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Bill Rowe's discussion of the species found and hoped-to-be found at  
Columbia Bottom CA is both a summary and a challenge.  Thank you,  
Bill, for taking the time to review and analyze the Columbia Bottom  
material, and to advise and urge birders to add to it.

Hopefully, birders even beyond the immediate St. Louis area will bird  
Columbia Bottom often, both to experience the wide selection of  
species possible there, and to add to what is known about the  
occurrence of species.

To add to Bill's comments, CACHE is a program to create and make  
available a dynamic online checklist of birds at MDC sites (as SPARKS  
is for DNR sites).  The checklist is for use by birders, researchers  
and area managers.

But a checklist, even a dynamic one [that is, one that changes  
immediately as new sightings are accepted into the database], is of  
limited value without a full spectrum of occurrence data to support it.

For birders to appreciate and act on what is there and when, for  
researchers to learn more, for managers to apply best practices, they  
all must have as full an understanding as possible of what species  
are there through time and in what numbers.

This requires a full, through the seasons, through the years data  
set.  To achieve this, this really useful data set, frequent entries  
must be made of observations over time.

So, even if you don't find a new species, even if your finds are  
nearly identical to those someone reported the day before, your  
entries have real value.  Together, entry by entry, we are building a  
valuable asset for Missouri.

A quick look at Columbia Bottom entries shows a total of 212 trips.   
May is well represented, but late June and July entries are few.  
There may be some surprises come summer, but we have to go to find out.

Thank you to all who contribute to the data for Columbia Bottom CA,  
and for all the other sites in CACHE and SPARKS.

Bird on!

Edge Wade
ASM Conservation Partnership Coordinator 
  

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