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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.
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March General Meeting

ON ZOOM AND STREAMING TO FACEBOOK

General Meeting Reminder! Please join our first-ever Zoom General Meeting on Tuesday, March 16, at 6:30 PM. [Meeting ID: 926 2431 3624 / Passcode: 872335]. Zoom is limited to 100 participants, so we're also going to try streaming the program to Facebook. Business and announcements will precede the program. 

Our speaker, Sarah Winnicki, will present "Cowbirds: Harmless Native Species or Dastardly Mobster Villains? A Scientist’s Perspective". To many birders, there is no such thing as a "good" cowbird. They lay eggs in other birds' nests and their offspring deprive host chicks of food and care. Yet, cowbirds are also a protected native species and cannot be completely eradicated. Sarah will share insights from research into the impact of cowbirds on the growth and development of grassland songbird chicks.

For the time being, there are no planned field trips. However, this may change ahead of spring migration. Check our Field Trips page for updates.

Conservation News

BIRD STRIKE PREVENTION, MIGRANT BIRD TRACKING AND MORE

BirdSafeKC is gearing up to monitor bird strikes in Kansas City during spring migration. This grassroots project (a collaboration of Missouri River Bird Observatory and BAS) documents bird collisions and fatalities at buildings in the Kansas City area. Its goals are to encourage collision mitigation and to enhance awareness of hazards that urban environments pose for birds. For more information, please contact Dana Ripper, MRBO Director, at birdsafekc@burroughs.org.

Did you know that half of all collisions occur at our homes? Each house kills an estimated 1 or 2 birds annually, adding up to massive losses of the birds we love. Everyone can help remedy this problem. Evaluate your home and workplace for hazardous windows. American Bird Conservancy's website (www.abcbirds.org) provides a variety of mitigation strategies. Window decals are NOT your only solution!  Acopian BirdSavers are parachute cord "wind blinds" that install on the outside of windows. The cords clue the birds that there is something in front of the glass reflection that they might otherwise mistake as not being a solid barrier. The Audubon Library in Fleming Park has them on several of our largest windows.

• In addition to windows, lights, light poles, and power lines can present a problem to nighttime migrants, especially when located near attractive habitat required for rest and replenishment. A few years ago, Burroughs advocated for the Platte Landing Park wetlands project, a 70-acre wetland on the banks of the Missouri River. The $1.9M Army Corps of Engineers project was constructed last summer.

Recently, it has been proposed to add lighting to the ball fields on the north side of the park with concession stands, 200-400 parking spaces and other amenities that attract evening events.  Lighted fields located only yards from the wetland will imperil birds drawn to the new habitat. In addition, expensive infrastructure in a flood plain, especially one where flooding has occurred every 3-5 years, is a poor investment of tax payer dollars. Citizens have organized to ask Platte County to deny a grant to the City of Parkville to add lighting and nighttime improvements to the park. If you would like to comment on this matter, please reach out to any and all of the following:
Chris Oryshyn, Platte County Asst Park Director - coryshyn@co.platte.mo.us
Daniel Ericson, Dir of Platte County Planning and Zoning - derickson@co.platte.mo.us
and the City of Parkville Mayor or any members of the Board of Aldermen.

• Over the winter, the Red-tailed Hawk Project attached 8 more GPS tracking devices to hawks to determine the migration pattern of these birds, Project member Mark Robbins of the University of Kansas is particularly interested in the abieticola sub-species of Red-tailed Hawk. BAS is a proud partner of this important work.

• Our annual native plant sale at the Backyard Bird Center will be on Saturday, April 24 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Preorders only from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery and contact-free pick up. Thanks to Mark McKellar, Ruth Simmons and everyone who provides the venue and volunteer assistance. More native plants = more thriving birds!

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

 

Due to the ongoing Covid crisis, the BAS Library & Nature Center remains closed, but the Library Committee is contemplating a possible early-summer reopening. Plans are tentative and will depend entirely on Covid community spread, as well as county public health mandates. Please watch the BAS website and Friends of BAS Facebook page for more information as it becomes available. We look forward to welcoming visitors once again, when we can do so safely.

• We would like to thank the staff of Jackson County Parks + Rec for performing a much-needed prescribed burn for the Esther O'Connor Wildflower Prairie on March 1! Our prairie area contains approximately 200 species of native plants, which will be rejuvenated for another growing season to support insects, birds and other creatures.

Spring is absolutely our most joyous time of year--as one BAS volunteer describes it: "It's Christmas for birders"! There's so much to observe and the "cast of characters" changes daily.

• Raptors such as Bald Eagles and Barred and Great Horned Owls are nesting.
• American Woodcocks are calling and displaying at dawn and dusk in moist open fields.
• Purple Martins and other swallows (and vultures) return to our area in mid-March.
• Sandhill and Whooping Cranes migrate through the Platte River valley; shorebirds and ducks appear in wetlands, lakes and ponds. Ducks often begin courtship displays during migration.
• Bluebirds begin their first nesting in March; other resident birds such as cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Robins, chickadees and titmice are singing and forming pairs.
• Winter sparrows and finches, such as juncos, White-throated Sparrows and Purple Finches can be heard singing on warm days as they prepare to return to their northern breeding grounds. 
• Woodpeckers are pairing off and drumming on trees and the sides of houses to establish territories.

Please stay safe, stay healthy, and take every opportunity to go out and enjoy nature!
Copyright © 2021 Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City, All rights reserved.


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