Columbia Audubon Society Birdwalk

Looking at a Black-and-white Warbler

20 people came out this morning for a Columbia Audubon Society birdwalk. A lot of the migrant birds haven’t arrived yet, but we still managed to identify 52 different species (List below).
We will have the annual PGT birdwalk next Saturday (April 28). We will start at the PGT Visitor Center at 7AM. If you’re interested in attending let me know. The leader will be Lottie Bushman.
What we saw today:
4 Wood Duck
2 Blue-winged Teal
3 Wild Turkey
1 Double-crested Cormorant
1 Great Blue Heron
16 Turkey Vulture
1 Sharp-shinned/Cooper’s Hawk
1 Broad-winged Hawk
1 Virginia Rail
2 Killdeer
1 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
10 Mourning Dove
3 Great Horned Owl
1 Belted Kingfisher
8 Red-bellied Woodpecker
3 Downy Woodpecker
3 Northern Flicker
2 Pileated Woodpecker
3 American Kestrel
5 Eastern Phoebe
15 Blue Jay
3 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
1 Tree Swallow
10 Barn Swallow
3 Black-capped Chickadee
7 Tufted Titmouse
4 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Brown Creeper
5 Carolina Wren
9 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
17 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
9 Eastern Bluebird
4 Brown Thrasher
1 European Starling
5 Louisiana Waterthrush
3 Black-and-white Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
4 Northern Parula
2 Palm Warbler
10 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Yellow-throated Warbler
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
1 Chipping Sparrow
14 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
8 Swamp Sparrow
2 Eastern Towhee
7 Northern Cardinal
1 Eastern Meadowlark
13 Red-winged Blackbird
9 Brown-headed Cowbird
1 House Finch
1 American Goldfinch

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Join Me For a Walk this Saturday

This weekend we are starting a new event at the PGT called “Second Saturday Strolls”.

This walk is for anyone who’s interested to learn more about the PGT. It’s free and open to the public. The walks will be led by me (Henry Domke). I’ve been observing nature at the PGT for more than 40-years.

The walks start at 9 AM at the PGT Visitor Center on the second Saturday of each month. It will be held rain or shine. The walk won’t be strenuous, but I suggest wearing boots or sturdy shoes.

Dates for the walk:
April 14
May 12
June 9
July 14
August 11
September 8
October 13

If you are interested in attending, please email me at

Sidewalk by PGT Visitor Center

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Native Bees at the PGT

Dr. Gabe McNett told me today to that he’s identified 5 different kind of bumble bees at the Prairie Garden Trust (PGT), and that he expects to find more.

Gabe started a broad survey of all insects at the PGT last year. He and his students have a sampling station in the prairie and another one deep in the woods near Hiller’s Creek. Don’t be surprised if you run into one of his students with a butterfly net on one of your walks during the warmer months.

The Bumblebees identified so far:

Two-spotted Bumble Bee (B. bimaculatus)
Brown-belted Bumble Bee (B. griseocollis)
Common Eastern Bumble Bee (B. impatiens)
Black and Gold Bumble Bee (B. auricomis)
American Bumble Bee (B. pensylvanicus)

Dr. McNett is the Chair, Dept. of Biology and Environmental Science at Westminster College in Fulton. His background is in entomology.

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Painted Lady

Vanessa virginiensis

Painted Lady Butterfly

Only 4 kinds of butterflies were identified on the PGT Butterfly Walk this afternoon; a record low. The problem was that it was cold, cloudy and there was a drizzly rain. Butterflies like warm sunny days.

Donna Brunet identified one of the butterflies as a Painted Lady. I’ve attached a picture of one that I took a couple years ago on a Purple Coneflower.

Despite the weather 16 people showed up and enjoyed the 2-hour walk walk around Indigo Prairie and the Lotus Ponds.

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Sunny Wildflower Walk

Botanist Tim Smith shared stories of flowers and trees on a beautiful morning with about 40 visitors walking the PGT on May 27. We split into two groups (Henry Domke led the other one) to visit the Lotus Ponds, Indigo Prairie, and Hillers Creek. We began at the front of the PGT, enjoying the exhuberant blooms in horticulturist Neal Hansum’s new plantings there.

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Wayfinding Sign Posts at the PGT

Stainless Steel Wayfinding Sign at the PGT

28 stainless steel sign posts are being installed to help keep you from getting lost at the Prairie Garden Trust. Lorna and Dale got four of them in the ground today.
Lorna used Stratman Plasma Design to fabricate these custom and very durable signs.

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PGT Big Day

Tufted Titmouse

We saw 83 different kinds of birds yesterday at the Prairie Garden Trust. We started bird watching a dawn and continued in a relaxed fashion until sunset. The weather was perfect and bird migration is at a peak. We walked over 6-miles and never left the property. The highlight was the 18 different warblers. Here is a full list of what we identified:
14 Canada Goose
1 Wood Duck
17 Northern Bobwhite
1 Wild Turkey
1 Great Blue Heron
2 Green Heron
11 Turkey Vulture
1 Red-shouldered Hawk
1 Killdeer
3 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
6 Mourning Dove
2 Black-billed Cuckoo
1 Barred Owl
6 Chimney Swift
5 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 Belted Kingfisher
9 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
3 Pileated Woodpecker
3 Eastern Wood-Pewee
3 Acadian Flycatcher
2 Least Flycatcher
7 Eastern Phoebe
5 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Yellow-throated Vireo
11 Red-eyed Vireo
30 Blue Jay
6 American Crow
2 Purple Martin
2 Barn Swallow
3 Black-capped Chickadee
18 Tufted Titmouse
4 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 House Wren
7 Carolina Wren
12 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
13 Eastern Bluebird
1 Wood Thrush
6 American Robin
2 Gray Catbird
1 Brown Thrasher
1 European Starling
1 Cedar Waxwing
2 Ovenbird
1 Worm-eating Warbler
3 Louisiana Waterthrush
2 Northern Waterthrush
4 Golden-winged Warbler
10 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Black-and-white Warbler
33 Tennessee Warbler
13 Nashville Warbler
1 Kentucky Warbler
30 Common Yellowthroat
2 American Redstart
8 Northern Parula
1 Blackpoll Warbler
3 Palm Warbler
2 Yellow-throated Warbler
1 Prairie Warbler
9 Yellow-breasted Chat
3 Chipping Sparrow
31 Field Sparrow
4 White-crowned Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
4 Eastern Towhee
6 Summer Tanager
1 Scarlet Tanager
14 Northern Cardinal
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Blue Grosbeak
23 Indigo Bunting
15 Red-winged Blackbird
4 Eastern Meadowlark
16 Brown-headed Cowbird
2 Orchard Oriole
1 Baltimore Oriole
25 American Goldfinch
4 House Sparrow

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Birding in the Rain

Rain doesn’t stop these birders.

The weather did NOT cooperate for the PGT Birdwalk today. We had rain, wind and lightening. Despite the horrible conditions 6 people (serious people! crazy people?) showed up at 7 AM and happily trudged through the property. Over the next hour as we got totally soaked we identified 32 different kinds of birds:
2 Wood Duck
3 Northern Bobwhite
1 Wild Turkey
3 Turkey Vulture
2 Mourning Dove
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Eastern Phoebe
2 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
4 Tufted Titmouse
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
4 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
3 Eastern Bluebird
1 American Robin
2 Worm-eating Warbler
1 Northern Waterthrush
3 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Kentucky Warbler
4 Common Yellowthroat
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
2 Yellow-breasted Chat
2 Chipping Sparrow
7 Field Sparrow
1 Summer Tanager
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Blue Grosbeak
8 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Common Grackle
7 Brown-headed Cowbird
2 Orchard Oriole
6 American Goldfinch

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PGT Spring Birdwalk

The PGT Spring Bird Walk begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Prairie Garden Trust visitor center.

Anyone interested is welcome to join us for this free stroll for a couple of hours through the fields and woods. We’ll be there rain or shine.

Due to the popularity of the walk, we just ask that you sign up by sending an email to:

The PGT address is 8945 County Rd. 431, New Bloomfield, MO 65063.

Did you know that birdwatching Magazine calls the PGT a “Birding Hotspot”. Click here to read the article.

Hope to see you there!
Lorna & Henry Domke

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New PGT Birding Site Guide!

The Audubon Society of Missouri has just published a Birding Site Guide to Prairie Garden Trust. Click here for a link to it.
Thanks to Edge Wade for putting this together!

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