The Columbia, Missouri chapter of the Audubon Society — serving Audrain, Boone, Cooper, Howard, Monroe & Randolph Counties

The Columbia Audubon Society was organized in 1958 and serves six mid-Missouri counties: Audrain, Boone, Cooper, Howard, Monroe, and Randolph. Our mission is to preserve the natural world and its ecosystems focusing on birds, other wildlife, and the earth's biological diversity through education, environmental study and habitat restoration and protection.

News & Issues

Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017

September Meeting: Different Place and Day

The September meeting will NOT be on the third Wednesday of the month at the U-U church (although the board will still meet that night. Instead, it will consist of a walk from the Bonnie View picnic shelter to the CANS prairie and back, starting at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 17th, followed by a discussion with treats providedby the board. We expect this to last until around 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017

From the President: Program Changes for 2017-2018

Welcome to the 2017-2018 Columbia Audubon Society. Not that we really stopped for the summer; we’ve been doing bird counts for programs, going to meetings, organizing for COMO Gives, and working on our properties. But mainly the board has been thinking and meeting to figure out this coming year and we need your help.

We get great attendance at field trips and everyone volunteers for the second grade field trip or Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary open houses. But attendance at monthly meetings has slowly fallen over recent years, even when we have an exceptional speaker, and we need to know why. Is the third Wednesday particularly bad? Have you heard it all before? Is it just not your style of learning? Are you too old, too young, or just too tired at 7:00 p.m.? Do we just have to mix it up more? You will have to tell us, and here is where to start. We know you like picnics and prairies so the September meeting will be a walk from the Bonnie View picnic shelter to the CANS prairie and back at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 17th, with treats provided by the board after the walk.

All you need to do is walk, eat, and tell us what works and what doesn’t. We will keep our third Wednesday at the church open because everyone needs a home even if we use it mainly for board meetings. We have lots of ideas but need more or better ones. If you can’t come, contact a board member or me.

Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017

2017-2018 Program Suggestions

Below are some suggested new ideas for this year’s CAS programming schedule. These are not set in stone, but are being considered by the board as alternatives to regular monthly speakers. We welcome member feedback on these potential ideas: contact Vice President John Besser,

Event Location
Demo/Interactive [Optics OR Birding apps?] U-U Church?
"Big Winter Speaker" U-U Church?
Winter book club Library? Pub?
Speaker (or Photo sharing?) U-U Church?
Beginner birding workshop/field trip Eagle Bluffs?
Spring [Picnic/Banquet/Speaker?] TBD

Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017

Thanks for Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary!

Many people are responsible for the existence of the wonderful Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, from the donation of the land by the Russell family to the dream and the plan for its development. There are too many people responsible for those early accomplishments to name them all, but they include the 13 Boy Scouts who have completed Eagle Scout projects such as bridges, kiosks and trailside benches.

More recently we want to recognize and thank several who have done so much: Crockett Engineering and Emory Sapp and Sons who designed and built the parking lot, CAS volunteers who built the entrance signs, and volunteer Dean Ravenscraft who keeps the trails manicured. Many more volunteers helped clear the old fescue pasture and plant the native prairie grasses and wild flowers.

This past spring 200 tree seedlings were ordered from MDC’s George O. White State Forest Nursery - 50 each of Aromatic Sumac, Smooth Sumac, Hazelnut, and Gray Dogwood - all planted in various locations, primarily along the woods to help prevent erosion and rebuild habitat. They will eventually provide areas of dense growth or thickets and produce a food source of fruit for birds in addition to the cover required by some species for nesting and shelter. Also, Marj Meredith provided five Red Buckeye seedlings which she propagated from buckeyes gathered from the tree in Shelter Garden. Volunteers Allison Vaughn, Eric Seaman, Laura Hillman, and Bill Mees assisted in planting the seedlings which will eventually be trees everyone can enjoy. Perhaps you too have seedlings from native Missouri species that can augment habitat at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary; if so, let CAS know by phoning 573-445-7781 or visiting the website: We are fortunate to have this area and have made it available to the Columbia Public Schools for taking the second grade classes there for educational sessions; some of the students have remarked that they had never been in a woods before. It is an area that will be enjoyed forever by many people. If you have not been to CANS, you may want to go. It is on the west side of Columbia, W. Broadway to south on Fairview Road, to Bray, to Cunningham. The parking lot address is 3607 Bray Avenue.

Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017

Summer Vacation?

If you are in school, then summer is vacation time, but if you are a member of Columbia Audubon Society, summer is growing season for invasive species. And so a decision was made at the April board meeting that CAS will participate in the new Adopt-A-Trail project sponsored by Columbia’s Parks and Recreation Department.

The Adopt-A-Trail project is designed to remove invasive plant species along all the trails in Columbia. If you have walked, hiked, or biked the trails, then you know how pervasive bush honeysuckle is, not to mention autumn olive, Japanese honeysuckle, and Euonymus. I could go on.

Columbia Audubon Society adopted the quarter-mile segment of Scott’s Branch Trail that runs along the south side of Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary and Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary. Working a total of 46 hours, volunteers cut and stacked vegetation and applied herbicide to stumps along the adopted segment.

Removing the invasives revealed cans, bottles, plastic, and just plain litter. It was at that timely point that Kylie Tillman, Youth in Action Intern, contacted CAS about a field trip at CANS, with an offer for volunteers to do some clean-up.

I met Kylie and her students, Brenden, Jordan, Kameron, Caven, Aron, and Hannah on Tuesday, July 12. We walked the CANS trails talking about birds (of course), prairies, habitat, trees, and invasives. Following the hike we donned work gloves and collected trash along the CAS-adopted stretch of trail. The photo is proof that everyone was happy for a job well done. CAS is proud to say “thank you” for a grand total of 52 volunteer hours of work. There is a quarter mile of Scott’s Branch Trail that is now free of honeysuckle and trash.

Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017

Upcoming Changes to The Chat and Website

Throughout 2017, the CAS board has been discussing the potential to upgrade our web presence and methods of communication with members and the rest of the world. Our goals included making this volunteer-driven work more efficient, enhancing collaboration within the group, improving online access to information, upgrading our web presence to a more mobile-friendly design, and modernizing our email systems to allow for more practical and efficient communications with members. A broad outline of these goals appeared in the April Chat with a link to a member survey. The results, published in the May Chat, showed broad approval among respondents for moving forward with these plans, with goals including:

  1. Easier online publishing of content such as The Chat, reducing the workload of the newsletter editor and webmaster.
  2. Mobile-friendly formatting for the website, making CAS’s web presence easier to access and more attractive to many users.
  3. An online calendar for field trips and other events, including a subscription option for automatic notifications of these events (and any changes), reducing the workload of the Field Trip chair and other board members.
  4. The ability for members to subscribe (via email) to any content published on the website, reducing the need for independent emailings.
  5. Adoption of official CAS email addresses to standardize and formalize communications.

In order to move forward with these plans, webmaster Doug Miller and newsletter editor Eric Reuter prepared a work proposal, solicited bids from local developers, and presented them to the CAS board at the July meeting. After discussion, the board voted to accept the bid from MayeCreate Design. Ever since, Doug and Eric have been working with MayeCreate to move this process forward. We expect the new website to go live sometime in September.

This achievement will mark a turning point in the long history of The Chat. For the first time in its 60 years of publication, CAS’s newsletter will be published online in blog format, allowing for easier inclusion of photos, links, and other media as well as comments from members who wish to discuss Chat content online. We will still produce and mail a printed Chat for those who wish it, but the new online format will allow greater flexibility and easier management for creating, publishing, and sharing content of interest to CAS members and other birders. The October Chat will contain a full tour of the newly operational website, which we hope you’ll find useful.

Wednesday, Aug 16, 2017

Drone video of prairie restoration

Rich Shaw of Missouri Drone Journalism recently created a short video of drone footage documenting the continuing prairie restoration at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary and the neighboring Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary.

View the video on YouTube here:

More than 15 acres of a former cow pasture were seeded with Missouri native grasses and wildflowers. In 2016, the Native Plant Society helped plant 147 pounds of seed containing 86 species to restore the prairie. Now in its second full growth season, the prairie is an explosion of color.

Sunday, Jul 16, 2017

"New Prairie Lights up the Night"

The Columbia Tribune recently featured an article by Columbia Public Schools

Monday, May 1, 2017

April Meeting Highlights

Attendees of the CAS meeting were treated to an interesting presentation by Danielle Fox, the Community Conservationist for the City of Columbia. Danielle has drawn upon her academic background and past work with the Missouri Departmentof Conservation to develop a wide range of plans, programs, and partnerships intended to promote conservation within and the Columbia community. Current projects include restoring land for butterfly habitat and building the CoMoWild Yards program, which seeks to match homeowners interested in planting and managing their lawns for better pollinator and bird habitat with volunteer advisors who can mentor those efforts. Also, official elections were held for the 2017-2018 CAS board. The only change will be John Besser taking over for Lottie Bushmann as Vice-President, while remaining as Natural Areas chair. Please thank both Lottie and John for their service to CAS the next time you see them.

→ News Archives

Current CAS Newsletter

The Chat — September 2018

Upcoming Field Trips

Saturday, Sep 30, 2017
Start: 7:30am
Eagle Bluffs CA

Saturday, Sep 30, 2017
Depart: 8am
Childrens Field Trip to Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary

Other Events of Interest

Sunday, Oct 15, 2017• 2pm
Presented by CAS and Daniel Boone Regional Public Library

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017• 2pm
Presented by CAS and Daniel Boone Regional Public Library

Mid-Missouri Friends of Audubon

The following businesses have provided significant financial support to the Columbia Audubon Society. Please remember to support them when you need feeders, bird seed, etc., and remember to thank them for their assistance in funding our projects.

  • Songbird Station, 2010 Chapel Plaza Court, Columbia, MO
  • © 2008-2014 Columbia Audubon Society