Newsletter of the Columbia Audubon Society | May 2021 | Volume 63, Number 9

Sat. May. 1, 2021

Note from the President

by Jim Gast, President

Board Election Results

Congratulations to Greg Leonard who won re-election to the board. He will be serving another three-year term as director.

Picnic on May 22nd

Instead of a monthly meeting for May, we will be holding a picnic at Wild Haven on Saturday, May 22nd from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Provided there is a quorum, we will be voting on the proposed changes to our bylaws.  A draft of the new bylaws appears later in this newsletter as does additional information concerning the picnic.

Membership Dues

After soliciting comments from members on a series of proposed changes to the membership dues, the board voted at its April meeting to restructure the membership rates for Columbia Audubon.  The current dues structure has been in effect for over ten years. A new senior membership for those 65 and over will now be available. The business and friend category was merged into one category called friends.  The other category names (student, individual, family and donor) stay the same. Membership Chair Shelby Thomas shares the new rates elsewhere in The Chat. The new rates go into effect on June 1st, which is the start of our fiscal year.

Canton Estates Update

Last month I wrote about the Canton Estates development that was going before the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission.  The commission voted 7-1 (one member was absent) to deny both the annexation request and the plat for the subdivision.  The request now goes before the city council.  Barring any changes, the annexation request is scheduled to be heard on May 3rd and the plat is scheduled for May 17th.

April Program

In  case you missed the April program featuring Ethan Duke and Mike Snyder, you can watch it at

Ethan mentioned the following resources in his talk:



The Singing Life of Birds by Dr. Donald

The Warbler Guide:

Peterson’s Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America by Nathan Pieplow:


MRBO’s Missouri Bird Songs:

World Collection of Bird Sounds:

Nathan Pieplow’s (associated with his book):


Cornell’s Raven (free and pro versions):

Audacity (free):

Mike Snyder mentioned two websites concerning the Parks Sales Tax.  For more information on the sales tax go to  To make comments on what should be funded should the tax be renewed in November, click on

 Enjoying Missouri Birds

The Department of Conservation revised their Enjoying Missouri Birds brochure.  This booklet shows the time of year, the location in the state and the habitat for the bird species that appear regularly in Missouri.

Summer Plans

This will be the last Chat until the September 2021 edition.  There aren’t any scheduled membership meeting for June, July and August, but the board will meet at least once during the summer.



Sat. May. 1, 2021

Changes in Membership Dues

by Shelby Wren, Membership Chair

This month, the board approved updating the membership levels and amounts. Membership levels have not been reviewed in over ten years so we decided it was time to streamline the categories. The new updates are as follows:

$15 – Student and Senior (65+)

$25 – Individual

$40 – Family*

$60 – Donor*

$300 – Friend*

*includes 2 membership votes

The main changes we made were creating a senior discount that coincides with the student discount and increasing the individual and family rates. The Bylaws were also updated in stating that the family, donor, and friend levels will include two membership votes. These changes will go into effect starting on June 1st, 2021. Remember to pay your dues if you haven’t already done so!

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments at

Sat. May. 1, 2021

CoMo Gives Committee Seeks Volunteers

by Jan Mees, CoMo Gives Committee

The 2021 CoMoGives Committee is looking for interested CAS members and friends to help with the 2021 CoMoGives Community Fundraising Campaign which is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri.

If you like writing, photo selection and/or have technical skills, this is the job for you! Put your skills to work with other dedicated CAS member.  Time commitment is short – only about three meetings total from August through November in preparation for a December 1st campaign kickoff.

Participation in the CoMoGives campaign the past 6 years has netted over $47,000 for the CAS treasury.  Those funds enable CAS to provide educational programs and scholarships, participate in conservation efforts, maintain CAS properties and encourage environmental initiatives.

So put down your binoculars for a spell and be a part of a committee to help CAS soar!

Please contact Jan Mees at to join this important (and fun) group!

Sat. May. 1, 2021

New CAS Bylaws

by Bylaws Committee

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 of Directors, 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 Columbia Audubon 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 June 1, 2021.


Sat. May. 1, 2021

If You Approve: New CAS Bylaws

by Bylaws Committee:  Jim Gast, Edge Wade, and Bill Mees

Please read the proposed bylaws that are being offered for your consideration and approval.  Some of the amendments are necessary to comply with life under COVID-19.  Currently there are no provisions for conducting the business of CAS electronically.

Additionally, this presents an opportunity to clarify other questions:  1. How many eligible votes accompany a family membership? 2. How many days notification is needed prior to an unscheduled Board meeting, unscheduled membership meeting, or membership vote?  3.  Emergency Board action (Executive Committee), who, how many, what constitutes a quorum?  4. Indemnification of individual Board members subsequent to threatened or impending legal action.

These amended bylaws are intended to facilitate operations in the electronic age.  Other changes clarify previously asked questions and concerns to provide openness and fairness for all the members of Columbia Audubon Society.

The new bylaws are included in this issue of the CHAT and on line (  Please review them.  There will be a vote to accept these amended bylaws at the membership meeting to be held at Wild Haven on May 22, 2021.


Sat. May. 1, 2021

Revised, Updated Enjoying Missouri’s Birds Now Available

by Edge Wade

State ornithologist Sarah Kendrick’s careful, page-by-page analysis and revision Enjoying Missouri’s Birds, a 42-page 6.5×9” FREE revised edition just out in March 2021 has a new sub-title:  A Beginner’s Guide to Birding.  It’ s available from MDC’s Nature Shop, either by toll-free phone at 877-521-8632 or online at, or at regional MDC offices, MDC nature centers.

Every bird enthusiast in Missouri should have a copy in the house and another in the car. Clearly written, concise sections such as “What to Notice About Birds,” “Features to Note,” and “Other Clues to Identification” provide a foundation for getting comfortable with a full, enjoyable experience of watching birds.

The “Habitats” section covers five general habitat categories and what species to expect in them for birders venturing beyond the backyard.

The 51-page bar charts of Missouri’s expected bird species (color-coded for habitat and augmented with region designation) are up-to-date with current taxonomy and state sighting records.  Missouri Bird Records Committee secretary Bill Rowe’s contribution of his intimate knowledge of species’ occurrence in dates, region, habitat and abundance make this edition’s charts the most accurate source available.

Want to know what to expect in your yard or the nearby pond or woods, and when to look for the first hummer or oriole, or why that bird is attacking your window and what to do about it?  Get this free booklet!  Better yet, get a half-dozen and share with friends.

Sat. May. 1, 2021

North American Migratory Bird Count-May 8

by John Besser, Nature Areas Committee

Join CAS for the Boone County migration count on May 8.

Columbia Audubon Society will continue its tradition of doing a Boone County-wide Bird Count on the second Saturday of May (May 8 this year). Our count will be held on the same day the ‘Global Big Day’ promoted by eBird, and all the data from the Boone County count will be entered into eBird, so participants will be able to compare their lists with other Big Day birders.

We conduct the migration count in much the same way we do the Christmas Bird Count, by dividing the map of Boone County into smaller count areas (see figure) and having volunteer leaders recruit birders to help them cover their section. Most of the same leaders and helpers from previous years will be participating again, but there may be a vacancy for one area leader and there is definitely room for more volunteers who want to help in one of the count areas. If you’re interested, please contact Laura Hillman ( She should be able to find you a group that needs more counters.

Here’s how we will compile the data using eBird: Each group will enter their checklist in to eBird as usual. Groups should submit as many checklists for their count area as needed to reflect what locations they birded and when. Also, use the ‘checklist comments’ field to indicate which area you counted. Checklists that are to be part of the Boone County migration count must be shared with the Columbia Audubon Society’s’ eBird account, using the username, ’casbirddata’. You can share the checklist either in the field using the eBird mobile app or later on the eBird website  If nobody in your account group uses eBird, you can enter the data into the CAS account directly rather than sharing it. For instructions on data entry or other questions about eBird, contact John Besser (

Once all the checklists are safely entered into eBird, the data will be downloaded and sorted into an Excel file that will allow us to compare the species counts and total bird counts with results of previous counts. Look for results in the June CHAT!


Sat. May. 1, 2021

Nature Area Notes

by John Besser and Bill Mees, Nature Areas Committee

All bird photos by John Besser, Nature Areas Committee: Indigo Bunting, Black and White Warbler, and Summer Tanager. Interpretive Panel signs by Jan Mees.

Wild Haven wildflower walk draws a crowd

About 20 people turned out for wildflower walk led by Roxie Campbell on April 11. The weather was great and lots of early wildflowers were on display. Roxie gave us identification tips and taught us how human disturbance and invasive species are both bad for these small plants that are closely adapted to their microenvironment. Roxie had many wildflower specimens marked with information cards on along the yellow trail, and she plans to update this information as different species come into bloom the spring. Be sure to look for these updates during upcoming chapter events at Wild Haven.

Native plants added to CANS

Thanks to Eric Wood who obtained a number of Missouri native plants from Columbia Parks and Recreation and planted them at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary.


Wild Haven bird walk, May 16, 830-1130 AM.

Mid-May is the peak of songbird migration in mid-Missouri, so it just didn’t seem like the right time to schedule a work day. Instead, we’ll have a leisurely bird walk, sampling the varied habitats at Wild Haven. We’ll start from the picnic shelter at 830 AM and we’ll be back by 11:30 AM. The terrain at Wild Haven is uneven and we may have to cross some wet spots, so wear sturdy shoes or boots. Rain date is Sunday, May 17.


Annual Picnic at Wild Haven, Saturday May 22. It’s been a few years since we had our traditional picnic at the Wild Haven shelter and it’s been over a year since we’ve had a face-to-face chapter meeting of any kind. We hope there will be a good turnout for this event. See the meeting announcement elsewhere in the CHAT for details. See you there!

June Work Day, June 13, 4-7 PM

We’re hoping to get in one more work day at Wild Haven before the heat and humidity of the summer. We still have a couple brush piles to burn, and the hiking trails will be due for a touch-up.






Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary Update:

Several months have passed since Boone Electric Community Trust awarded Columbia Audubon Society (CAS) $1056 for a trailside interpretive sign.  The sign titled Grassland Restoration Project highlights the many benefits provided by the prairie at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS).  The 10 photos of birds and flowers were all provided by CAS members and friends.

Special thanks are owed to Allison Vaughn and Jim Gast for their assistance with the signs story. The final design is compliments of Doug Miller. The sign post installation was carried out by David Neely and Bill Mees. It’s a group effort.

Make an opportunity in your birding day to visit CANS and check out the new addition located in the southeast corner of the parking area along Scott’s Branch Trail.

Thank you, Boone Electric Community Trust.


Sat. May. 1, 2021

Notes from the Conservation Chair: Spring Bird Migration!

by Brooke Widmar, Conservation Committee Chair

Lights Out Campaign and other updates!

May Conservation Updates:

We’re in the final stretch of the 2021 Missouri legislative session – only 4 weeks left! That is plenty of time for great conservation successes like the Prescribed Burning Act (HB 369 and SB 301) to be passed, but damaging bills can still make it through, like HJR 55 (highlighted in last month’s newsletter). It’s time for all of us to keep a close watch on bills, and contact our legislators to give them a birders perspective on conservation-related legislation. If you haven’t signed up yet, please join the Conservation Federation of Missouri’s Legislative Action Center to keep on top of important bills:

May is also an exciting time for birders because of the ongoing spring migrations! To make sure these bird populations are strong for years to come, we can all take steps to reduce light pollution, and make the midwest a safe pathway for these migrating birds. Make sure to turn your #LightsOut this month, and spread the word through a multi-state collaborative, Lights Out Heartland. Learn more at


Sat. May. 1, 2021

CAS Meeting Highlights for April 20, 2021 & April 23, 2021

by Douglas Miller

April 20, 2021 Board Meeting

  • The proposed updated membership levels will be: $15 Student/Senior (65+); $25 Individual; $40 Family; $60 Donor; $300 Friend
  • All “Friends” (both commercial and private) are entitled to recognition in the Chat and on the website.
  • The revised membership levels are approved by the board.
Nature Areas
  • Albert Children’s Area. Jim Gast reports that a neighbor is still expressing interest in buying the area. The board does not support selling the property.
  • Wild Haven. Joh Besser reports that the next “work day” at Wild Haven will be more of a “field trip day,” although anyone wishing help pick up trash along the roadside is welcome to do so. Bill Mees reports a future work day will be needed to place posts for the new parking area. A new “Wild Haven” sign has been installed near the gate.
  • Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. Bill Mees reports Eric Wood secured six tree seedlings from Columbia Parks & Recreation and planted them at CANS (although one has already been pulled up.) The new interpretive sign is due to be delivered and installed in the near future.
  • Brooke Widmar reports that bill HGR55 is no longer progressing through the Missouri legislature. Columbia Audubon Society is opposed to this bill, which would modify the governance of the Missouri Department of Conservation.
  • The prescribed fire bill has moved through the Missouri House and is currently being heard in a Missouri Senate committee.
  • Some Missouri wildlife and conservation groups are opposing an effort to sell Eleven Point State Park. During discussion an opinion was offered that the property is highly ecologically degraded, was purchased for reasons other than conservation, and that the resources currently dedicated to its upkeep would be much better spent on the protection of other state park lands that are of much higher ecological value. Columbia Audubon Society is not taking a position on this issue.
Field Trips
  • Lottie Bushmann reports that field trips with the Missouri Birding Society will be: May 1 at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park; May 4 at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary; then May 11 and May 15 at the city’s 3M Wetlands Area.
  • Jim Gast reports that Laura Hillman is ready to hand off coordinating the Migratory Bird Count. Lottie volunteers to help coordinate the birding groups if she had help. Allison Vaughn and John Besser will collaborate.
Outreach and Education
  • Lottie Bushmann reports that she and Education Committee co-chair Lisa Schenker met in-person with a Ridgeway-Benton boy scout troup and their families. They visited the 3M Wetland Area for an hour, seeing a beaver lodge, hearing bird calls, and spotting a nesting Canada Goose as well as a Pie-billed Grebe.
  • Lottie will be meeting with a Hog Island scholarship recipient who teaches in Madison, Missouri. Lottie will be accompanying the teacher and his class on a field trip to Rudolph Bennet Wildlife Area in May.
  • Lottie reports that Mike Szydlowski will meet with the Missouri River Birding Association about possible online professional development programs for teachers; in-person programs are currently restricted due to COVID. Mike Szydlowski also said an Eagle Scout troop is building bluebird boxes; schools that receive boxes will incorporate monitoring programs.
  • Jim Gast reports that Mike Snyder of the Columbia Parks & Recreation department will talk at tomorrow’s general meeting, looking for ideas of how the city could use its tax proceeds to benefit Columbia Audubon Society. The sales tax election is in November.
  • Nancy Bedan will meet with the Mizzou Botanic Garden regarding an upcoming talk with Noah Strycker which CAS is co-sponsoring. The talk is provisionally entitled “Birding without Birders — an Epic World Big Year”
  • Nancy reports that the May picnic at Wild Haven has been scheduled for May 22 from 4–7pm. For everyone’s safety we will be bringing our own food and chairs; we will socially distance and wear masks when not eating. John Besser, Lottie Bushmann and Bill Mees will lead small, informal birding walks.
  • Nancy notes it’s time to start preparing to secure an in-person meeting place for next season when (hopefully) COVID restrictions are eased. We’ll check with the Unitarian Universalist Church, but if they’re not available, please send any ideas for meeting places to Nancy.
  • Bill Mees highlighted proposed changes to the Bylaws. He will write an introduction to the revisions which will be published alongside the full amended Bylaws in the next Chat.
  • Discussion ensued where amendments were made regarding:
    • Meetings and/or votes that are conducted when the board cannot meet in person.
    • The expected term and duties of the ex-president.
    • Retaining physical records of society business.
  • (Further revisions were made at a following meeting on April 23, 2021. See below.)
Canton Subdivision Update
  • The Columbia Audubon Society had previously voted to oppose current plans for a proposed subdivision next to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Jim Gast reported on a recent Columbia Planning and Zoning Committee meeting that he attended and at which he testified where that board voted against the proposed plans for the subdivision, as well as opposing the city annexing the property from the county. The City Council will possibly take up this issue on May 3, 2021. Jim will not be able to attend that meeting so Brooke Widmar and/or Nancy Bedan will attend in his place to speak on behalf of CAS against the proposal.
2021 CoMoGives Campaign
  • Jim Gast reports the Central Missouri Community Foundation is asking whether CAS would like to participate in the next CoMoGives fundraiser during December 2021. The approves participating this next year.
  • CAS CoMoGives Committee member Bill Mees reports that Jan Mees would be willing to chair the committee one more year, but is looking for a replacement who could serve on the committee this year to get a feel for the position.
2021–2022 Budget
  • The proposed 2021–2022 budget was reviewed and approved.
CAS and the City Parks Sales Tax
  • As mentioned previously, Mike Snyder of the Columbia Parks & Recreation department will attend the next CAS general meeting to solicit proposals for the use of sales tax proceeds that might benefit Columbia Audubon Society and our objectives.
  • Jim Gast proposes a prescribed burn of the prairie at CANS and Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary. Nancy Bedan mentions storm water runoff mitigation at CANS. Nancy also proposes lobbying for more cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation to improve Hinkson Woods as a resource for more city residents. Bill Mees also proposes that Parks & Recreation cooperate more with CAS and state agencies to promote Columbia as a destination for birders. Nancy mentioned a longstanding proposal to place a nature center at Bonnie View as a resource for Fairview School and the rest of the city. These ideas will be shared with Parks & Recreation at the next general meeting.

April 23, 2021 Emergency Board Meeting

  • Jim proposed changing Article III, Section 6 to say “each eligible person with an individual or a student/senior membership shall have the right to cast one vote…” (continues to end of section with no other changes)
  • Changing Article III, Section 7 to remove mention of a minimum age for a voting member, reading: “any membership category other than student/senior and individual entitles two designated individuals to vote.”
  • The Bylaws were approved as amended.
Thu. Apr. 1, 2021

CAS Board Meeting Highlights for March 16, 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:

Nominating Committee

  • Brooke Widmar reports that no additional nominations for Director have been received. An e-mail election will be held in April. Brooke will create a Google form for members to cast their vote; notice of the procedure will be in the next Chat.


  • Shelby Thomas reports that so far there have been no responses to the proposed revised membership levels. On a related note, the Bylaws committee is considering instituting an honorary membership that does not include the right to cast votes; also possibly specifying that a “Family” membership would include exactly two votes. Considering the previous Family level was twice the Individual level minus a discount, a revised Family amount might be somewhere in the $40–$45 range.

Nature Areas

  • Bill Mees reports John Besser and Jim Gast met with deputy sheriff Eli Norwood at Wild Haven to discuss vandalism. (The plexiglass pin board was damaged, in addition to the other incidents of theft and vandalism in the past.) Recommendations included (solar) motion-activated lights, “no trespassing” signs, and encouraging more public visitation. Bill’s contact number has been given to the police dispatcher to help keep us more easily informed of suspicious activity at the nature area.
  • Bill has called the Missouri One Call System in preparation for beginning the parking area project at Wild Haven. Another work session has been scheduled to continue burning brush piles and to pick up litter.
  • Bill reports a meeting with Mike Snyder of Columbia Parks & Recreation, Allison Vaughn, Jim Gast and John Besser regarding prescribed fire at Bonnie View and CANS. Parks is in favor of a fire project; they’re looking for a contractor to conduct the burn on both park and CAS property. We’re targeting a burn in November or December 2021.
  • Bill reports that hardware for the CANS interpretive panel has arrived. Jim Gast, John Besser and Allison Vaughn approved the installation site. The panel design is complete; all photos were from CAS members.
  • Bill and Mike Szydlowski (Columbia Public Schools science coordinator) spoke with a Fairview Elementary 3rd grade class about their plans to create a prairie.
  • A Mizzou journalism student conducted an interview with Bill at CANS that resulted in a 90-second “audio postcard” broadcast on KBIA.
  • Bill is proposing a new Wild Haven sign to replace the old one, possibly constructed of cedar boards with cut-out letters screwed on, affixed to two posts; such a design could cost as much as $400 in materials. The placement of the new sign is still being contemplated.

Outreach and Education

  • Lottie Bushmann will escort a Cub Scout pack to CANS one evening in April.
  • Jim Gast will be presenting a program for the Centralia Garden Club.
  • Lottie has not yet met with Mike regarding possible alternatives to Hog Island for teacher education.


  • Brooke Widmar reports the Prescribed Fire legislation has passed through hearings in the Missouri House and Senate; it’s being prepared for a floor vote.
  • Another pending bill, HJR55, would modify the structure of the Missouri Conservation Commission. Bill Mees asked if there was a consensus that CAS should go on the record opposing the legislation. There was. Brooke will monitor the bill; we will have a statement prepared for local representatives in case the proposed legislation successfully passes out of committee.

The board approves that CAS publicly oppose HJR55.

Canton Subdivision

  • Jim Gast reports on a proposed high-intensity 65-acre development of 113 homes next to Rock Bridge Memorial Park. This location borders the Gans Creek Wild Area, separated only by the oil/gas pipelines. Nancy Bedan suggests that CAS come out on record opposing the proposal and designate representatives to testify at city meetings. Jim Gast will draft talking points for the board to review; Jim and/or Brooke will represent CAS at city meetings; the talking points will go into the April chat to encourage members to contact city representatives.

The board approves CAS opposing the Canton Subdivision project as currently proposed.

Spring Missouri Birding Society meeting

  • Lottie Bushmann reports on upcoming joint CAS/MBS field trips as part of the MBS spring meeting in late April and early May. These will be socially-distanced, masked, small groups at Rock Bridge Memorial Park. Doug Tallamy will present a program about native plants as part of the main MBS meeting.

Sponsoring Noah Strycker

  • Nancy reports on an event that CAS might help sponsor: a talk by noted birder Noah Strycker at a Mizzou Botanic Garden event in October. The program would be free and open to the public. Nancy proposes using up to $500 of the CoMoGives windfall to help underwrite the event; the Missouri Birding Society may also provide funding. In exchange for the financial support, we are asking for prominent mention as a sponsor. It is hoped such a sponsorship will provide greater exposure and forge stronger connections to people associated with Mizzou. The event is still in the early stages of planning, and MBG has not requested a specific amount.

The board approves providing up to $500 to support the Mizzou Botanic Garden event, on the understanding that our sponsorship would be highly visible.

2021–2022 Budget

  • Jim Gast reports that he and Eric Seaman are working on next year’s CAS budget. They are requesting that board members submit any proposed changes before the April board meeting. The budget will be approved at the May board meeting.

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

Fieldtrip with Missouri Birding Society-Rock Bridge Memorial SP

May 1, 2021 | 8:00am-12:00pm

Joint Field Trip with MBS: Birding at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary

May 4, 2021 | 8:00am-12:00pm

Migratory Bird Count-May 8

Saturday, May 8, 2021 | All Day

Joint Field Trip with MBS: 3M Wetlands

May 11, 2021 | 8:00am-12:00pm

Joint Field Trip with MBS: 3M Wetlands-Great for Beginners!

May 15, 2021 | 8:00am-12:00pm

Wild Haven Bird Walk: Sunday May 16, 8:30-11:30 am

Sunday, May 16, 2021 | 8:30-11:30am

Annual Picnic at Wild Haven Nature Area-May 22, 2021

Saturday, May 22, 2021 | 4:00pm-7:00pm