by Jim Gast, President, Columbia Audubon Society

Greetings, Columbia Audubon Society! We have a guest columnist from St. Louis Audubon Society this month, and great updates from our committees.

Board Position up for Election

There is one three-year board member position opening up that will need to be filled this year.  I have appointed a nominating committee to find candidates. The committee members are Brooke Widmar, chair, Susan Hazelwood and Boyd Terry. To nominate someone for this position, make sure they are willing to serve and submit that person’s name to Brooke Widmar at You can also self-nominate. Nominations are due by March 9th.

Filmmaker Tim Barksdale to Present February Program

CAS members are in for a special treat at our regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 17th, at 7:00 p.m. (See calendar listing for the Zoom link.) Filmmaker and cinematographer Tim Barksdale will share trailers from past work and films currently in production. As CEO of Birdman Productions, Tim has been pursuing birds with a camera since 1991 and made more than 700 analog and digital media tapes of North, Central and South American birds, a collection that forms the core of the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. One of his recent projects, “Battle on the Booming Grounds: The Last Dance of the Prairie Chicken,” has appeared in film festivals around the world and reached millions of viewers via PBS.

January Program

In case you missed Paige Witek talking about grassland birds for our January program, you can view it at: .

CAS Wins Grant

Boone Electric Community Trust awarded the Columbia Audubon Society a $1056 grant for the purpose of installing an interpretive panel at CANS. A big thank you to Bill Mees for completing the application and all those who proofread it.  Bill, Allison Vaughn, and Doug Miller are working on the text and design for the panel. They may be asking you for bird photos if you have them!

Got Photos?

The CoMoGives committee needs photos for this year’s 2021 campaign.  If you have bird photos (especially in winter) or other nature-related photos, please send them to me at

 More Places to Birdwatch

Columbia is blessed with a lot of parks and green space. Have you tried birding at one of the several small neighborhood parks around town? Parks such as Fairview Park, Oakwood Hills Park, Kiwanis Park, Grasslands Park, Lions-Stephens, Clyde Wilson (formerly known as Rock Hill Park) and Strawn Road Park (watch for disc golfers) have a variety of bird species. Next time you want to bird “someplace new,” try one of Columbia’s neighborhood parks.

Institute for Bird Populations

The Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) established the Monitoring Overwinter Survival (MoSI) to research bird populations with a concentration on migrant land birds that breed in Canada and the United States. There are 250 stations in 22 countries stretching from Texas and California down to northern Argentina. Most of the stations are in Mexico and Central America. Workers band birds at the stations and record information such as weight, length and sex. To find out more about MoSI, go to

Steven Albert with the IBP sent the following email to all Missouri Audubon chapters explaining more about the program:

In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Institute for Bird Populations (IBP,, a non-profit conservation science organization, is launching a new initiative to establish connections between conservation organizations in Missouri and other parts of the Upper Midwest with our network of collaborators that are working to conserve the same species on their wintering grounds in Latin America. Local and state Audubon chapters will play a central role in this project.

We all understand the need to protect birds through their full annual cycle, which is why IBP established a network of research and monitoring stations across the tropics called the Monitoring Overwinter Survival (MoSI) program in areas where North American breeding birds spend up to eight months of the year. Without collaborating partners in these countries, conservation efforts face a much tougher battle.

IBP works with nearly 100 conservation partners from Mexico to Argentina in protecting and studying migratory birds on their wintering grounds. Latin American conservation professionals face many challenges, including a lack of resources. We believe establishing partnerships with North American conservation groups will help under-resourced Latin American conservationists achieve their goals while also providing tangible benefits to North American partners.

Support can take many forms, such as collaborative research on shared species, providing bird banding supplies, birding and ecotourism visits to project sites in the tropics, or other projects.