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.