It's hard to believe spring is finally here! It was a little more than one month ago that I was looking at my snow-covered yard thinking the days of colorful warblers and blooming tulips and daffodils would never come. But, in true Iowa fashion, Mother Nature rounded the final curve of winter and brought spring to us right on time. I hope you have been enjoying the change of seasons and the great birds that it brings!
Now that we're well into 2019, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support of our programs, but more importantly of young birders in Iowa. This is something I can't do enough. I'm especially grateful to those of you who renewed your membership or sponsorship for 2019, who volunteered to assist with our events and programs, and who helped us spread the word about our organization. We truly couldn't do this without you!
Did you know Iowa Young Birders is now on Instagram? You can follow us here to see photos from our field trips, learn about Iowa birds, their biology, and habitat requirements, and stay current on upcoming field trips and programs. If you don't have an Instagram account, no problem! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter or simply check out our website for information about us and our upcoming events.
I'm very excited about our field trips this spring. Hickory Hill Park in Iowa City, a weekend of birding fun at Stephens State Forest, a Field Sketching Workshop with Wild Birds Unlimited in Ames, and a visit to Voas Nature Area in Dallas County - we hope you can join us for one or more of these exciting events. And don't forget, we're giving a Rite-in-the-Rain Birder's Journal to every young birder who brings a friend on one of our events in 2019, and your friend gets one too!
See you in the field!
Iowa Young Birders
Don't Miss These Upcoming Young Birder Events!
April 27: Hickory Hill Park - Situated in the heart of Iowa City, Hickory Hill Park is a fantastic nature area and its diverse habitats host a multitude of breeding and migrating birds each year. Join us as we welcome the migrating songbirds back to Iowa at this popular birding location! We'll search the park for early-arriving warblers such as Black-and-White Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Northern Parula as well as other exciting birds such as Scarlet Tanager and Hermit Thrush. We welcome all young birders and their families! Binoculars will be available for use and no experience is needed. This trip is free but advanced registration is required.
May 18-19: Stephens State Forest - The 15,000 acres of diverse forest habitats of Stephens State Forest in south-central Iowa serve as the core of the Soap Creek-Stephens Forest Bird Conservation Area, an area home to more than 100 nesting birds. Join us for a weekend of forest birding fun at this amazing area! We'll head out Saturday evening in search for nocturnal birds unique to this area such as Eastern Whip-poor-will and Chuck-will's-widow as well as different owls. On Sunday morning, we'll take a stroll through the forest to look for various songbirds such as vireos, tanagers, and warblers. Camping is available at the forest and lodging is also available in nearby Chariton. Come for one day or the entire weekend! Binoculars will be available for use and no prior birding experience is necessary. This trip is free but advanced registration is required.
May 25: Field Sketching Workshop - Did you know there are many benefits to knowing how to sketch birds? Sketching birds can be a fun hobby, is hugely beneficial when documenting birds in the field, and is a great way to better learn the field marks of different birds. Join us at Wild Birds Unlimited in Ames to learn tips and tricks for sketching birds in the field from both artists and biological illustrators. Sketching is a skill you can have for a lifetime! This trip is free but advanced registration is required.
June 1: Voas Nature Area - One of our most diverse habitats in Iowa, wetland areas are fantastic places to visit in early summer. The nearly 600 acres of restored prairie and wetland at Voas Nature Area are home to more than 100 bird species as well as several species of dragonflies and damselflies, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians, and more! Join us as we partner with Dallas County Conservation Board to explore all this fantastic area has to offer. This trip is free but advanced registration is required.
We're excited to bring you another installment of, "Meet an IAYB Leader"! This time, we meet the Vice Chair of our Board of Directors, Jennifer Owens. Read more about Jennifer here. Thanks Jennifer for your leadership and support of young birders!
Young birders and their families recently assisted Story County Conservation in preparing Eastern Bluebird nest boxes along trails at their various properties throughout the county. It was a great way to spend time outdoors and contribute to conserving this iconic Iowa songbird! View photos from our training event here.
Northern Minnesota Weekend 2019
Our first winter trip to Northern Minnesota was amazing! We saw all our target birds and more! READ MORE ABOUT OUR TRIP HERE.
Spring Birding and Photography Workshop
We learned a lot about photography at our Spring Birding and Photography Workshop, and saw great birds while doing so! VIEW PHOTOS AND OUR SPECIES LIST HERE!
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!