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Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City
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Our website has a wealth of information on important topics and upcoming meetings and field trips. Chapter Code for Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City - NO2.
C O R P O R A T E C O R P O R A T E
F O B A S F O B A S
T W I T T E R T W I T T E R

May General Meeting

ON ZOOM AND STREAMING LIVE TO FACEBOOK

Join us for our May Zoom General Meeting Tuesday, May 18, at 6:30 PM. (follow link above and enter meeting ID: 951 3165 5604 / passcode: 980181). We'll also stream the program live to Facebook on the Friends of Burroughs Audubon Society (FOBAS) page. Our annual election of BAS officers and directors, and a vote to approve updates to the BAS Constitution and By-Laws, will precede the program. You can view the amended ByLaws, and a summary of changes, here (scroll to bottom of the page). Please direct any comments or questions to mail@burroughs.org by May 16. Thank you!

Our presentation for May is "Trumpeter Swans in Iowa and Beyond: The Restoration and Research of An Iconic Species", by Anna B. Thomas of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. In this presentation you will hear about the history of Iowa's Trumpeter Swans, from local extinction to a thriving population. How did we get here and what does research teach us about Iowa Trumpeter Swan survival and movements?


Have a fun and safe summer, and watch for more ZOOM programs this fall!

Migrations

LONGEST-SERVING BURROUGHS MEMBER PASSES

It is with great sadness that we report the recent loss of our longest-serving Burroughs member, Richard (Dick) Dawson, on April 20. Dick joined Burroughs Nature Club in 1948, as a 13-year-old nature lover interested in participating in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

Over the years, Dick enhanced birding and science education in Kansas City in many ways. He was an award-winning biology teacher in the Shawnee Mission school district; he organized nature study camps for children at Swope Park; he coauthored a "Timetable for Birds of the Kansas City Area" (describing when various species arrive and leave Kansas City); he wrote many issues of the Burroughs newsletter and led many field trips and bird counts.

One of his signature achievements was fighting to preserve native prairie in the region, and he was a co-founder of Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) in the 1960s. One of this organization's awards is named after him. BAS is still working with MPF to this day, and this partnership has facilitated the acquisition and management of several native prairie "gems" in the Kansas City area, including Snowball Hill Prairie in Harrisonville, MO. You can read Dick's obituary here. We extend our deepest sympathy to Dick's family and many friends.


If you hear that same sweet song again
Will you know why?
Anyone who sings a tune so sweet
Is passin' by
Laugh in the sunshine, sing
Cry in the dark, fly through the night

Bird Song. Lyrics By: Robert Hunter.

Conservation News

KC STREETLIGHT COLOR TEMPERATURE HOT MESS AND MORE

Kansas City, MO is planning to switch from standard lamps (high pressure sodium/incandescent/halogen) to smart technology light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights in order to save on energy and maintenance. While laudable for cost-savings, KC plans to use LEDs beyond the proper color temperature (greater blue light ~4000K) which will increase our light pollution--obscuring the night sky and endangering migrating birds and human health.
 
Kansas City currently ranks #7 in the list of the most dangerous cities in ALL of the US for spring migrating birds. We don't fare much better during fall migration, in which we are ranked at #8. For a good explanation of the lighting issue, here is the Sierra Club's position statement.

Please share this information and reach out to your City Council Member and ask them to establish ecological goals for this project that reduce the color temperature of LED streetlights to make the skies safe for migrating birds and city residents. It's important to remember that we only have one chance to do this correctly. Here is the link to contact your KCMO City Council member.

• In other news, Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge is preparing to update the refuge’s hunting and fishing programs and is seeking public comment on these changes. The proposed changes include:

- Opening or expanding 4,336 acres of the refuge for hunting -- mostly areas outside of the wildlife loop, except the wet prairie grasslands (the total area of the refuge is 7,440 acres)
- Opening hunting opportunities for 19 species including coot, crow, dark geese, dove, merganser, duck, groundhog/woodchuck, light geese, pheasant, quail, rabbit, rails, skunk, snipe, squirrel, turkey, opossum, raccoon and coyote
- Allowable hunting methods for white-tailed deer would expand to include archery as well as firearms methods.

The comment period is now open and will last for 60 days after the rule publishes, which we anticipate to be mid-June. You can submit written comments by mail to:

Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge
ATTN: Hunt Program Comments
PO Box 158 Mound City, MO 64470

If you wish to comment electronically please note “Loess Bluffs NWR Hunt Plan” in the subject line of an email addressed to HuntFishRuleComments@fws.gov.

For more information on these projects and ways to become involved, please contact BAS Conservation Chair, Mary Nemecek, at msnemecek@aol.com.

Nature Center and Bird Sanctuary News

• The BAS Library & Nature Center remains closed to visitors, but a "soft" reopening of the Nature Center is planned for Tuesday, June 1. Please watch the BAS website and future issues of B-A for hours and other information, or call us at 816-795-8177. Face masks and social distancing will be required while indoors at the Nature Center.

• With reopening plans, we're happy to announce the return of the much-loved Bonnie the Biologist programs! There are four programs planned for the month, beginning Tuesday, June 1 and continuing on each of the three following Tuesdays. Programs will continue through November and will be announced here and on the BAS website.

Migration Reminder: Keep outside lighting turned off at night, now through May 20th, to help birds move safely through Kansas City.  Closing curtains to block light coming from inside houses is also helpful. Check out the Bird Safe KC project, and thank you to our friends at Missouri River Bird Observatory for helping make KC safer for birds!

• May is prime warbler time--see them while you can! Many of these little beauties only pause briefly in Kansas and Missouri, as they hurry to their breeding grounds in the boreal forests of the northern U.S. and Canada. Look for them in riparian forest habitats, such as Weston Bend State Park (MO) and the Overland Park Arboretum (KS).
• All types of swallows have now returned to our area, including Purple Martins, Barn, Tree, Northern Rough-winged, and Cliff Swallows. Tree Swallows often appropriate bluebird nesting boxes in areas near water.
• Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and Summer Tanagers can be heard singing everywhere. Summer Tanagers breed in Missouri--listen for their distinctive "pitty-chuck" calls. If you're lucky, you may spot one of their gorgeous cousins, the Scarlet Tanagers, passing through as well!
• Eastern Bluebirds are already working on their second nesting!

We wish everyone a wonderful spring! As Edward Abbey wrote, "It is important to fight for the land, but even more important to enjoy it. While you still can. While it's still here."

Field Trips

THROUGHOUT KANSAS AND MISSOURI

The BAS Field Trips Committee is happy to announce that it's offering limited field trips during spring migration this year. While Covid precautions will remain in place, the multiple trips to KCP&L Prairie Wetlands in Gardner, KS do not have a limit on the number of participants, and no registration is required.

We sincerely hope that all restrictions can be lifted by August or September and that we'll have several trips to offer then!
Copyright © 2021 Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City, All rights reserved.


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