I would like to see a focused Missouri participation on grassland song birds. I suppose the annual breeding bird count might cover it, but not so sure. I also suppose there's an optimal time to do such a thing. After expected nesting time and while the birds are still providing their song. At present the birds could be on their first brood and they're just not singing regularly.

Bob Bailey St. Louis, MO [log in to unmask]
From: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2016 6:56:04 AM
To: Bob Bailey; [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grasshopper Sparrow declining Columbia Bottom CA?

I had Grasshopper Sparrow at Muskrat Lake south of St. Joseph this spring, but it (they) seem to have left the area now. Usually they stayed around to nest. I guess they must be in trouble!

Larry Lade
St. Joseph, MO

On Saturday, May 28, 2016 2:46 PM, Bob Bailey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Bicycled the Columbia Bottom CA along the entire main (mostly) paved road and the entire gavel road from11:00 am - 12:30 pm listening for the Grasshopper Sparrow. Didn't hear any.

Birding conditions weren't ideal given the time of day and the fair amount of wind. However, it's getting more and more difficult to hear or see this bird there, and I wonder if the Grasshopper Sparrow is significantly declining there. I've made three trips there this spring, never in the early morning hours yet, but have yet to hear the Grasshopper Sparrow. I used to regularly hear and see this species is various spots while bicycling, and each year I hear and see fewer and fewer. And I'm fairly certain it's not due to hearing loss on my part. Not yet, anyway.

The Audubon website lists the Grasshopper Sparrow as a Priority Bird. "Still common in some areas but has declined significantly in others."

It was encouraging to hear a Prothonotary Warbler's song in the distance at the slough.

A bike race was going on there at the time, but I felt like I just didn't fit in.

Bob Bailey
St. Louis, MO
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