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Fellow Birders: 
 
The Audubon Center at Riverlands, the St. Louis Audubon Society, the Trumpeter Swan Society, and the Audubon Society of Missouri are partnering this year in the Great Rivers Trumpeter Watch.  From 1990-2010 Missouri observers have recorded the highest number of Trumpeter Swans wintering in states south of the 40th parallel with sightings in 41 of 114 counties.  RMBS is the single most important wintering site of the southern states with counts of 500+ individuals in the past few years.
 
The goal of this program is to accurately count the number of swans using the area around the great rivers this winter for the Trumpeter Swan Society.  They post this information on their website and send it on to wildlife biologists and managers throughout the Mississippi flyway.  In this area there will be bi-monthly counts at various locations of the number of swans and their activity, conducted at the same time to achieve this accurate count.  Trained volunteers will be assigned to these areas and will complete a simple reporting form on line after their observation period.  The proposed areas to be covered are:
 
Two Rivers NWR (Swan & Gilbert Lake)           Confluence SP
Portage Des Sioux                                         Cora Island (Big Muddy)
RMBS                                                           Fields around RMBS & Cora Island
CBCA
 
There will be an orientation and training session for volunteer observers on Tuesday, December 6 at 9:00 am at the Audubon Center at Riverlands.   The first monitoring date will be Tuesday, December 13 at 8am .  Additional dates will be chosen in the near future and January dates will coincide with a national count conducted for the Trumpeter Swan Society.  For additional information, please visit the web sites for the Trumpeter Swan Society and the Audubon Center.
 
http://riverlands.audubon.org/
www.trumpeterswansociety.org
 
If you are available to assist in the Great Rivers Trumpeter Watch or have any questions, please contact me by email by Tuesday, November 29, so we have an idea of the number participating.  You can participate even if you aren't available for the 12/13 date or the training session.   There will be sites available that require little or no walking and can be done by car.
 
Thank-you on behalf of all of the organizations involved, and I hope that you will be available to help with this important study.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!
 
Pat Lueders, St. Louis Audubon & ASM
 
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