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.