Greetings once again from Iowa Young Birders. I hope this message finds you doing well as we enter the Holiday season.
It's been a busy fall at Iowa Young Birders and I hope it's been just as fun for the young birders as it has for me. On October 10, nine young birders convened in central Iowa for a morning of chasing fall migrants at Harrier Marsh and an afternoon of intense discussion on future programs and field trips. Many exciting ideas were shared, several of which will be incorporated into field trips next year and into the future. Many thanks to those young birders who participated!
If that wasn't enough fun, on October 31 we joined friends with the Omaha Youth Birding Group for a cool and dreary morning at Lake Manawa near Council Bluffs. It was the morning for falcons, as we were treated with a visit by two captive American Kestrels from Fontenelle Forest Nature Center. Young birders learned many neat facts about American Kestrels including what they eat and how they hunt. Afterwards, while heading to scan the lake for birds, a Merlin landed in a tree about 75 yards away and offered great looks through our spotting scopes! It was great fun to see fun birds and meet new friends.
As the year comes quickly to a close, we reflect back on the many fun adventures of 2015. A wintry search for Northern Saw-whet Owls, an amazing trip to view the Sandhill Crane migration in Nebraska, and stalking Le Conte's Sparrows at Harrier Marsh last fall among many others. We couldn't offer these programs without the support of our many donors. Please consider a year end gift to help us encourage Iowa's young birders and build the future of birding!
Iowa Young Birders
Don't Miss These Upcoming Young Birder Events!
December 19 Red Rock Christmas Bird Count - Take advantage of this opportunity to participate in an Audubon Christmas Bird Count at Red Rock Reservoir and contribute to the longest-running citizen science project! Young birders will join experienced trip leaders as we count birds in a 15-mile radius around Red Rock Reservoir. Count for the morning or for the entire day. We would love to have you join us! This trip is free but advanced registration is required.
January 16 Bird Sketching Workshop - The Hall of Birds at the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums is a great place to see birds on display from all over the world! Iowa City artist Kathryn Kostenbader will lead a workshop on sketching birds, a fun and important skill for birders of all ages! Young birders will have the opportunity to practice their sketching skills with birds on display. Their is a cost associated with this trip and registration is limited to the first 15 young birders. Register today for this unique opportunity!
February 13 Big Creek State Park - Big Creek State Park and nearby Saylorville Reservoir offer exciting winter birding as both locations have the potential to host winter visitors such as Northern Saw-whet Owl and Townsend's Solitaire as well as high numbers of wintering Bald Eagles. Join us as we spend an exciting morning birding these two central Iowa hotspots! This trip is free but advanced registration is required.
All of our field trips are open to young birders ages 8-18. Parents are encouraged to attend. No cost to participate (except for special events) but advance registration is required. For more details and to register, visit our Calendar page.
Iowa Young Birders offers Camp Scholarships for the second year
Thanks to generous gifts from multiple donors, we're excited to offer our Camp Scholarships to young birders again this year! Last year, we awarded scholarships to two young birders to attend American Birding Association young birder camps. To learn more about our Camp Scholarships or to apply, click here.
Interested in making a gift to our scholarship fund? You can do so here.
Image from Camp Avocet courtesy Bill Schmoker
Feathers, Friends, Food, and Future
Great birds and great discussion at our Feathers, Friends, Food, and Future event in October! READ MORE HERE!
Lake Manawa with the Omaha Youth Birding Group
It was a "falcony" morning with our friends from Nebraska! READ MORE HERE!
Iowa Young Birders is committed to encouraging young birders to study and enjoy birds through our field programs, special events, scholarships, and other resources, all provided to young birders at small cost due to support from generous donors. Want to make a gift to support young birders? Help purchase a pair of binoculars for a young birder to use on our field trips, support a young birder to attend a birding camp by giving to our camp scholarship fund, or support our general programs.
Help us build the future of birding!
Become a Member!
Young birders ages 8-18 can connect with new friends from across Iowa, get the inside scoop from our e-newsletters, and have the opportunity to contribute and participate. Youth members also receive a discount for any of our special events which may have a registration fee. An annual youth membership is only $10.What a great gift idea for your young birder!
Have up to four young birders in your family? Consider our new family membership ($40 annually). Up to two adults and four related young birders will become members of Iowa Young Birders, and all young birders will receive the same benefits as an individual youth membership!
Adults (age 19+) can support Iowa’s young birders by becoming an Adult Member ($35 annually.) Your support will help us to encourage young Iowans to develop and interest in Iowa’s birdlife and conservation issues. Plus, your Adult Membership helps keep our Youth Membership dues very low.
You can also use this same link to renew your current membership!