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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New Birds!

Yellow-breasted Chat

We saw 5 new birds on our walk this morning:
Summer Tanager
Worm-eating Warbler
Henslow’s Sparrow
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-throated Warbler

On the 4-mile hike we were impressed that the oak buds have opened giving a green-haze appearance to the woods. Under the oaks are hundreds of flowering dogwoods in full bloom.

During the 3-hour hike we identified 50 different birds.

It was a great day for a hike. I encourage you to come out and explore. It’s a lot of fun!

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Spring Planting

Plants from Missouri Wildflower Nursery

We got a bunch of new native plants from Merv Wallace at Missouri Wildflowers Nursery yesterday. Neil and Matt are going to plant these wildflowers and grasses around the PGT Center and along the sidewalks.
We’ve been getting plants from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery since Merv opened it 3 decades ago. I can’t say enough good things about him and his business.

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