It just seems that the MOBS Bluebird Conferences get better and better. I was thrilled to be part of the line-up of speakers this time but quickly was humbled by the fantastic presentations from both Dave Tylka and Jim Rathert. Probably the only objection was that it ended too soon. Limited by room reservations at Powell Gardens and trying to squeeze in a two hour tour of the gardens before they closed made the day zoom by. Everyone was amazed at how thoroughly Dave would explain how much more birds benefited from native plants compared with non-native plants. After seeing how our native birds benefit from both the insects attracted to and the food produced by native plants, I will certainly give those plants greater priority in my own backyard habitat. Having Dave and Jim together with their wealth of information was almost overwhelming and they freely shared their knowledge with the entire group.
Jim not only shared his knowledge of photography and birds, he also designed and donated the beautiful name tags and the bookmarks that everyone attending the conference received.
I hope everyone took time to talk with and thank the volunteers that manned the MOBS registration booth and the product sales booth. And I certainly do not want to overlook the parade of volunteers who helped with move- in and then tear- down and move- out after the presentations were over. Many of you took home some fantastic items from the raffle and auction. Remember, we were able to keep this years conference so economical because of last years silent auction and raffle. The items you purchased this year will help keep the cost of next years conference affordable.
All of this would not have been possible and would not have run so smoothly without the time and preparation by the MOBS Board and this years Conference Chair, Larry Dobson. Larry along with his wife, Mary, also took responsibility for the silent auction and raffle. It seems like all the board members were doing multiple jobs. Ann Smith would be handing out name badges to attendees one minute and the next minute you would see her with a camera taking photos for the web site. I look forward to all the photos I know many of you were there and I didn’t get a chance to say hello. Susan Reinagel had one of the longest drives to the conference and started registering people as soon as she arrived.
I know many of you had a chance to stop by Steve Smith’s booth with questions on nest boxes for a variety of birds. Steve has agreed to share his passion for all the cavity nesters especially Bluebirds as one of our main speakers next year. It has been four years since Steve has done a presentation at a MOBS conference and many of our new members have not had the opportunity to learn from his years of experience.
Sunday could not have been a much nicer day and a great way to cap a wonderful conference. Everyone enjoyed the leisurely walk checking nest boxes at Loch Lloyd Golf Course. It was nice to see and experience their Bluebird Trail. The records that Carol and Betty keep along with their troupe of volunteers prove monitoring a nest box trail can make a difference. It was nice to see new clutches of Bluebird eggs in many of the nest boxes. I look forward to their year end report and the number of Bluebirds raised.
There were so many people who pitched in to help out at this years conference that I am sure I have overlooked some foks here, so I want to take this opportunity to say thanks now. Thank you! Your contributions really do make a difference and bluebirds and bluebird enthusiasts benefit.
See you at the 2014 Missouri Bluebird Conference, July 11th-13th, in Jefferson City!
Missouri Bluebird Society, President