Posted on Jan 28, 2019
President-Elect Mark Killingsworth presided over today’s meeting. A.D. Hunt gave today’s invocation. Joe Meador led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Thanks to Phillip Carter and Paula Brahan who served as our greeters today.
Brandon Hodges thanked those who helped with today’s meeting and then introduced today’s guests. Scott Hummel had Kevin Croft and Seth Lawrence as his guests. They are both William Carey University business major students. Joey Johnson had Eric Rodgers who is applying for membership as his guest. Steve Ramp had Marc McMillian who is also applying for membership as his guest.
Mark reminded members that the club will vote on the new board of directors during next Tuesday’s meeting. Anyone interested in serving on the board is asked to contact Steven Utroska in the very near future.
Mark then introduced today’s guest speaker, Larry Basden. Larry is currently the president of Pine Woods Audubon Society, which is the local chapter of the National Audubon Society.
The National Audubon Society was formed in Massachusetts in 1896, primarily by a group of women who were interested in protecting birds. Feathered hats were very popular in America and five million birds were being harvested annually to provide feathers for the hats. The group founded the National Wildlife Refuge in 1901. In 1905 the National Audubon Society was incorporated in New York.
One of the things the National does each year is coordinate the annual Christmas bird count. They’ve conducted this count for the past 119 years. The Pine Woods Audubon Society is assigned a fifteen-mile circle in which they count the birds they find during the specified time frame. There are literally thousands of counting circles across the nation and twenty in Mississippi.
The Audubon Society focuses on citizen science. In addition to the Christmas bird count, they began the Backyard count some 24 years ago.
The Mississippi Audubon Society was founded in 1998 by two Holly Springs sisters. They opened the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs. Each year they feature a hummingbird festival. There are five society chapters across Mississippi. The state society also founded the Pascagoula River Audubon Center in Moss Point and created the Coastal Bird Stewardship Program. That program was begun after the B.P. oil spill that had a significant impact on animal life along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 
The Pine Woods Audubon Society was founded in 1992. They have monthly meetings from September through May. They conduct two field trips each month. They also participate in the two annual National Society bird counts. Larry noted that we are seeing fewer species in Mississippi, primarily due to their disappearing habitats. A total of 195 species have been identified in Forrest County. That is down from an all-time high of 237.
If you’d like more information or would like to attend their meetings, find them on the web at They also have a Facebook page.

Mark thanked today’s speaker and encouraged members to sign up for the Christian Services Meals on Wheels program. He promised to be a good escort and will take you to lunch. He then adjourned the meeting with our motto, "Service Above Self!"