Birders | St. Louis Public Radio

Birders

Wildlife Rescue Center intern Katelyn Milbrandt feeds an orphaned Virginia possum. Wildlife rescuers in St. Louis have had to overhaul their work routines due to the pandemic during their busiest time of year.
Wildlife Rescue Center

For Joe Hoffmann, spring is like the dinner rush at a restaurant. 

But instead of customers, there are rows of hungry baby birds, demanding to be fed.

“It’s just crazy,” said Hoffmann, executive director of Wild Bird Rehabilitation in Overland. “We're working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, constantly feeding them.”

Wildlife rescuers in St. Louis are gearing up for the springtime influx of orphaned animals, as baby birds, squirrels and rabbits begin arriving in droves. But this year, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing organizations to make major changes to keep staff and volunteers from getting sick.

Wingspan designer and avid birder Elizabeth Hargrave created the game after realizing most of the boardgames she was playing were about subjects she didn't care about, like castles and trains.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Board games have come a long way since Monopoly.

Players can spend hours immersed in sophisticated, story-driven games — building civilizations on Mars or battling dungeon monsters.

But one of the most popular games of the year isn’t focused on war or domination; it’s about birds.

In Wingspan, a scientifically accurate game from St. Louis-based publisher Stonemaier Games, players create their own personal aviary. The game has become wildly successful with both hardcore gamers and birders — groups whose interests don’t always overlap.

Randy Korotev , a research professor at Washington University, is a leading a count on New Year’s Day at the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary in West Alton. It’s one of about 20 happening in the state.
Randy Korotev

The National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count is in full swing, with more than 2,500 counts taking place worldwide. Since 1900, bird enthusiasts have been tracking and counting the status of bird species in the St. Louis region and around the world and during the winter holiday season.

This year, the count is taking place on Dec. 14 to Jan. 5. In Missouri, roughly 20 counts are being conducted, including one in St. Charles County.