BioBlitz!

By Brittney Woody 
Last weekend employees of Missouri River Bird Observatory – Dana, Ethan, and I – traveled to Warrensburg in order to volunteer our time at the BioBlitz put on by the University of Central Missouri.  We drove up Friday afternoon to scout net lanes, and then camped at Knob Noster State Park.  There we chilled out by the fire and were able to catch a few moments with a Red-bellied Woodpecker that seemed to be annoying a Red-headed Woodpecker – the latter made many grouchy attacks on the former!  Also seen around the same time was a Downy Woodpecker and we heard a Pileated Woodpecker. 

Yes, I said camped even though it got into the low thirties that night.  It made for a long night, but the trip was worth it.  The next morning we arrived at the BioBlitz and opened the nets.  While waiting for the next net run we were able to walk around and see all the other exhibits.  There seemed to be something for everyone to take part in from all aspects of biology; mammals, trees, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and don’t forget aves.  We even got to see a HUGE tortoise named George!
The morning started out with 6 white-throated sparrows, which made the people pretty happy to be able to get up close and personal with Mother Nature’s creatures.  Each of the kids took turns releasing them and their smiles said it all – Priceless!!!!  Later in the morning Dana put out a playback of a Northern Parula and about ninety seconds later a very aggravated male found his way down from the tree tops and into our net.  The beauty of this bird was extraordinary and the citizens turned this little guy into a supermodel, taking lots and lots of pictures.  We also tried to call in a Grey Catbird but he hit the net and flew off, though we did get to experience the aggressiveness of a male Northern Cardinal.  All in all a great day and great time spent with people that truly enjoy the great outdoors.  We can’t wait until next year to do it all over again!!!!!


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