Newsletter of the Columbia Audubon Society | September 2021 | Volume 64, Number 1

Wed. Sep. 1, 2021

Note from the President

by Jim Gast

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, Missouri Birding Society, and the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative; informing Columbia Audubon members of the issues; representing Columbia Audubon at hearings and serving as the liaison with the Conservation Federation of Missouri. If you are interested, please contact me at

Canton Estates Update

You may recall that Canton Estates is a proposed development of 113 houses just north of the Gans Creek Wild Area in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park and that the Columbia Audubon board voted to oppose the development. The developer withdrew his proposal in June.

September Meeting is a Picnic at Wild Haven

Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 19th, for a picnic at Wild Haven. There will be field trips starting at 4:00 p.m. followed by a general meeting at 5:00 p.m. One of the agenda items is voting on the revised bylaws. A copy of the revised by-laws can be found elsewhere in this edition of The Chat.  Although there will be some copies provided at the meeting, please bring your bylaws with you.

At 5:30 p.m., the picnic begins and we should wrap everything up by 6:30 p.m.  The rain date is Sunday, September 26th. See the Upcoming Events section for more details including directions to Wild Haven. I hope to see you there.

Noah Strycker Will Be in Columbia on October 15th and 16th

Noah Strycker, who set a Big Year (2015) record of seeing over 6000 bird species, will speak at the annual meeting of the Friends of Mizzou Botanic Garden on Friday, October 15th at 6:00 p.m. The talk will be held in the Monsanto Auditorium in the Bond Life Sciences Building on the MU campus. All Columbia Audubon members are invited to attend.

In addition to the talk, we have invited Strycker to participate in a field trip at Bradford Farm on Saturday, October 16th, and he has tentatively accepted. Details about the field trip will appear in the October Chat.

In preparation of Strycker’s talk, I read Birding Without Borders: An obsession, a Quest and the Biggest Year in the World and highly recommend it. It gives good details on the planning and execution of his Big Year. He also discusses chasing vagrants compared to seeing birds in their natural habitat. I’ll let you read the book to find out which side he prefers.

Columbia Audubon has been asked to publicize the fifth annual Missouri Conservation Partners Roundtable to be held virtually Oct. 13th-14th. The Missouri Conservation Partners Roundtable is an opportunity to interact with partners who have an interest in conserving our state’s fish, forest, and wildlife resources, including connecting people to those important resources. The theme is “Connected Like Never Before” and shows how we have connected, or even reconnected, with the great outdoors during these tough pandemic days and the conservation priorities we continue to push forward. Registration is free and will be available in early September. Please contact Amy Buechler ( with any questions.

Wed. Sep. 1, 2021

Wild Haven Open House and Annual Picnic

by Nancy Bedan, Field Trip Chair

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 attendees about improvements completed and planned on the 103-acre property at 6900 E. O’Rear Road, northeast of Columbia.

Wild Haven’s natural habitat includes mature forest along a mile-long section of Hinkson Creek, a small remnant prairie and sandstone glades, as well as two small ponds. Columbia Audubon is working to remove invasive plants and restore natural habitats. CAS has recently renovated a shelter on the property, improved the two-plus miles of trails, and added a visitor parking lot.

Field trips to explore the Wild Haven trails will be offered at 4 p.m. on Sept. 19, followed by a brief Columbia Audubon membership meeting at 5 p.m. and the CAS annual picnic at 5:30 p.m.

Columbia Audubon will provide light refreshments during the Open House and drinks (water and canned beverages) for the picnic. Members and guests are asked to bring their own picnic suppers, plates and utensils, and folding chairs. Columbia Audubon will follow the Boone County Health Department’s virus protocol at the time of the event.

NOTE: In case of bad weather on Sept. 19, the Open House and Picnic will be held on Sunday, Sept. 26; members will be notified of a postponement by e-mail.

Driving directions to Columbia Audubon’s Wild Haven Nature Area:  To get to Wild Haven from Columbia, take US 63 north to Route B. Go east on Route B. After crossing RR tracks (about 1 mile), turn right on Brown Station Road. Stay on this road through the stop sign at Route HH, then take the first right turn onto O’Rear Road. Follow O’Rear until it turns to gravel, then look for the Wild Haven sign and gate on the right (about a mile from Brown Station).


Wed. Sep. 1, 2021

ComoGives Committee Seeking Winter Bird Photos

by Jan Mees, ComoGives Committee Chair

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 favorite winter photos (as we swelter through summer 2021)

Take a look at the photo of three bluebirds, submitted by Betsy Garrett which graced our 2020 CoMoGives postcard.

Submit your photos by September 15th to Doug Miller at

Wed. Sep. 1, 2021

Noah Strycker Talk and Field Trip in October

by Nancy Bedan, Field Trip Chair

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 Wildlife, and several other organizations and individuals.

The program will begin at 6 p.m. in Monsanto Auditorium, located in the Bond Life Sciences Center on the University of Missouri campus. All Columbia Audubon members and friends are invited to attend the program, which is free and open to the public.

“Birding Without Borders: An Epic World Big Year” is the title of Strycker’s presentation. In 2015, Strycker became the first person to observe more than half of the planet’s bird species in a single, year-long, birding trip to seven continents. Carrying only a pack on his back, Strycker enlisted the support of local birders to locate and list more than 6,000 species.

Also on the Oct. 15 program are presentations about the reintroduction of the brown-headed nuthatch in Missouri and an introduction to “eBird,” the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s online, “citizen science” database of bird observations. The eBird database is used by birders to keep their personal bird lists and by researchers studying bird distribution and abundance.

In addition, a presenter panel will address audience questions at the end of Noah Strycker’s talk.

CAS Invites Noah Strycker to Join Oct. 16 Field Trip at Bradford Farm

Columbia Audubon is planning a field trip at MU’s Bradford Farm on Saturday, Oct. 16, and has invited Noah Strycker to join us.

“Our plan is to do a modified ‘Big Sit,’ centered at the east end of the large pond on the west side of Bradford Farm,” said John Besser, co-chair of the CAS Field Trips Committee. “We will keep a list of all birds seen from the circle throughout the day, but groups will also be able to leave the circle to look for birds on other parts of the property.

“There will be a sign-up list to encourage people to keep the Big Sit occupied by birders during as much of the day as possible,” Besser added. More information about this field trip will appear in the October “Chat” newsletter.

The “Big Sit!” is a birding event started by the New Haven, CT, Bird Club in 1992. Now groups worldwide hold similar events in October. Participants form a circle at a location where there are lots of birds and record their observations for up to 24 hours using the eBird app.

Wed. Sep. 1, 2021

A Note from a CAS Scholarship Recipient to Hog Island

by Heather Jones

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 Week has affected me as a teacher. It has reenergized me heading back into the classroom, excited me about new strategies I will be using, and created a lasting connection between other educators across the country.

One of the first things we did as educators was set up a Facebook group so we could all stay connected and share our photos from our time together even after we left the island. It seems odd to bond so quickly with others, but I think there is just an inherent connection between teachers. In our group we have already shared book ideas, asked for advice, and wished each other well on the school year.

The strategies I learned from my time at Hog Island are numerous. Although we don’t have intertidal pools to explore in Missouri, I plan on letting my students explore ponds and streams in the same manner. Finding organisms, practicing identification, asking questions, and making connections were all very valuable explorations. During our Ecosystems Unit with 6th grade students, I plan on sharing my experience at Hog Island and discussing the efforts they are taking at Hog Island to establish a colony of Puffins on Easter Egg Rock. We were also able to view the old seaweed pressings and created our own seaweed press during our time there. I can take the same strategy and allow students to create wildflower pressings from our newly established native prairie and wildflower plot at school. I have been excited about the possibility of students creating an inventory of native plants in our prairie with their presses. Another engaging strategy I plan on using, taught by the wonderful Ted Gilman, is nighttime moth observations. Ted taught us how to create a mixture of beer and bananas to smear on tree bark to attract moths and other night dwelling bugs. Our 6th grade students would love the opportunity to observe and identify bugs as part of their overnight camp experience.

Lastly, our week together was focused on diversity and inclusion. Fortunately, we in my school district, we receive diversity and inclusion training throughout the school year, but this training makes a big impact when you can hear from teachers from all over the country. We all participated in a fishbowl discussion about diversity. Fishbowl discussions are a wonderful tool to use with students over difficult topics that ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. We also discussed the indigenous people that lived on Hog Island. We discussed their impact on the land and acknowledged their land prior to one of our programs. I believe land acknowledgements are incredibly powerful for students to be a part of. I plan on incorporating land acknowledgements at our 6th grade science camp as well as our discussion of our native prairie plot at our school.

Wed. Sep. 1, 2021

CAS Revised Bylaws-Please Review

by Columbia Audubon Society

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 earth’s biological diversity, through education, environmental study, and habitat restoration and protection, including the use of Society funds to further the purpose and objectives in conformity with the provisions of Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Section 2. The Society is not for pecuniary gain or profit to the members thereof and is organized for nonprofit purposes.  No part of any of the net earnings thereof shall inure to the benefit of any member or other individual other than via an open, vetted scholarship award process.

Article III: Membership

Section 1. Any person interested in the purposes and objectives of this Society is eligible to apply for membership.

Section 2. Payment of National Audubon Society annual membership dues shall entitle individuals to a joint membership in the National Audubon Society and the Society, and to all privileges and services accorded members of both organizations.  National Audubon Society shall establish its dues policy.

Section 3. Payment of Society annual membership dues shall entitle individuals to a membership in the Society, and to all privileges and services accorded members of the Society, regardless of membership or non-membership in National Audubon Society.  The Society shall establish its dues policy.

Section 4. Any member of the Society shall have the right to hold office in the Society.

Section 5. To be eligible to vote on any issue or in any election an individual must be a member for one month prior to the vote.

Section 6.  Each eligible person with an individual or a student/senior membership shall have the right to cast one vote at any regular or special meeting of the general membership on any motion properly brought before the membership including:

  1. Election of officers.
  2. Acceptance of substantial gifts to the Society or the undertaking of major projects by the Society including, but not limited to, the purchase, sale, or donation of real properties.
  3. Amendments to the bylaws.

Section 7.  Any membership category other than student/senior and individual entitles two designated individuals to vote.

Section 8.  Membership dues shall be payable at the time of application and, yearly in September thereafter.

Section 9.  Should renewal of membership dues not be paid by November 30, a member so in default shall be dropped forthwith from the rolls and forfeit voting privileges.

Article IV:  Board of Directors

  1. General

Section 1.  The control and conduct of the business of the Society shall be vested in its Board of Directors (hereinafter called the Board).  Voting Board members shall consist of the officers of the society, i.e., President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer; the immediate past president; no fewer than three (3) elected directors; and the chairs of Board Committees. Co-office holders (2 or more persons) shall be entitled/limited to a single vote representing the chair position.  It is expected that most directors shall serve on one of the Board Committees of the Society.

Section 2. An Executive Committee, consisting of the four officers and three elected directors may conduct urgent business for the Society when convening the entire Board of Directors is impractical.  A majority of four (4) affirmative votes of the executive committee is necessary for an action decision.  The Board must be advised of such action decisions prior to or at the next Board meeting.

Section 3. The elected directors shall be chosen by majority vote of the members present at the April meeting and shall take office June 1.  The elected directors shall serve three-year terms, said terms staggered so only one director is elected each year.

Section 4. Meetings of the Board shall be held at least once each quarter of the fiscal year at the call of the President.  A quorum of the Board shall be constituted of seven members, of which four must be elected Board members. Meetings and votes may be held in person, by teleconference or via e-mail.

Section 5. The Board must present matters involving substantial gifts, substantial expenditures, or the undertaking of major projects by the Society to the general membership of the Society for discussion, either at a regular meeting or at a special meeting called for the specific purpose to consider such gifts, expenditures or projects, prior to final acceptance, approval, rejection or disapproval by the Board.

  1. Officers

Section 1. The officers of the Society shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.  Each shall be elected to serve a two-year term at the April meeting and assume office June 1.  A vacancy in the position of any officer except President may be filled by quorum vote of the Board for the remainder of the term.  In case of vacancy in the office of President, the Vice-President shall assume the office until the next regular election. The immediate past president shall continue as a voting member of the board for two years.

Section 2. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board and of the Society, shall administer the affairs of the Society, and supervise the work of the Society, subject to the instructions of the Board.  (S)he shall appoint the chairperson of all committees, subject to the approval of the Board, and shall be an ex-officio member of all but the Nominating and Auditing committees.

Section 3. The Vice-President shall assist the President, perform the duties of the President in her/his absence and is responsible for general meeting program activities.

Section 4. The Secretary shall keep a physical record of all the proceedings of the Society and the Board and perform such other duties pertinent to the office as the Board may direct.  At the first meeting of the Board in each new fiscal year, the Secretary shall make a copy of the Society bylaws available to each Board member.

Section 5. The Treasurer shall have custody of the Society’s funds and investments and shall disburse and/or invest such funds as directed by the Board.  The Treasurer shall make a financial report at Board meetings as requested, and shall prepare a fiscal year-end financial report for the Board.  The Treasurer and President shall be authorized, and any other elected Board member may be authorized, to sign checks or drafts.

Section 6. The President and Treasurer, with input from Board members, shall prepare an annual budget for presentation to and approval by the Board prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, which begins June 1.

  1. Board Committees

Section 1. Board Committees shall be limited to those specified in the bylaws of the Society.  The committee chairpersons named by the President and approved by the Board, may appoint committee members.  The chairperson of each Board committee shall enjoy full Board voting privileges. See exception in Article IV, A, section 1.

Section 2. Membership Committee.  The Membership Committee shall cooperate with the National Audubon Society in matters related to membership.  This committee may conduct membership campaigns and attempt to obtain the continuing membership of those who become delinquent in the payment of dues.

Section 3.  Communication Committee.  The Communications Committee shall:

  1. Secure news from members, and publish and distribute to members a newsletter publicizing the regular meetings and other activities of the Society;
  2. Maintain a website for the Society;
  3. Make suitable information available to the news media.

Section 4. Education Committee. The Education Committee’s responsibilities may include:

  1. Organizing nature material for schools and libraries;
  2. Developing Society-sponsored educational activities;
  3. Developing and providing Society-related materials for presentation and/or display at community events.
  4. Soliciting applications for Society-funded scholarships and vetting said applicants

Section 5. Conservation Committee. The Conservation Committee shall be responsible for identifying, studying, and evaluating environmental problems and opportunities.  The committee should establish local conservation priorities and be alert to Missouri conservation issues, the conservation action priorities of the National Audubon Society and of Missouri-based organizations such as the Conservation Federation of Missouri, Missouri Birding Society, and the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative.  In Addition, the committee should bring these priorities to the attention of the Society and, where appropriate, represent the Society at hearings.

Section 6. Field Trip Committee.  The Field Trip Committee shall plan, organize and arrange for proper conduct of field trips open to members and friends.

Section 7. Nature Areas Committee.  The Nature Areas Committee shall, with the approval of the Board, and subject to limitations herein, be responsible for details concerning the maintenance and development of all real estate owned by the Society.

  1. Ad Hoc Committees

Section 1. Auditing Committee.  The President shall appoint annually two members, approved by the Board, to audit the accounts of the Society.

Section 2. Nominating Committee.  The President shall appoint annually, in January, a nominating committee of three members of the Society, of whom only one may be a member of the Board.  The President shall not serve in this position.  Names of these committee members shall be made known to the members of the Society at the first general meeting of the Society subsequent to their appointment.

The duties of the Nominating Committee shall be to construct a slate of candidates for officers every two years, and for one elected director each year.  Nominees may be suggested by any member of the Society.  The committee shall report its nominations for officers and elected director to the Board, no later than the March Board meeting.  The membership shall be notified of the slate of candidates at least fourteen days before the April election.

Section 3. Other committees.  The President may appoint any other committees as needed with approval of the Board of Directors.

Article V:  Meetings

Section 1. With such exception as the Board of Directors may determine, the Society shall hold regular meetings with date and time fixed by the Board.  Meetings may include video or audio conference calls.  Notice of meeting date, time, and place or electronic method shall be published in the Society newsletter or delivered by email or other electronic medium at least fourteen days before the meeting date.

Section 2. At the April meeting the membership shall be presented with a slate of candidates to fill position(s) for Board member or officer.  Nominations from the floor for any of these positions will be accepted if accompanied with evidence the nominee is willing to serve.


Section 3.  At the annual business meeting in May, the President and Treasurer shall report on the activities and financial condition of the Society.


Section 4. Special meetings of the Society membership may be called by the President or pursuant to a resolution of the Board. At least fourteen days’ notice of such meeting shall be given to each member in the Society newsletter or delivered by email or other electronic medium.


Section 5. Twenty eligible members shall constitute a quorum for all general membership meetings.

Article VI:  Indemnification

The Society shall indemnify any member of the Board, including Board Committee chairpersons, while in the conduct of Society business who was or is a party to any threatened, pending, or pleaded action, suit, or proceeding, as provided by Missouri Law.

 Article VII:  Chapter and National Relationship

The relationship between the National Audubon Society and the Society shall be governed by the chapter policy of the National Audubon Society.

Article VIII:  Amendments

The Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the membership present at a general membership meeting, provided notice of such proposed amendment or amendments be sent to each member of the Society at least fourteen days before said meeting or read at a general membership meeting at least fourteen days prior to the date of the general membership meeting when such proposed amendment or amendments are to be voted upon by the membership.

 Article IX:  Dissolution

Upon Dissolution of the Columbia Audubon Society, Inc., the assets of this Society remaining after payment of or provisions for all debts and liabilities of the Society shall be disposed of to such public institution; government entity; or corporation, association, fund, or foundation organized and operated exclusively for those purposes set forth in section 501©(3) of the internal revenue code which are consistent with the mission and or purpose of this Society, as the Board of Directors of this Society may designate.

Article X:  Parliamentary Authority

In procedural matters not covered by these bylaws, Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern.

Article XI.  Construction

The bylaws as set forth herein shall be construed under the laws of the state of Missouri.

Article XII:  Effective Date

These bylaws shall take effect October 1, 2021.


Wed. Sep. 1, 2021

CAS Board Meeting Highlights for August 18, 2021

by Douglas Miller

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 the City of Columbia’s Bicentennial tree program. We have not yet received the plaque that goes along with the designation.
  • There was another incident of vandalism at Wild Haven: a heavy chain, lock and bolts were taken from the entry gate. Doug Miller enquires about the amount of the cumulative damage and losses over the years and asks if that warrants additional action. The Nature Areas board will come up with proposals to remedy the situation.
  • A different boy scout has taken up the project of constructing kiosk posts at Wild Haven. He has a year to complete the project.
  • The CANS prairie restoration project continues. After May rains caused heavy plant germination, additional herbicide was applied to the expansion unit in July. Bill is asking for advice regarding seed selection; he’s suggesting this planning should be done now.
  • Mike Szydlowski, science coordinator for Columbia Public Schools, is interested in Bill and Jan Mees’s idea of an October pumpkin walk at CANS and/or Bonnie View. He’s proposing events such as: a bat station; a bone yard (animal bones to examine); an owl station to dissect pellets; a cat station explaining the Halloween association of black cats; and something involving spiders and snakes. Mike has spoken to a farmer who could offer 100+ free pumpkins for the children to carve. Mike is targeting Thursday October 28 and/or Friday October 29 since there’s no school those days; also this would be directly after Band With Nature, so the porta-potties could still be in place for no additional expense.
  • Band With Nature, the field trip for Columbia Public Schools second-graders, is scheduled for October 25–27. This year, Andrew Kinslow would conduct the bird banding, not the Missouri River Bird Observatory, although MRBO might conduct an activity involving bird calls. Bill has been unable to get in touch with Raptor Rehab, who has operated a station with owls and hawks in previous years.
  • Bill asks whether we would like to continue participating in the city’s Adopt A Trail program. We currently maintain a 1/2-mile section spanning CANS and Bonnie View. We will continue in the program.


  • Nancy Bedan reports she has sent out a proposal outlining this season’s upcoming programs. Given the continuing COVID pandemic, we will conduct more programs outside during the warmer months, and then conduct online meetings during the winter.
  • Nancy and the board worked out details of the September picnic at Wild Haven.
  • CAS will share a table with the Missouri Birding Society at the Noah Strycker talk in October at the Mizzou Botanic Garden. Noah will be visting with Columbia Public Schools students the morning of the talk. CAS is also trying to schedule an opportunity for members to go birding with Noah on Saturday, October 16th.

Field Trips

  • John Besser reports that no field trips are scheduled other than leading trips at the Wild Haven picnic, possibly birding with Noah Strycker in October, and a Songbird Station anniversary event.

Outreach and Education

  • Lottie Bushmann reports that all 4 teachers who received CAS scholarships attended Educator’s Week at Hog Island. We have requested write-ups about their experience and how they will employ what they’ve learned in their classrooms.
  • Lottie helped conduct two children’s events with Missouri River Relief: a bird booth at Cooper’s Landing, and an event in the Devil’s Icebox parking lot at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.


  • Shelby Thomas reported via Jim Gast that the membership renewal reminders have gone out and that many people have alrady responded.
  • Doug Miller reports that secure HTTPS connections have been added to the CAS website, so member information will be encrypted when they renew online.


  • Jim Gast will go on Paul Pepper’s show with Donna Puleo of the Mizzou Botanic Garden to talk about the Noah Strycker talk in October.


  • The board reviewed and forwarded Brooke Widmar’s response on behalf of Columbia Audubon Society to the proposed management plans at the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.



  • Since the membership meeting in April was cancelled, Jim Gast has amended the last sentence to make the new bylaws effective on October 1, pending approval of the membership at the Wild Haven picnic in September.

Canton Subdivision

  • Jim Gast reports the developer of the Canton Subdivision has withdrawn their proposal.

Other Business

  • CAS’s entry on the CoMoGives fundraiser website has been posted. Annual reports have gone out to previous donors.

Columbia Audubon Society is supported in part by a generous contribution from

2010 Chapel Plaza Court, Suite C • Columbia, MO 65203 • 573-446-5941

Upcoming Events

Noah Strycker Presentation at MU

Friday, October 15, 2021 | 6 pm