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After our bird banding session at Missouri Western State University's campus, Steve and I drove up to Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge (Mound City, Missouri) for some birding. The intermittent showers did not dampen our spirits as we were able to see quite a few species and we both added a couple of species to our Missouri 2007 Year Lists.

The waterfowl are beginning to migrate through the area. The most abundant were the Blue-winged Teal with smaller numbers of Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal. Of course, we always see the ubiquitous Canada Geese. We saw Ring-necked Pheasant and Wild Turkey but no Northern Bobwhite.

Pied-billed Grebe were rather numerous and while not in great numbers there were also American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants. Representatives of the waders included Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, a Snowy Egret, Green Herons and a Black-crowned Night-Heron.

Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagles (one adult and one immature), Northern Harriers, Cooper's Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk were viewed as we drove around the ten mile long auto-tour loop.

Sora have really moved into the area and we heard many of them as we drove through the area. Steve spotted a Common Moorhen on the west side of the walking trail which goes out to the observation tower on the south end of Eagle Pool (toward the south end of the refuge). A number of American Coot were in this area too. Shorebird habitat is virtually non-existent on the refuge and the only shorebirds we were able to tally were some Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs and two Short-billed Dowitchers. Several Belted Kingfishers were found perched and flying over areas of shallow water.

Driving in the more wooded areas on the west and north parts of the refuge we encountered most of the expected species. Some of the ones of particular interest included Eastern Kingbird (had not migrated yet), another Philadelphia Vireo (we had banded four of these early at the university campus in Saint Joseph), one Cedar Waxwing and a Chestnut-sided Warbler (always a nice warbler to see).

Overall, a nice assortment of species given the rainy conditions and our midday time spent on the refuge.


Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
Buchanan County
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