Happy New Year from Iowa Young Birders! Although 2020 was not without its challenges, I very much enjoyed the new programs and opportunities it presented our organization, and I hope you enjoyed them too! I look forward to what 2021 will bring.
Speaking of new programs in 2021, have you checked out our events calendar recently? We're excited to offer two new virtual events about owls this winter, the first of which is this Saturday, January 30 at 9 AM! We're hosting Scott Weidensaul, founder of Project SNOWStorm, a non-profit research organization that tracks movements of Snowy Owls across North America using GPS backpacks. How cool is that? Scott is also a world-renowned author and naturalist, and I'm excited for what he has to share with our young birders. Then, on February 20, we're partnering with the Iowa Wildlife Center and Wild Birds Unlimited in Ames to offer a virtual program all about Eastern Screech-owls. I really hope you can join us for one or both of these exciting events! You can register by visiting our events calendar or by clicking the links to each event below.
The above events could not happen without your support, which is why I hope you consider renewing your membership for 2021 or joining Iowa Young Birders as a Supporting Member or Sponsor. Your membership means you will be contributing to programs that inspire young Iowans to explore and learn about the outdoors and birds and develop the knowledge, skills, and passion to become future conservationists. You can join or renew your membership by visiting our website. And thank you!
I hope 2021 is off to a great start for you and that the new year brings new birds!
Iowa Young Birders
Don't Miss These Upcoming Young Birder Events!
January 30: Project SNOWStorm Virtual Event - Snowy Owls are beautiful and fascinating birds that occasionally visit Iowa in years when they are moving south from their arctic tundra breeding grounds in search of food. Until 2013, when Project SNOWStorm was started, not much was known about these southward movements made by Snowy Owls. We're excited to host naturalist, author (who wrote the Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean), and Project SNOWStorm founder Scott Weidensaul for a virtual event to learn all about these amazing birds! Scott will help us learn more about Snowy Owls and will share with us the knowledge gained from nearly 9 years of tracking Snowy Owls with GPS devices. We're lucky to have Scott join us, and we hope you can join us too! This trip is free but advanced registration is required. In addition, a computer or smart device with a microphone or internet connection is recommended to join this event, but there is also the opportunity to call in.
February 20: Eastern Screech-owl Virtual Event - Despite being somewhat common throughout Iowa, the Eastern Screech-owl is often forgotten because it's much less visible and vocal than our larger owl species. They are, however, arguably one of the cutest birds we see in Iowa! We're excited to partner with the Iowa Wildlife Center and Wild Birds Unlimited of Ames on a virtual event dedicated to learning all about this member of the Strigidae family. Rumor has it a live Eastern Screech-owl may make an appearance. You won't want to miss it, so grab your lunch and join us for this fun educational event! This event is free but advanced registration (prior to February 18) is required in order to receive details about the event. A computer or smart device with a microphone and internet connection is recommended for joining this event, but there will also be an option to call in.
In our Fall 2020 newsletter, we shared a bit about the success of our Summer Birding Program last year. You can now read a brief report from our follow-up survey with participants on our website here!
In December, we partnered with our friends (and sponsor) Wild Birds Unlimited in Ames to host a virtual event about winter birds. If you weren't able to join us, you can view the recording 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!