by Eric Reuter
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 extinct. The work we do on Columbia Audubon’s three properties also helps conserve birds, insects, and plants, so I got out my IPad and got on Comogives.com to join the large number of people who gave over $5,000 to CAS. Then I answered an email from someone wanting to take part in the 2018 Christmas Bird Count. Soon we drive the 1,400 miles back to Columbia for 2018. Happy New Year! – by Laura Hillman, President
As of this writing on December 31, 2017, CAS had raised $6,000 from 60 donors through CoMoGives. In comparison, the 2016 campaign raised $5,263 from 66 donors and 2015 raised $3,955 from 49 donors. Our thanks to all those who contributed to this year’s campaign. A full recap will be published in the February newsletter.
Late December’s abrupt change to cold weather here in central Missouri, featuring the coldest air mass since January 2014 over New Year’s weekend, creates new challenges for local birds. This is a good time of year to watch behaviors and behavioral changes. Are the birds you see active at different times of day? Eating different things? Looking for open water sources? Keep an eye out for unusual visitors, too; several Snowy Owls have been reported on the MoBirds listserve lately. For more on birds in cold weather, read about How Birds Cope With Cold Weather from National Audubon and consider the Top 10 Ways to Help Birds in Bad Weather from Bird Watcher’s Digest magazine.
Here in northern Boone County, the Trumpeter Swans that have shown up every winter since January 2014 are back again. On many winter days, particularly cold ones, we see them flying overhead, generally north in the morning and south in the evening. Perhaps they’re overnighting on old coal-mine ponds to our south and feeding somewhere to our north? We’d love to learn more about their winter patterns here, and we’re collecting notes on when we see them. If anyone would like to coordinate on swan-watching or -tracking, contact Eric Reuter.
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.
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.