Monday, July 24, 2006

Missouri River Relief Megascout
Bird Species List

Our mission out here is to survey and map the trash on the Missouri River, but we would be idiots if we didn't marvel at all the birds we see. In a way, they are the anedotes to the garbage. For every soggy couch, cast off water heater or rusty barrel we spot, along comes a belted kingfisher, bald eagle, or yellow warbler to remind us why we're really out here. We asked Amy to keep this list because she is an expert birder with years of professional experience working with wildlife and the government agencies charged with looking after them. But mostly we asked her to do it because she loves birds. And she helps the rest of us see them, learn about them, study them in field guides, and love them, too. SO this is a list of all the species we have identified from the Missouri River. And we think it's pretty darn amazing.

For example, by the third day we had seen five interior least terns. They are on the federal list of endangered species, and seeing them on the Missouri has given us hope. We have also seen pectoral sandpipers, who left the Arctic and stopped here--near Nebraska City--on their way to Argentina. Thousands of swallows, five different species of them, have swooped over the water right beside our boat. We have also seen or heard house wrens, Eastern kingbirds, and red-headed woodpeckers flitting along the banks, flying limb to limb in the cottonwoods and sycamores. Our favorite--and the one that has always been River Relief's totem and mascot--is the great blue heron. We have seen hundreds of them.

16-17 July 2006
(Days 1-2)

1. Whip-poor-will
2. Summer Tanager
3. Eastern Kingbird
4. Rough-winged Swallow
5. Warbling Vireo
6. Turkey Vulture
7. Brown-headed Cowbird
8. Yellow Warbler
9. Yellow-billed Cuckoo
10. Bank Swallow
11. Baltimore Oriole
12. Great Blue Heron
13. Red-winged Blackbird
14. Interior Least Tern (Endangered)
15. Barn Swallow
16. Great Egret
17. Belted Kingfisher
18. Rock Dove
19. American Robin
20. European Starling
21. Killdeer
22. Mallard
23. Common Grackle
24. Wood Duck
25. Cliff Swallow
26. Blue Jay
27. Wood Thrush
28. Eastern Screech Owl
29. Northern Cardinal
30. Eastern Wild Turkey

18-19 July 2006
(Days 3-4)

31. Eastern Wood-Pewee
32. House Wren
33. White-breasted Nuthatch
34. Northern Flicker
35. Downy Woodpecker
36. Gray Catbird
37. Tree Swallow
38. Common Yellowthroat
39. Yellow-breasted Chat
40. Black-capped Chickadee
41. Tufted Titmouse
42. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
43. Great-tailed Grackle
44. Mourning Dove
45. Canada Goose
46. House Sparrow
47. Eastern Meadowlark
48. Red-bellied Woodpecker
49. American Crow
50. Louisiana Waterthrush
51. Indigo Bunting
52. Great-crested Flycatcher
53. American Goldfinch
54. Eastern Towhee
55. Hooded Warbler
56. Green Heron
57. Chimney Swift
58. Purple Martin
59. Field Sparrow
60. Hairy Woodpecker
61. Northern Flicker
62. Red-headed Woodpecker
63. Eastern Bluebird
64. Ring-necked Pheasant
65. Dickcissel
66. Northern Bobwhite
67. Northern Shrike
68. Spotted Sandpiper

20-21 July 2006
(Days 5-6)

69. Common Cormorant
70. Muscovy Duck
71. Orchard Oriole
72. Northern Harrier
73. Broad-winged Hawk
74. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
75. Barred Owl
76. Chipping Sparrow
77. Ring-billed Gull
78. Red-tailed Hawk
79. Bald Eagle
80. Northern Parula
81. Red-eyed Vireo
82. Cattle Egret
83. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
84. Song Sparrow
85. Willow Flycatcher
86. Northern Mockingbird
87. American Coot
88. American Kestrel
89. Yellow-throated Vireo
90. Ruby-throated Vireo
91. Carolina Wren
92. Pied-billed Grebe
93. Pectoral Sandpiper
94. Gadwall

22-23 July 2006
(Days 7-8)

95. Great-horned Owl
96. Blue Grosbeak
97. Acadian Flycatcher
98. Eastern Phoebe
99. Cooper’s Hawk
100. Blue-winged Warbler
101. Pileated Woodpecker
102. Kentucky Warbler
103. Scarlet Tanager


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