A Busy 2014 Field Season

A bumble-bee visits flowers on Diamond Grove Prairie
Conservation Area near Joplin.

You may have visited this blog recently and said, “Wow, this blog isn’t updated very often.” Rest assured there is a reason outside of laziness. We are headlong into the field season and we are busy!

We are once again attempting to survey nearly every public and many private grasslands in the state of Missouri. That’s 100 properties with about 19,000 acres of direct coverage in in a month and a half. Meanwhile we are conducting 45 marsh bird surveys, spanning the state and conducting severel educational events in the same timeframe… phew!

This week we stopped into Joplin and Audubon’s Wildcat Glades Nature Center to check in their Prothonotary Warbler nest box project. Later, we plan to help them by color-banding the young.

Prothonotary Warbler nestlings are checked on by Audubon’s
Wildcat Glades Nature Center Staff. We plan to band them this

We made a trip to survey grassland birds at Diamond Grove Prairie, Schell-Osage, and Wah-kon-tah Prairie Conservation Areas. Veronica and Zeb were Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship with volunteers on Prairies in the Hi-Lonesome Conservation Opportunity Area before surveying in the north-central part of the state for marsh birds. Later, they caught up with us at Wah-kon-tah near El Dorado Springs.

We teamed up with Matt Hill, Len Gilmore, Elizabeth Middleton, Kevin Sullivan, and several other MDC staffers to host a field day for the stellar students of Montrose High School. Hi-Lonesome Master Naturalist extraordinaire(s) Roxanne Stockdall and company added support for the students, as well. I think we all learned a lot that day… as with most days on those amazing prairies.

A turkey nest in the prairie that MDC’s Matt Hill helped Montrose High School

students find.

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