by Jim Gast, President
This is my last column as president of Columbia Audubon Society. I regret that we weren’t able to meet in person more often, but I think the Zoom meetings worked out well. I have enjoyed sharing eBird tidbits with you and hope that you found them useful.
I want to thank Nancy Bedan for doing a wonderful job coming up with programs during the last two years. She found interesting speakers who talked about a variety of topics. I also want to thank Nancy, Doug Miller, John Besser and Jean Neely for serving on the board. Their elected terms end on May 31st. I also appreciate the hard work of all the other board members and committee chairs including Eric Seaman, Greg Leonard, Eric Wood, Bill Mees, Dee Dokken, Lottie Bushmann, Allison Vaughn, Lisa Schenker and Shelby Thomas.
We elected new officers during the April general meeting. The new officers, who start their duties on June 1st, are:
In case you haven’t heard, Bradford Farm is closed to birders, fishers, photographers, dogwalkers, runners and all other non-employees and researchers because people have been driving off the gravel roads, parking so that equipment can’t pass and walking through the research plots. There has also been vandalism and thefts.
On April 14th, John Besser, Lottie Bushmann (representing Missouri Birding Society (MBS), and I met with with Dusty Walters, Director of the MU Central Missouri Research Extension and Education Center, Andrew Biggs, manager of Bradford Farms and Tim Rheinbott, the former manager at Bradford to discuss how to enable birders to return to Bradford.
We discussed the unique birds that occur at the area and the history of cooperation and consultation between Tim and Brad Jacobs. Andrew and Dusty emphasized the importance of not interfering with the experimental plots for both scientific and safety reasons including that they use toxic materials.
Dusty expressed his desire to come up with a plan to allow birders to continue to use the area and will be working on guidelines that will need to be followed. Some of the items discussed were a parking area, a check in system, and submission of checklists on eBird which would validate that people were actually birding. Lottie showed them how to use eBird so they could see checklists. Dusty will seek input from CAS and MBS before the new guidelines are implemented. Until they are in place, the restrictions will remain, but Andrew said he would approve sponsored field trips.
Dusty also encouraged birders to use other extension farms in mid-Missouri. For a list, visit: https://moaes.missouri.edu/central-missouri-research-extension-and-education-center/. If you have any questions about any of these areas, check with Dusty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you missed Pete Monacell’s talk on shorebirds you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/9Y6gEHmxrpE
I apologize for cutting off the introduction. I thought I hit the record button but apparently did not. Here’s what I said: On a great day for shorebirds and waterfowl, I’m pleased to introduce Dr. Peter Monacell, who will present tonight’s program on “Identification of Spring Shorebirds in Missouri.” We thank Pete for his flexibility in making the last-minute move from an in-person event to a Zoom presentation. Many of you know Pete as a regional reviewer for eBird and as a member of the Missouri Bird Records Committee. His “other” job is associate professor in the Language and Communication Studies Department at Columbia College, where he teaches a variety of writing and literature courses and also serves as the Director of General Education for the college. Tonight, Pete will discuss the basics of spring shorebird identification and highlight some of the species we may see locally this time of year. We’re also providing an opportunity to practice your new shorebird identification skills this coming Saturday afternoon. Pete has graciously agreed to lead a special field trip for us at Eagle Bluffs, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Saturday at the Katy Trail State Park trailhead in McBaine. Finally, I’d like to thank the Missouri Birding Society for co-sponsoring this program and welcome MBS members who are Zooming with us.
The picnic will be at Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary Shelter, 3300 W Rollins Rd, from 4:00-7:00 p.m.
There will be bird walks and prairie tours from 4:00-5:30 p.m. followed by the picnic at 5:30 p.m. and membership meeting at 6:30 p.m. This will be the perfect time to check out the newly seeded acreage in the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary as well as the city’s Bonnie View Sanctuary. Plan to bring your own picnic supper and tableware. Columbia Audubon will provide water and soft drinks.