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From Missouri Conservationist: February 2017

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity.

Bald Eagles

I read with interest the article on bald eagles in your December issue [Monitoring Bald Eagles in Missouri]. Of particular interest was the map showing Hickory County as one of the counties with six to eight active nests (one was described in the article). Another one my wife and I are aware of is downstream of the bridge over the Pomme de Terre River at Hermitage. The nest is visible from the road during the winter months. The eagles are likely to be seen any day of the year perched atop a towering, but very dead, tree nearby. It makes our day when we see them. They are a majestic bird!

Ed Taylor, Hermitage

The article Monitoring Bald Eagles in Missouri and its accompanying photos were terrific. I learned a lot of things that I never knew about this majestic creature and its presence in Missouri. My wife and I have seen a huge eagle’s nest on the Meramec River in Franklin County on several occasions, and we have always been in awe of these incredibly beautiful and powerful raptors.

Thank you for such a terrific magazine. I read it cover to cover every month and will continue to do so. We are immeasurably blessed with natural beauty in Missouri, and the Missouri Conservationist does a great job of showcasing that every month.

Corbett P. Shannon, Fenton

I always appreciate Noppadol Paothong’s excellent photography, but his December 2016 cover shot was particularly timely. In November, my neighbors and I saw a bald eagle flying around the bottomlands along Massey Creek in western Cass County. We don’t often see them right here in our backyard — only once more in a dozen years — so it’s a rare and delightful experience. We figure the eagle was either fishing in the creek or more likely had followed ducks who make a stop at our creek each fall.

Steve Porter, Cleveland, Mo.

A Conservationist

One of my fondest country-school memories was to join MDC’s new program called The Missouri Nature Knight organization. As a very young pupil (in 1946), those of us in the fourth grade in a rural one-room school in Benton County learned the basics of effective conservation. By 1963, I was teaching natural science at Hickman High School in Columbia and was encouraged by your then staff member Bill Crawford to become a charter member of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. That eventually led to my earning a post-doctorate at Harvard University, finishing at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I owe MDC a great deal, including time in the Reagan Administration — PR duties — both in D.C. and Europe.

Charlie Campbell, Ph.D., Jefferson City

Timely Burgoo

What a surprise to find the recipe for Boone County Burgoo in the December Missouri Conservationist [Cooking Wild for the Holidays; Page 24]. I belong to a book club, and our book for December was A Year Down Yonder. Set in 1937, as the town celebrated Armistice Day, the ladies auxiliary cooked a large pot of stew, called burgoo, made of squirrel and lots of vegetables, and sold it for a dime a cup. I brought my copy of the magazine to book club and showed the girls. They were amazed to see a picture and recipe for burgoo. How timely! Thanks for your wonderful magazine.

Dolores Bonnot, Washington

Trumpeter Swans

Thank you, David Stonner, for a great story on banding of trumpeter swans [January]. I am anxious to learn more about this valuable resource.

Stanley Field, Laurie


On Page 24 of the January issue, we reported on a yellow-bellied watersnake that made international news when she laid eggs in 2016 after having had no contact with a male for eight years. Watersnakes do not lay eggs. They are ovoviviparous, and therefore, have live births.

Reader Photo

Let’s Frolic, Deer

Brenda White of Republic captured this photo of deer in the James River while commuting to work. “Since I am not fond of traffic, I take the back roads,” said White. “There is a bridge I cross each day where I drive slowly just to appreciate God’s handiwork.” White said there was more traffic than usual on the bridge the day she took this photo. Every time she stopped to take the photo, someone would pull up behind her. “I had to turn around and go back and forth over the bridge at least four times to get the picture,” said White. “I was thankful the deer weren’t in any hurry to move.”

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler