Susan: Nice report. I wanted to comment on your statement that the White Breasted Nuthatches "must be sitting on eggs"
Where I live in the woods in Wildwood, The WBNU is probably the most common bird. I have had several active nests in recent years. They are really early nesters. None have nested in birdboxes- always natural tree cavities.
This year, one pair of Nuthatches were building a nest in a cavity of an oak tree beginning on March 24th. I checked the nest on April 4th and it contained 7 eggs. Yesterday, the whole family was out and around and were very noisy. The young were all flying around with the parent birds. The parents were taking pieces of suet from my feeder and were busy feeding all the young. I counted 5-6 young at least.
It is true that when the female was incubating they were a little less vocal, but by this time of year just about all nuthatches should have young. They are single brooded, so once clutch is all they produce in a season.
Good birding,
Dave Pierce
St. Louis County

On Sun, May 10, 2009 at 7:05 AM, Susan Hazelwood <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Paul McKenzie phoned late last night to report that the members of the teams of Paul McKenzie (Rockbridge Memorial State Park), Andy Forbes (Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area), and Carl Gerhardt (grasslands around regional airport) had found a total of 168 species of birds on the Boone County North American Migration Count. My team, covering Columbia proper, added Rock Pigeons to bring Boone County's preliminary count to 169 species. (Columbia runs 13 teams of counters on the NAMC so this is a very preliminary report.)

Species requiring documentation were the two lingering Winter Wrens at Rockbridge Memorial State Park and Western Sandpipers at Bradford Farm (southwest corner of farm, where Vemer's Ford Road and Ben Williams Road meet).

Sleep deprivation, brain death, and generally exhausted bodies made communication between us less than optimal last night but I'll try to convey what all Paul said.

Other highlights were discovering a new location for Henslow's Sparrows (the 3rd parking pull out on the Forest Service land on David Allen Rd), Canada Warbler and Mourning Warblers at EBCA (specific location not provided), and Veery (along the Springbrook Trail, where the two creeks meet, in RBMSP). One of  the most exciting things was the presence of over 1000 shorebirds in the north end of pool 15 at EBCA. Because of mud that is knee deep Paul suggests parking at the dead end pull out at the end of the second one-way loop and walking in from that end by going west to a mound with Johnson Grass on it, then looking south to two solitary trees (one has broken branches) that are reached by walking west down the edge of the weedy field. Then walk southeast. Paul says there were 14 species of shorebirds, including a Hudsonian Godwit, White-rumped Sandpiper, and over 30 Wilson's Phalaropes.

Several of us noted that the Great Crested Flycatchers were constantly calling and therefore very countable while White-breasted Nuthatches (and several other species) must be sitting on eggs because we didn't hear a peep from them. It was a gorgeous day to be out walking; I was so glad I had a reason to justify spending a day with friends doing exactly what I love to do ... birding!

Happy Mother's Day, Susan

Susan Hazelwood
Columbia, Boone County, MO
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D. Pierce
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