Iowa Audubon

News

Apr 05, 2017
IOWA MUST AVOID BIRD-KILLING BUILDINGS

For nearly two years, Audubon Minnesota and the National Audubon Society, with many other partners, pleaded with the Minnesota Vikings’ owner to substitute “bird friendly” glass in construction of the new US Bank Stadium, which opened last fall.  The request was made to protect birds following the nearby Mississippi River in migration but was ignored, and 200,000 sq. ft. of highly reflective glass walls were installed.  This past autumn, volunteers walked around the stadium for three months, collecting many birds which died in glass collisions.  Hundreds more likely died elsewhere after injuries, or were removed by stadium maintenance crews before being found by the volunteers.  US Bank Stadium is now recognized as the most lethal structure for birds anywhere in Minnesota. 

A new 33-storey skyscraper is planned for downtown Des Moines, with probable design illustrating the entire building wrapped in reflective glass walls. Because of site proximity to the Des Moines River, a major migration pathway, this building could become our own version of the tragic new Vikings' stadium.  Iowans should contact the City of Des Moines and demand that this building--plus other future similar constructions--include the use “bird-friendly” glass.  Specially treated glass, such as etched or fritted, can cut bird collision deaths by as much as 80% and does not detract from building design.  This could help stave off further decline of many of our native and migrating bird species caused by glass building collisions. Let's not follow the example of the new stadium in Minneapolis.



Feb 23, 2017
PURPLE MARTIN WORKSHOP & SEMINAR NEAR KALONA: MARCH 18

The 12th annual 2017 Iowa Purple Martin Workshop/Seminar at the CAM Iowa Clothing Center (1005 Nutmeg Ave) 1.8 miles north of Kalona, Iowa and one mile east of Highway 1, will be held onSaturday, March 18. Presenters start at 9:00 AM, but early birds can arrive at 8:00 AM for doughnuts and coffee. $2.00 registration fee. Save the date! Our topics and speakers are: "A Comprehensive Look at the Purple Martin and Landlord Practices" Dave Duit - Iowa Purple Martin Organization; "Swans, Swifts & Ceruleans...Why Citizen Conservation Counts" Doug Harr - President, Iowa Audubon; "Resource Management in Johnson County" Jennifer Jordan - Recycling Coordinator, City of Iowa City; "Update: Eagles, Ospreys, and Peregrine Falcons" Pat Schlarbaum - Wildlife Diversity Program, Iowa Department of Natural Resources 

Jim Walters Songbird Project, 319-466-1134



Feb 08, 2017
GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT: FEB. 17-20
Join the annual celebration of winter birds by counting the birds you see in your backyard, a local park, or wherever you see birds during the four days of February 17-20, 2017.  Then, contribute to science by entering your sightings online.  For more information on how anyone can conduct this bird survey of growing importance, check out www.birdcount.org on your computer, tablet or other mobile device.  This annual event is co-sponsored by Audubon, Bird Studies Canada, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Wild Birds Unlimited.


Feb 08, 2017
FIRST-EVER BIRDING FESTIVAL SET FOR LUCAS COUNTY MAY 5-7

This May 5-7, a new birding festival will be hosted at Chariton, in Lucas County.  Iowa Audubon has partnered with Tourism Lucas County, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Iowa DNR, Iowa Ornithologists’ Union, Lucas County Conservation Board and others, to create this first-time event. It is hoped that the festival will bring in many people unfamiliar with Lucas County, its rich forests and other habitats, to learn what a great place it is for neotropical migrants and resident nesting birds. Additional anticipated results are improved conservation efforts on private lands across the county and a boosting of local ecotourism.  The festival weekend will provide activities for kids as well as adults.

Beginning on Friday evening, May 5, registration and social event will take place at Carpenter’s Hall in Chariton, main hosting facility for the entire weekend.  At 8 PM a showing of a famous birding movie, The Big Year”, will be free to the public.  Saturday and Sunday mornings will feature field trips to a variety of habitats across the county, along with a Saturday night trip to hear owls and nightjars.

Saturday afternoon will feature several programs and workshops relating to birds, habitat and more. Birding and other conservation groups will have displays, and commercial exhibitors will be selling books, birding equipment or other items.  A home-style banquet will be held Saturday evening, featuring guest speaker Heather Sanders and her presentation abpout "Following Flammulated Owls in the West".  For more information and online registration, check the following website: 

http://www.charitonareachambermainstreet.com/               



Feb 08, 2017
IOWA AUDUBON CONTINUES WORKING TO SAVE IOWA RIVER CORRIDOR HABITAT

       Last year, Iowa Audubon worked with Iowa DNR to acquire approximately 74 acres in the Iowa River floodplain between Belle Plain and Marengo.  This is the first project in the history of Iowa DNR that Audubon has been a sole acquisition partner, splitting costs 50-50.  Purpose of the project was to fill in a gap between existing parcels of public lands.  The Iowa River Corridor (IRC) is co-designated as one of DNR’s “Bird Conservation Areas” (BCAs) and Audubon’s “Important Bird Areas” (IBAs), so connecting, enlarging and permanently protecting avian habitat here is vital to both programs. Wetlands and native prairie restorations are planned for this new site by Iowa DNR.

       Beginning this past fall, additional contributions from Audubon are going to the US Fish & Wildlife Service to better restore wetlands and grasslands on some federal property within the IRC IBA-BCA, work that will continue again this year.  Finally, additional acquisition projects are now being reviewed by DNR and Audubon, in hopes of again working together to enlarge and protect public lands in the IRC.  Funding for all projects here result from a bequest in the name of Carole Donovan, donated to the National Audubon Society for use only in Tama, Iowa and Benton counties.  Iowa Audubon, an independent Audubon Society, has worked closely with National Audubon to direct this money to the best uses for bird conservation here.  Watch for news of the next projects in our newsletter and on this website..