September Broad-winged Hawk migration update. The Hawk Watch Happy Hour “field trip” didn’t yield much in the way of hawks, but it drew ~20 people and was a good time nonetheless. (Email me if you were there and would like to have the eBird list shared with you). As of the time I’m writing this, no reports of stunning kettles have come in from the CAS six-county area, but multiple impressive sightings have been coming in from across the state during the peak period for migration. Here are a few highlights as of 9/28:
Jack and Shirley Foreman reported large numbers on September 25 and 26 in Franklin County (east central Missouri). Their eBird list reporting 1,500 on the 26th has some nice photos.
Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren reported at least 180 at Tower Grover Park in St. Louis on September 28; Chirssy made this video, which does a nice job at giving a taste of the excitement of seeing a mass of hawks swirling in the sky above you.
The peak report so far comes from Nancy Rochovansky, who estimated 8 to 10 thousand (!) on September 28 at her home in Barry County, southwest Missouri. Her report on the MOBIRDS listserv is worth reading.
A House Finch with an eye disease that often affects this species was sighted by Nancy Wahrenbrock and posted on the CAS Facebook group. Neither the House Finch nor the eye disease occurred historically in Missouri. House Finches historically had a range in western North America, but they were introduced in the east and then spread rapidly westward, thus eventually colonizing Missouri. Later, the eye disease spread through the eastern population of House Finches, reaching Missouri in the late 1990s, according to a map at Project Feeder Watch, where you can read more about finches, the eye disease, and the opportunity to be a citizen scientist who contributes data about both.
Warblers! September is a good month for warbler watching in Missouri. Here’s a listing of 24 species reported on eBird within Boone County this September (as of a few days prior to the end of the month), followed by a few photos of warblers that were submitted through eBird in September in Boone County. The photos are embedded from the Macaulay Library, an archive of photos, videos, and audio recordings submitted through eBird lists.
Black-throated Green Warbler
Please submit sightings! The “Sightings” column contains a sampling of interesting bird and nature observations made since the prior newsletter, with emphasis on the six-county region (Audrain, Boone, Cooper, Howard, Monroe, Randolph) served by the Columbia Audubon Society. If you see an interesting behavior, encounter an unusual species, notice unusually high or low populations of a species, get a great photo or audio recording, or otherwise have something interesting to share, please send an email to me (Joanna Reuter). Reports can (and preferably should) be brief; alternatively, simply send me a link to an eBird list if it contains comments explaining the observation.