Come witness a mind-boggling concentration of blackbirds at a northern Boone County winter roost, now confirmed to be in its fourth year (at least) of activity. Leaders Eric and Joanna will be on-site to describe the background history of the roost, then we’ll watch as the show unfolds; each time is unique and exciting. We’ve had a request to make this a “happy hour” of sorts, so we’ll be on-site by 3:30 for anyone who wants to mingle and chat. For the best birding, we advise arriving by 4:00, which is 45 minutes before sunset on December 10. Expect to stay through around 5:00, and bring extra layers of warm clothing, as it can get rather chilly as the sun goes down.

One precaution: Human cases of histoplasmosis (a fungal infection) have been associated with other blackbird roosts with a multi-year presence. We have no way to assess the actual risk here (though our health has not yet been impacted). Some sources indicate that good-fitting n95 masks can reduce exposure to fungal spores. Use your own judgment about whether this is a good trip for you and what precautions might be in order.

Contact with questions. Meet at the site (click here for map; note that Google shows the name of the road as “Dun Bar” even though it is actually “Dunbar”). For background on this roost, see this article in the September 2020 Bluebird (p. 169-182).