Several hundred robins and starlings are probing my yard today, and bathing in the shallow pools of water that have accumulated around the yard. About 30 starlings will fit themselves into a two-foot wide puddlle and begin to flap their wings in unison. A small cloud of water rises up around them, which goes on for about 30 seconds, and then they fly up into the tree. Another bunch goes at it, and so on. 

The feeders of black oil sunflower seeds and the yare bushes, where I have dumped most of the mixed seeds, are filled with birds preparing for the snow and unpredictable future. I am sure they want to be counted tomorrow, but at this point I have heard anything about the Columbia count to tell them it's on or off due to the weather. I have a couple of folks from JC coming up to help, who want to  know also. I am game, but I don't want to jepardize those who have to travel the paved roads with the crazy 4X4 test drives that seem to fill the ditches on bad weather days. 

Have a great day and holliday season. Let me know about any new rare birds that show up in the state as soon as you can. Mt. Bluebird, Surf Scoter, Ferruginous Hawk, winter gulls of most  kinds, snowy owl, and many others on the casual and accidental list will do too. Big year end rush.


Brad Jacobs
Missouri Department of Conservation
P.O.Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-4115  ext 3648

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