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I finally got around to entering the data from my Breeding Bird Survey Route (Route #52-064, Millwood) that I ran last Saturday (6/17/07).  The route runs from near Millwood, MO (Lincoln Co.) to Bellflower, MO (Montgomery Co.).  Most of the route is mixed agricultural land and small woodlots.  This was my second year on the route, which I inherited from Linda Yust.  I haven't found anything especially rare in my two years, but some of the highlights were:

Northern Bobwhite, 27
Eurasian Collared-Dove, 1
Great Horned Owl, 1
Barred Owl, 1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 2
Yellow-throated Vireo, 2 (new for the route)
Yellow-breasted Chat, 9
Grasshopper Sparrow, 6
Blue Grosbeak, 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow, 18 (I had 2 at this same spot last year, and it was a new bird for the route then)

The study released by Audubon last week about how many of our familiar, "common" birds are declining was a great example of the value of the Breeding Bird Survey.  There are extremely few data of any organisms that can compare to the geographic extent and long-term nature of the BBS.  And as a researcher, I can't even describe what a gold mine of information the BBS data represents.  I have already used it in one paper that will be published later this year and am currently preparing two other manuscripts that rely entirely on BBS data.  

So my point is that if you are able, please consider taking on a route for next year.  Contact Any Forbes for more info at [log in to unmask]

Nick Barber
University of Missouri-St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
[log in to unmask]

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