Barb Duncan and I ran my USGS breeding bird survey (BBS) route for the 9th time, this year on June 4. This route(called Hayden) is located in Maries County, both east and west of US Hwy 63.  We saw and/or heard 67 species. Other species were in the area but not seen or heard in our 3 minute windows of observation time. Some tidbits Barb and I found interesting follow.


1.       We had excessive noise at 21 of our 50 stops. Only once was that excessive noise due to anything besides the cicadas (and that was a dog barking right outside the car door). I can’t imagine what they are going to do with data such as this!

2.       I heard only one Carolina Wren; usually there are 5 or more on this route. (I’ll be curious if other routes show lower numbers … a reflection perhaps of our deep snow and cold winter weather.)

3.       Our most abundant species remains Indigo Buntings.

4.       Both species of orioles were in lower numbers than other years.

5.       Best birds of this year’s route (in our opinions) were a fly-over Black-billed Cuckoo and a singing Henslow’s Sparrow. Both are breeders but not common breeders on this route.

6.       Farmers are back to raising beef cattle. Most fields of cool season grasses had yet to be cut for hay.


As an aside, I was in Independence on June 7 and didn’t see or hear a cicada. They are thick in Columbia, so thick that interiors of buildings often have them on the carpet or climbing the furniture. And it is not unusual to hear screams around campus due to cicadas landing in people’s hair or on their arms or legs.


Good birding, Susan


Susan Hazelwood

MOBirds-L Co-Owner

Columbia, MO

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