Happy New Year from Iowa Young Birders! I hope you had a safe and enjoyable Holiday season filled with family, friends, and birds. What was your first bird of 2019? I was hoping mine would be a Red-breasted Nuthatch that is still making regular visits to our yard but a Northern Cardinal beat him to the feeders on New Year's morning. Birds are always a fun way to kick off a new year!
Before kicking off a new year, however, I'd like to reflect on the amazing year we had in 2018. We hosted ten fun and educational events across Iowa with 147 youngbirders, parents, grandparents, and supporters in attendance. Our bird list for the year totaled 128 species which included exciting birds like the Common Redpolls at George Wyth State Park in February, Prothonotary Warbler at Fontenelle Forest in June, Mississippi Kite at Ottumwa in August, and many more! But best of all, we spent 30 hours enjoying the outdoors with family and friends thanks to your support! You can read more about our exciting year and view some photos from our events on our website.
Speaking of an exciting year, we already have fun events and field trips planned for 2019 including a trip to the Mississippi River in southeast Iowa and two workshops on backyard bird feeding and photography. Check in on our events calendar for more information and to register today!
And if 2019 couldn't get any better, there's more exciting news! We have a ton of fun on our field trips and events, and we'd like to share that fun with more of our friends. So, each young birder who brings a friend to one of our events in 2019 will receive a Rite in the Rain Birder's Journal, the perfect notebook for jotting down observations and drawing sketches in the field. And your friend will receive one too! Help us share the fun with more young birders in Iowa!
Wishing you many great birds in 2019!
Iowa Young Birders
Don't Miss These Upcoming Young Birder Events!
January 19: Lee County - Join us as we kick off our 2019 birding year with a trip to Lee County in southeast Iowa! Each winter, large flocks of diving ducks such as Canvasback, Lesser Scaup, and Common Goldeneye, as well as Bald Eagles, congregate on Pool 19 of the Mississippi River. It is quite the spectacle! In addition to these birds, we hope to see Carolina Wren and Eurasian Tree Sparrow, two species that are common in this area but challenging to find in other areas of the state. It might be a bit cold, but the birds will be worth it! This trip is free but advanced registration is required.
February 2: Backyard Bird Feeding Workshop -Come build your very own bird feeder at our Bird Feeding Workshop in partnership with Wild Birds Unlimited of Ames! You will learn about different types of bird feeders and what birds use them as well as the favorite foods of various backyard birds. In addition, you'll learn how to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, a nationwide event that allows you to count the birds in your yard to help track trends in winter bird populations. And best of all - you'll have a bird feeder to take home and start attracting birds to your yard! Registration for this event is $30 for non-member families and $20 for member families (which includes one bird feeder kit). Additional bird feeder kits can be purchased for $20 each. We ask that you register before January 25 to be guaranteed a bird feeder kit.We hope you can join us for the unique educational event!
March 30: Spring Birding and Photography -Photography is becoming an increasingly popular hobby, and birds are fantastic subjects for photographs! Join us as we learn the many ways to photograph birds, and practice our photography skills on early-arriving spring birds at Walnut Woods State Park in West Des Moines. Whether you have a digital camera, a smartphone with a camera, or even no camera at all, the birds will make this trip fun for everyone! 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 Events page.
We have a box full of Rite in the Rain Birder's Journals and we want to share them with young birders! Each young birder who brings a friend to one of our events in 2019 will receive this great notebook for capturing observations in the field, and your friend will receive one too! We want you to help us share the fun of our events with as many young birders as possible!
Our sixth year of providing fun, educational, family-friendly programs on birds and the outdoors in Iowa, 2018 was one to remember for Iowa Young Birders! Read more about our amazing year here!
Our morning searching for fall migrants in northwest Iowa was fantastic! VIEW PHOTOS FROM OUR TRIP AND A SPECIES LIST HERE!
We saw many great birds and had a ton of fun with family and friends at Cedar Lake in November. READ MORE ABOUT OUR MORNING 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!