by Eric Reuter

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 a slate of officers, to be published in the April issue of The Chat. At the April general meeting, other nominations can be taken from the floor although this rarely happens if a full slate has been put forth. The membership present at that meeting then votes on the slate.

I have been the chairman of the nominating committee for at least the last 10 years. I volunteered after my last stint as vice president, then president, then vice president to assure that I would not be president again. Two years ago the committee couldn’t find anyone to accept the job so you got me. The hope is always that the vice president can move up to president but it doesn’t always work out that way. This year we are pleased that vice president John Besser is willing to move up to president and that first- and second-year board members Lori Turner and Eric Wood will remain along with treasurer Eric Seaman. Thus we need to find a new secretary, vice president, and first-year board member. Fortunately we have succeeded, as shown in the proposed election slate below. Now we just need to find a new chairman for the nominating committee.  Editor’s note: Click the following link for a full list of the current CAS board and other committee chairs.

Proposed Slate of Board Officers for 2018-2019:

  • President: John Besser
  • Vice President: Bill Mees
  • Secretary: Nancy Bedan
  • Treasurer: Eric Seaman
  • Third year board: Lori Turner
  • Second year board: Eric Wood
  • First year board: Greg Leonard

March board meeting unofficial summary

Official meeting minutes will be posted to the website after approval at each subsequent board meeting, meaning they are delayed from immediate publication. Below is an unofficial summary of business discussed on March 21, 2018. Please contact a board member with any questions.

  • Board elections were discussed.
  • The proposed 2018-2019 budget was discussed, including projected expenses and donations from CoMoGives, the purchasing of educational supplies, and funding for ongoing prairie restoration at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS).
  • Upcoming educational programming was discussed, including the potential for summer programs for children and/or adults at the Daniel Boone Regional Library and related field trip to practice skills.
  • Scholarships are still available for youth to attend the spring 2018 Audubon Society of Missouri (ASM) meeting or teachers to attend the summer 2018 Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI) meeting. There is also the potential to support teacher attendance at a fall field program run by the Missouri River Bird Observatory.
  • A tree-planting workday will be held at CANS on Saturday, April 28th along with one in May at Wild Haven.
  • A beginning birder walk may be held on Sunday, April 29th.
  • The possibility of offering the use of Wild Haven to science teachers in the Hallsville school district (which includes Wild Haven) was discussed.
  • A question regarding differences between versions of the CAS logo was discussed.

Audubon Society of Missouri (ASM) spring meeting

The ASM spring meeting will be held in Arrow Rock, MO from May 4–6. The meeting will feature presentations, field trips, and a focus on encouraging and hearing from young birders:

Birding in and around Arrow Rock, particularly during spring migration, is excellent and, to date, underrepresented in the itineraries of most Missouri birders.  The central location of Arrow Rock also gives us the ability to provide field trip options to a variety of habitat types, from prairies to forests to wetlands.  The overarching theme of the 2018 Spring Meeting is bird conservation, with particular emphasis on engaging the next generation in birding and conserving Missouri’s birds and the habitats they depend on.

The meeting’s theme is reflected in the line-up of presentations.  On Friday night,  young Missourians will provide presentations on their birding experiences.  Our keynote presentation on Saturday night features Ken Keffer, educator and former director of the Ohio Young Birders’ Club, who will discuss how to engage more young people in outdoor pursuits.  We will also offer a workshop on Saturday afternoon for those interested in helping to launch the Missouri Young Birders’ Club – a statewide program being developed by MRBO in partnership with local Audubon Chapters. 

Learn more and register on the ASM website.

March meeting (book discussion) recap:

The CAS-led book discussion of The Genius of Birds drew 36 people to the Friends Room at the Daniel Boone Regional Library on March 21st. The group covered a wide variety of subjects and questions raised by the book, including the nature of avian cognition, human effects on bird behavior and evolution, personal experiences of creative or interesting bird behavior, and more. The library was very pleased with the event’s turnout and would like to host a similar program next year.

Remembering Jeanne Barr

Jeanne Barr, a long-time member of CAS who served as president, secretary, and newsletter editor, passed away in January at the age of 95. In a message to CAS, one of her daughters noted that: “Few things made Mom happier then the bird’s songs. She loved sharing her bird adventures with so many of her Audubon friends”. Several donations were made to CAS in Jeanne’s memory; we appreciate these donors and all that Jeanne did for the group over the years. A full obituary was published in the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Highlights of some March field trips

  • Eagle Bluffs (March 3): A caravan of vehicles found 34 officially recorded species, with one highlight being excellent views of 46 Ross’s Geese both flying and on the ground.
  • Rocky Fork Lakes CA (March 8): This evening hike sought out the spring Woodcock mating display, and did not disappoint. Although only 6 species were recorded on a quiet night, the Woodcocks were quite active, visible both on the ground and in the air.
  • Smith Creek Trail, Mark Twain NF (March 31): Despite cloudy and drizzly weather, attendees recorded 28 species including two Louisiana Waterthrushes singing along Smith Creek, multiple Great Blue Herons soaring overhead, and abundant Turkey Vultures in migration.

Columbia Missourian revisits the creation of Eagle Bluffs CA

A long story in the March 4 edition recounts how area citizens worked for the creation of Eagle Bluffs, specifically its link to the Columbia water-treatment system, with reference to a new documentary on the subject. A worthwhile read for anyone unfamiliar with the story.

Supporting CAS

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

Submitting material to The Chat

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