by Joanna & Eric Reuter
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 25th Anniversary Open House on Saturday, March 14 (CAS volunteers wanted; see link for details). The monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 18 will feature Robin Hirsch-Jacobson, Associate Professor of Biology at William Woods University; discussions are underway for a possible follow-up field trip. The following weekend, we’ll hold the annual Timberdoodle trek at Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area on the evening of Sunday, March 22. The weekends of March 7-8 and March 28-29 are open; if you would like to lead a trip then or at any other open time, contact Field Trip Chair Eric Reuter.
A large crowd (~40 people) was on hand to see Bill Palmer’s presentation on birding at Magee Marsh, Ohio, “the warbler capital of North America”. Bill first presented a slide show of lovely bird photos that showcased the diversity birders can see when visiting this site during the peak migration months of April and May. He then discussed some logistical aspects of visiting the region, gave a bird ID quiz, and answered many questions from interested attendees. Bill suggests the following resources for learning more about visiting Magee Marsh:
Prior to the main presentation of the February 19 meeting, CAS members met to consider and vote upon a proposal to fund the proposed $30,000 Council House structure at the new Boone County Nature School. Attendees heard a presentation from Columbia Public Schools K-12 Science Coordinator Mike Szydlowski regarding the proposal, then participated in a question and discussion session. The proposal was approved by a 27-5 member vote. The board subsequently voted 11-1 by email to formally approve the donation.
To encourage safe practices on field trips, we prepared a set of Field Trip Guidelines for leaders and participants. Please review this information and contact the Field Trip Chair if you have comments or suggestions for additions or revisions. The field trip committee is continuing to research insurance for field trip liability; progress has been made, though coverage is not yet in place.
No board meeting was held during the month of February. The vote regarding the Nature School proposal was conducted by email.
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 brief notes about bird or nature observations. Please contact News Editor Joanna Reuter with submissions, feedback, or suggestions for content. The submission deadline is the 25th of each month.