R & E: In spring the first individuals arrive at the end of March. Numbers increase through April and usually peak in early May.
March 27, 1990 - Earliest spring record
(1); Duck Creek CA, Bollinger and Stoddard Cos.; Bob Lewis, Hal Ferris; R & E, BB 57:135.
March 28, 1976 - 2nd earliest spring record
(1); near Alton Dam (now RMBS); St. Charles Co.; B. Boesch; R & E, NN 48:44.
May 15, 1979 - Highest single day count
(17); Squaw Creek NWR, Holt Co.; Mark Robbins, David Easterla, Tim Barksdale; R & E, BB 46:6. Migrants seen leaving the marsh at dusk and headed north.
May 28, 1980 - Late
(1); Big Oak Tree SP, Mississippi Co.; David Easterla; R & E; Considered latest spring record of 'obvious migrant' in R & E.
R & E: Much less common breeder than at the turn of the century, as Widmann (1907) stated it was a "fairly common summer resident." Most breeding records for the past quarter century have been in marshes north of the Missouri River. Best areas being Squaw Creek NWR, Ted Shanks CA, and Marais Temps Clair.
1988, 1990 - Nesting record
(Several breeding pairs); Squaw Creek NWR, Holt Co.; David Easterla, Ron Bell; R & E.
June 9, 2004 - Nesting record
(2); Photographed; Squaw Creek NWR, Holt Co.; Ron Bell, David Easterla; 17th Annual MBRC Report, 2004-60. Two birds on two nests.
R & E: Migrants begin appearing as early as mid-August and peak in mid- to late September.
Aug. 18, 1980 - Considered earliest fall record in R & E
(1); Springfield, Greene Co.; W. Holloway; R & E, BB 48:10.
Sept. 10, 1973 - Highest fall single day count
(10); Squaw Creek NWR, Holt Co.; Floyd Lawhon; R & E, BB 41:2.
R & E: Occasionally an individual is seen into early December (there were 4 early Dec. records at time of R & E).
Dec. 8, 1926 - Latest fall record
(Female); Specimen (CMC 71); Fayette, Howard Co.; R & E.
Dec. 18-20, 2014 - 6th winter record
(1); Photographed; CR 730, Dunklin Co.; Timothy Jones (documentation with photographs); 28th Annual MBRC Report, 2015-36.
Dec. 27, 1959 - 1st winter record
(1); Squaw Creek CBC; Squaw Creek NWR, Holt Co.; No observer listed; R & E.
Jan. 28, 1971 - 3rd winter record
(1); St. Charles Co.; Jim Earl Comfort; R & E.
Early Feb. 1966 - 2nd winter record
(1); Squaw Creek NWR, Holt Co.; Harold Burgess; R & E, BB 33:13.
Feb. 13, 2000 - 4th winter record
(1); Eagle Bluffs CA, Boone Co.; Sandra Elbert, Bonnie Heidy, Susan Hazelwood, Jean Leonatti, Jean Grabner, Barbara Sapp, Barbara Allen, Sandra Kubal, Frank Schiffel, and Lee Kraft; 13th Annual MBRC Report, 2000-37. Diagnostic features well described; and immature night-herons ruled out.
Note: Any significant observations since R & E will be added at a later time.
Background photograph taken by Allen Smith, 22 May 2011, Columbia Bottom CA, St. Charles Co.