Editor: Paul Rosenberger
NOVEMBER, 15 2013
Steve Hager then introduced Rev. Sig Bjorklund, new pastor at Grace United Methodist Church. He told us he had been born and raised in Peoria, but prior to coming to Decatur had preached in St. Louis. He said he’d heard some “uncomfortable” rumors about our city, but now that he has discovered all the positive things we enjoy here, he likes Decatur. He then told us that he and his father, a Bradley professor who had a zoology degree in Ichthyology (the study of fish) had become amateur ornithologists after they discovered the exceptional habitat for many species of herons at the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge about 45 miles southwest of Peoria. They became registered bird surveyors and began a 35-year tradition of recording the birds they observed each Friday morning beginning at 6:00 a.m. (Sig gets up here at 4:15) and ending around noon after a 10-mile consistent site stop & go tour around the three adjoining lakes in the refuge, as depicted in the brochure he distributed. Because his father is now 85, and driving up from St. Louis became a burden to Sig, they changed to a bi-weekly trip about five years ago. He said they report their findings at each site to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuge staff to advise them on managing water levels. He passed around a copy of a recent 10-page computerized record they recently completed that included seeing 160,000 ducks. Their long-time effort is probably the longest continuous and historically valuable record-keeping in the U.S.
Then Sig related their work to Sertoma by noting that both he and his father wear hearing aids. He said they count only water birds, not songbirds, because the best Audubon birders perform 80% of their recognition of these smaller birds by their calls. Finally he answered the big question, “Why do he and his father do this?” 1) It helps both father and son keep track of each other’s health, family activities, exciting work, etc. 2) It’s FUN, and 3) It’s helpful as part of God’s stewardship of the planet. He answered Hugh Rowden’s question about the loss of birds near wind-farms, by saying the jury is still out, although bird collisions with tall buildings, especially if they are migrating on flyways, may be a greater problem.
Thanks for sharing this information this morning, Sig. Welcome to Decatur and to Breakfast Sertoma.
I AM PROUD TO BE A SERTOMAN
– Regular meeting at 7:00 a.m. at Scovill Golf Course
November 22 – Last day to order Sertoma Holiday Blend Marquis Coffee for Dec. 6 delivery
November 26 – Community Thanksgiving Dinner at 10:30 a.m. at Civic Center
November 29 - Friday after Thanksgiving social meeting at 7:00 a.m. at the Downtown Cafe
November 30 & December 7 – Salvation Army Bells at 10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Sam’s & WalMart
December 3 – Board meeting at 6:50 a.m. at Perkin’s
December 3 –