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

Sunday, Jun 7, 2015

[6/20/2015] Open House at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary

The Columbia Audubon Society will be hosting an Open House at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary located at 3607 Bray Ave. on Saturday, June 20, from 10am–1pm. The Audubon property is adjacent to the City of Columbia’s Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary.

The open house will serve to acquaint people with the property, which, together with the city’s nature sanctuary, represents an opportunity for a natural setting nestled in an urban environment. Attendees will be encouraged to walk the 0.5 mile natural tread trail through the woodlands to see many old growth white oaks and the society’s ecosystem restoration efforts. There will be 3 activities taking place during the open house:  owl pellet dissection, origami to construct a Passenger Pigeon, and a visit from Raptor Rehab, the University of Missouri’s School of Veterinary Science rehabilitation program for raptors. There will be a short presentation by Audubon members to highlight plans for the nature sanctuary, including a largescale prairie reconstruction project that will span 13 acres shared by the Columbia Audubon Society and the City of Columbia. Mike Snyder, Park Planning and Development Superintendent, will also make a few comments. Following the presentations there will be a drawing for a door prize (must be present to win). All ages are welcome to this free public event. 

Monday, Jun 8, 2015

Summer/Fall 2015 Prairie Seed Collecting

If you'd like to help the prairie restoration project at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, come join us at one of these upcoming seed collection events:

  • June 25 - Thursday evening – Prairie Fork or Auxvasse Glade
  • July 7 – Tuesday evening – Tucker Prairie
  • July 23 – Thursday evening – Tucker Prairie
  • August 11 –Tuesday evening – Prairie Fork
  • August 29 – Saturday – Tucker Prairie
  • Sept. 8 – Tuesday evening –Auxvasse Glade
  • Sept. 26 - Saturday – Diggs Area
  • October 10 – Saturday – Rocky Fork CA
  • October 11 – Sunday– Prairie Fork or Auxvasse Glade
  • E-mail John Besser to receive updates on where to meet and what to bring.

    Friday, May 1, 2015

    CAS Receives $10,000 Donation For Prairie Restoration

    The prairie restoration efforts undertaken by Columbia Audubon Society recently received an magnificent boost through a generous anonymous donation of $10,000 intended to support this project. CAS extends its heartfelt gratitude to this donor for valuing birds, habitat restoration, and conservation. Members have been working for years to coordinate with the City of Columbia, other organizations, and private citizens who share the values of the CAS mission. CAS has worked with these entities to collect native seed from natural areas around the region, prepare the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary for prairie restoration, and to educate the public about the value of CANS. This donation significantly boosts the possibilities for public education & enjoyment of birds while increasing the biodiversity of our area. — Eric Reuter

    Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014

    Prairie Restoration at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary and Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary

    The past few months, John Besser, Bill Mees and Allison Vaughn have been attending educational meetings, talking to experts, and developing plans. About what, you ask? How to restore an old fescue pacture to fields of native grasses, wildflowers and other forbs.

    This project will convert 13.5 acres from fescue planted for cattle into a prairie for birds. Five of the 13.5 acres of the land are in Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, the other 8 acres are in the adjacent Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary. This project represents a true partnership between CAS and Columbia Parks and Recreation. The re-establishment of prairie will benefit wildlife, especially birds, and also augment public education.

    Although planning is complete, budgets set, and site preparations begun, this is only the beginning. Eighteen months will have passed before the first native seeds are cast across the land in November 2015. Then we wait.

    John, Allison and I hope you will want to take an active part in the project. Over the next couple of months and next summer, volunteers will collect native seed at Prairie Fork Conservation Area, Rocky Fork Conservation Area, and Tucker Prairie. Purchasing native seed is the most expensive aspect of the project. Seed collecting will augment the supply of specific plant species as well as reduce the cost associated with seed purchases.

    If you are one of those who want to help make this project a success, please call (573) 445-7781 or e-mail us at

    — Bill Mees

    Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014

    SB 506 & HB 1326

    You may have heard about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) a degenerative disease that flared up in 2010 which produces approximately 2 months of suffering and 100% mortaility for deer. The Missouri Department of Conservation intended to prevent CWD by banning the importation of captive white-tailed deer (20 states already do this), improving fencing standards for private deer shooting farms, and mortality testing for captive deer.

    In reponse, the private deer farm shooting businesses were able to attach provisions to omnibus agricultural bills (intended to allow higher livestock hauling and insurance limits) passing Senate Bill (SB) 506 and House Bill (HB) 1386 that would also move captive deer regulations to the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The Department of Agriculture has publicly said they do not want this obligation and given it, would not have the interest and mission to implement the Department of Conservation’s inititiative to protect native and wild species.

    Thankfully, Governor Nixon vetoed these bills. All the hunting organizations (Conservation Federation of Missouri, Whitetails Unlimited, etc.), the Missouri State Parks Association, and the National Wildlife Federation all support the veto of these bills. However, the General Assembly has expressed interest in overriding all of the Governor’s vetoes.

    As CWD is 100% fatal when deer contract it and private deer shooting farms already have a history of negligence and apathy (it has been detected in captive deer in northern Missouri), outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to contact your representatives in the state legislature and encourage sustaining the Governor’s veto of SB 506 & HB 1326.

    The Conservation Federation of Missouri has set up useful information and methods to contact our House and Senate Representatives at this website:

    — Eric Seaman

    Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014

    In Memorium: Jean Graebner and Jerry Wade

    Columbia Audubon Society lost two members this summer who were major reasons the Society has benn a leader in the world of natural history in general and bird conservation in particular.

    Jean Graebner, 88, died after a three-year battle with cancer on June 30; Jerry Wade, 73, lost his duel with cancer on July 26.

    Jean’s interest in the natural history world led her to very active membership in Columbia Audubon, the Audubon Society of Missouri (ASM), the Hawthorn Native Plant Society, the Missouri Native Plant Society, The Prairie Foundation, Friends of Rock Bridge State Park, the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy, among others.

    She served both ASM and the Hawthorn Society as secretary for years.

    A native of Granite City, Illinois, Jean had both English and journalism degrees from the University of Missouri and spent 26 years as an English and Social Studies teacher at West Junior Hight School. She also operated a Scotch Pine Christmas Tree Farm with her husband Larry for almost 20 years near Rocheport before turning it into her personal wildlife refuge the final 15 years of her life.

    She was a regular on a wide variety of bird counts and wildflower walks for 40 years.

    Jerry Wade enjoyed his role as “SOB,” that’s “Spouse of Birder,” being married to Edge Wade for half a century.

    Jerry was no slouch as a field birder, but made huge contributions elsewhere in the avian world as a former president of the Audubon Society of Missouri and as the ASM membership director, and with his wife, the producers of “The Bluebird,” the ASM quarterly publication.

    He was also one of the leaders of MoBCI — the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative, an organization devoted to the future of avian habitat in the Western Hemisphere.

    Jerry, a rural sociologist whose career took him to places as far away as South Africa, was skilled in community organization and he used those skills in many areas of life — like Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission and the Columbia City Council.

    Prior to his death, he had been the leader in the organization of “It’s Our Wild Nature,” a community watch group.

    Both left huge foot prints.

    — Bill Clark

    → News Archives

    Current CAS Newsletter

    The Chat - May 2015 (814KB PDF)

    Upcoming Field Trips

    Saturday, Aug 29, 2015
    Depart: 8am
    Forum Nature Area

    Saturday, Sep 12, 2015
    Depart: 8am
    3M Flat Branch-Hinkson Creek Wetlands

    Saturday, Sep 19, 2015
    Depart: 8am • Start: 8:10am
    Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary

    Saturday, Oct 3, 2015
    Start: 7:30am
    Bradford Farms

    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
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