Special Guests and the first big wave of 2011

    We had the good fortune of having some of the finest of Missouri’s Conservation Stewards on hand. Brad Jacobs (MDC), Gene Gardner (MDC), and Rick Thom (MDC/MCHF) brought about a century of combined conservation experience to the banding station.
    These men have made countless contributions to the conservation of Missouri’s Natural Communities. We recognize them as invaluable mentors and supporters of MRBO’s education, community outreach, research, and monitoring. Their encouragement is greatly appreciated.
    Just before they arrived, it was a calm morning. The mist nets hung as still as the air. Stark contrast to the windy days of the past week that continually forced us close as nets began to billow like topsails.
    Our first big wave of migrant birds seemed to have arrived through the morning. This increase in productivity was experienced by 20 school children from Bueker Middle School as well as by Brad, Gene, and Rick. The experienced crew extracted birds from nets and the kids stood with the banders.
    Young students also reviewed maps and information on banding. Their knowledge was further exercised through participating in the “Migration Headache” activity were they learned the value of quality habitats on wintering, breeding, and stopover grounds. The rowdy group had a chance to focus there attention on identifying birds by sight and sound as they were led on a short bird walk.
   Song Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, American Robins, and a couple others were observed by sight and sound.
    We look forward to another group of students tomorrow and hope our mentors return soon.
    By days end we had banded 90 birds of 28 species. A Western Palm Warbler became our 103rd species banded at Grand Pass Conservation Area.

One Response to “Special Guests and the first big wave of 2011

  • Very cool. I wish I had that experience as a youngster. The best we could do was bird feeders and I.D. books…still doing it!
    Here in Western NY, new birds are coming in to our feeders daily…today we had two male Rose-breasted Grossbeaks. Last week we saw our first brown-headed cowbirds, song sparrows, and a few Purple Finches (no brown stripes on the side, so I don’t think they are male House Finches.) The spring in the uplands here (elev. 1575 in the valley) seems at least two weeks later than usual.