on 2/8 to reflect several suggestions for clarifications from Sarah Kendrick. Rapid technological advances are allowing us to track bird movements more effectively than ever before, creating new ways to understand and appreciate migration and behavioral patterns. At the January CAS meeting, attendees were treated to

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Overwintering Trumpeter Swans Increasing in Missouri

Two adult and two juvenile Trumpeter Swans in corn stubble at Bradford Farm on January 3, 2018. Photo by CAS member Kathleen Anderson; used with permission.

by Joanna Reuter Four years ago this month, Eric & I first saw Trumpeter Swans flying over our northern Boone County property. What seemed an amazing novelty then has become a common occurrence during the winter months, but we still experience a thrill with each passing flock, typically announced by a distinctly nasal honking. Sometimes

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From the President Well, I just spent two days in a cypress swamp looking for Wood Storks and I found three! They sent up a plane to look for active nests, found six on thousands of acres, and were very happy because maybe all their hard work will help keep the Wood Stork from going

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2017 CAS Christmas Bird Count recap

Dickcissel at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, December 2017 - by Paul McKenzie

On December 16, members of the Columbia Audubon Society and other volunteers fanned out across Boone County to participate in the 118th Christmas Bird Count. Weather conditions were mild, with a slight breeze in the morning hours and high temperatures reaching the low 30s. On the day of the count, we collectively detected 96 species

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Field Trip Recap: Chert Hollow Farm, Dec. 2

3/4 grooved ax found in the stream at Chert Hollow Farm. Photo by Eric Wood.

On a sunny and mild early December day, we hosted about a dozen attendees on a CAS field trip to the homestead farm in northern Boone County that Eric and I have managed for the past decade or so. The big find of the day turned out to be a rock, not a bird, but

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Support CAS During CoMoGives Columbia Audubon would appreciate your support during the annual CoMoGives fundraiser Dec. 1–31. To donate, go to comogives.com; for more information, see the following story in this newsletter. From the President On Friday, December 17, 2016, I was sliding off an icy Grindstone Parkway while trying to get home when the

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Mid-Missouri residents can make donations to any of 114 nonprofit organizations through the 2017 CoMoGives fundraiser during the month of December. The Community Foundation of Central Missouri coordinates the fund drive and provides a single website (www.comogives.com) where gifts can be made to any of the participating groups. These organizations, Columbia Audubon Society included, offer

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Winter is a great time for catching up on reading; here are a few books and other reading materials that might be worth CAS members’ time. All three books listed below are available from the Daniel Boone Regional Library – by Eric Reuter The Genius of Birds, by Jennifer Ackerman Years ago, a Common Raven

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The Missouri State Park system is soliciting public comment about three recently acquired state park properties that have not yet been opened to the public: Ozark Mountain State Park in Taney County, Bryant Creek State Park in Douglas County, and Jay Nixon State Park in Reynolds County. Some members of the Missouri Legislature have espoused

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Many folks contributed a wide variety of amateur and professional photography (local, national and international) along with birding tales to our crowd-sourced November Meeting. The subjects included Black Swifts in Colorado, an Ohio birding festival, Three Creeks Conservation Area and other local natural areas, and a Kenyan safari. Many thanks to all our contributors, including

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Welcome to the new CAS Website The new CAS website that we’ve been discussing since last winter is finally live. The website will continue to provide the same basic content (including essential information about the organization, such as board members and natural areas), but some helpful new features have been added. We encourage you to

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Even casual birdwatchers are familiar with traditional 24-hour birding events like the Christmas Bird Count and the May Big Day, but some may not be familiar with the birding event known as a “Big Sit”.  Basically, a Big Sit is a bird count that is anchored in a single location, from which one or many

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As every Missouri resident knows, our weather is unpredictable. As a way of coping with the uncertainty, the 2017 Band With Nature 2nd grade field trip was scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday (October 9, 11, & 13) with the interim days reserved for weather cancellations. Not only were there NO weather cancellations, but when

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Happy Trails to You, Thanks to Dean Ravenscraft

Dean_Ravenscraft on "Big Red"; photo by Bill Mees

In 2001, Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) received a donation of 22 acres now known as the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS). Originally donated as an inducement for the National Audubon Society to select Columbia as the location for a nature center, the future CANS property sat idle while National deliberated. Eventually National Audubon selected Joplin,

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CAS is participating in the annual CoMoGives fund drive for area nonprofit organizations again this year. The online giving campaign, which runs the month of December, is coordinated by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri with support from several local businesses. Important things to know about CoMoGives: The giving window is December 1-31. Gifts can

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News & Notes

Sun. Oct. 1, 2017

News & Notes

Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary - Joanna Reuter

From the president: working to increase member involvement. We had a great turnout on September 17 for our bird walk and discussion session at which we asked members for suggestions on making Columbia Audubon more useful for them. Several people were relatively new to birding and were hesitant to come to meetings and field trips.

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Goldfinches descended on our cup plants this year, and for good reason. A Missouri native plant, Silphium perfoliatum looks roughly like a sunflower but with a twist: its paired leaves wrap around the thick, square-ish stalk to form twin basins that collect and hold moisture from dew or rainfall (hence the species name). This distinct

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Photos from the September Meeting & Bird Walk

CANS September 2017 - Joanna Reuter

The September meeting featured lovely weather and good attendance for a walk through the prairie restoration area at CANS, where the increased biodiversity supported interesting insect and bird life for us to enjoy.

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FROM THE PRESIDENT: PROGRAM CHANGES FOR 2017-2018 Welcome to the 2017-2018 Columbia Audubon Society. Not that we really stopped for the summer; we’ve been doing bird counts for programs, going to meetings, organizing for COMO Gives, and working on our properties. But mainly the board has been thinking and meeting to figure out this coming

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Adopt-a-trail comes to CANS over summer vacation

Back row: Brenden, Jordan, Aron, and Caven. Front row: Kameron, Kylie, and Hannah. Photo by Bill Mees.

If you are in school, then summer is vacation time, but if you are a member of Columbia Audubon Society, summer is growing season for invasive species. And so a decision was made at the April board meeting that CAS will participate in the new Adopt-A-Trail project sponsored by Columbia’s Parks and Recreation Department. The

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Thanks for CANS

Fri. Sep. 1, 2017

Thanks for CANS

Prairie at CANS - Allison Vaughn

Many people are responsible for the existence of the wonderful Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, from the donation of the land by the Russell family to the dream and the plan for its development. There are too many people responsible for those early accomplishments to name them all, but they include the 13 Boy Scouts who

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Throughout 2017, the CAS board has been discussing the potential to upgrade our web presence and methods of communication with members and the rest of the world. Our goals included making this volunteer-driven work more efficient, enhancing collaboration within the group, improving online access to information, upgrading our web presence to a more mobile-friendly design,

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