From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
June 2011 Issue

Back Cover

What is it?

Our photographers have been busy exploring the intricacies of the Missouri outdoors. See if you can guess this month’s natural wonder. The answer is revealed below.

Least bittern

On the back cover and right is a juvenile least bittern by Noppadol Paothong. During the summer, least bitterns frequent cattail and river bulrush marshes. Nests are frequently constructed in cattails, river bulrushes, nutsedges and buttonbushes in deepwater sites. Detecting them is easily done at dawn and dusk by listening for their soft calls, coo-coo-coo-COO-COO-COO-coo-coo. Seeing them is a matter of patience, unless you can canoe or wade through the wetland area where you heard them. Usually if you wait and frequently scan above the cattails of a marsh, you will see one fly low over the marsh and disappear into the vegetation again. Public areas that are excellent places to watch for least bitterns are Eagle Bluffs, Schell-Osage, Fountain Grove, Ted Shanks and Marais Temps Clair conservation areas and Mingo, Squaw Creek, Swan Lake and Mark Twain national wildlife refuges. This juvenile was photographed on a June morning at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. To learn more about birding in Missouri, visit www.mdc.mo.gov/node/235. The Conservation Department also sells Birds In Missouri, a beautiful illustrated book featuring 354 birds. It includes range maps and seasonal abundance graphs. Seventeen two-page habitat scenes portray Missouri’s diverse natural and urban landscapes. It costs $30 plus sales tax and shipping and handling. To order, call toll free 877-521-8632 or visit www.mdcnatureshop.com.

Also in this issue

Elk at peck ranch

Elk Return to Missouri

The hills around Peck Ranch Conservation Area once again will echo with the bugles of bull elk.

roadrunner

The Adaptable Roadrunner

An up-close look at one of our most unique birds.

Landscaped to attract birds and butterflies

A Shopper's Guide to Building With Nature

Making real estate and landscaping choices with wildlife in mind.

This Issue's Staff:

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler