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Missouri team goes for birds, mammals and vertebrates race

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Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 1097
Location: N America

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:44 pm    Post subject: Missouri team goes for birds, mammals and vertebrates race Reply with quote

"Terry L. Miller" <millert AT CENTURYTEL.NET>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2010 01:52:50 -0400

On Monday, June 7th, Mike Niles and I each had a team of three students and
competed in the 3rd Annual Kearney High School Vertebrate Pentathlon. For those
not familiar with the competition, we start at 5:00 a.m. and go till 8:00 p.m.
while staying within 15-20 miles of Kearney, MO. We try to IDENTIFY as many
vertebrate SPECIES as we can during the fastest 15 hours you can imagine. All
fish must be caught and without use of a boat. Extra points are awarded for
actually catching amphibians and reptiles. Points are also earned for each
active bird nest found but none are ever disturbed. This year Mike Niles’
team beat my team for the second time in three years. A “perfect score” is
500 and they won 523 to 454. This time the reptile category was the culprit!!
They found 7 species and caught 5 of them. We only found 3 species and caught
one. On the score sheet, that was a difference of 79 points and we lost by

The following are totals for both teams combined....

Total Fish Species caught (10):

Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Large-mouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Black Bullhead,
Drum, White Crappie, Black Crappie, Creek Chub, Carp

Total Amphibian Species identified & all were caught (6):

Blanchard’s Cricket Frog, W. Chorus Frog, Bullfrog, American Toad, Leopard
frog species, Central Newt

Total Reptile Species identified and/or caught (9):

Ribbon Snake
W. Painted Turtle
Common Snapping Turtle
Northern Water Snake – 4 caught
Red-sided Garter Snake – 1 caught
Eastern Garter Snake – 1 caught
Three-toed Box Turtle – 1 caught
Ornate Box Turtle – 1 caught
Eastern Collared Lizard – 4 seen and 1 caught (abandoned rock quarry near

Total Mammal Species identified (9):

Striped Skunk, Gray Squirrel, E. Fox Squirrel, E. Cottontail, Red Fox,
White-tailed deer, White-footed Mouse, Prairie Vole, Muskrat

Total Active Bird Nests (12):

E. Phoebe, Purple Martin, E. Starling, House Sparrow, Barn Swallow, N.
Cardinal, Cliff Swallow, Great Blue Heron, Am. Robin and 3 others I forgot to
get from Mike….

Total Bird Species identified (84):

Common Loon – the one Doug Willis posted on east side of Liberty; I saw the
post, Mike didn’t and he still got the bird!!!

Pied-billed Grebe – Cooley Lake CA
Double Crested Cormorant – 5 on Smithville Lake
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Least Bittern – Cooley Lake CA
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Hooded Merganser
Turkey Vulture
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Wild Turkey
Black Tern – 2 at Camp Branch Marina on Smithville Lake
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
E. Collared Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Barred Owl
Whip-poor-will - Watkin’s Mill SP
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Common Flicker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
E. Kingbird
W. Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - pair on west side of Smithville Lake
Great Crested Flycatcher
E. Phoebe
E. Wood Pewee
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Purple Martin
Blue Jay
Common Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Carolina Wren
N. Mockingbird
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
American Robin
Wood Thrush
E. Bluebird
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Cedar Waxwing
E. Starling
Warbling Vireo
N. Parula
Yellow Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow-breasted Chat – Watkin’s Mill SP
House Sparrow
E. Meadowlark
Red-winged Blackbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Great-tailed Grackle
Common Grackle
Summer Tanager
N. Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Am. Goldfinch
E. Towhee
Lark Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
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