Sad news...
The world has lost a good man who cared deeply about conservation and the preservation of raptors. Bob Anderson, director of the Raptor Resource Project and the famed Decorah Eagle Cam passed away on Monday, July 27th.  You may remember the entertaining and edifying programs that Bob presented at our PRAS meetings. His passion for birds was contagious, his work tireless. As the blog on the Raptor Resource Project states, "Although Bob was very proud of his work with the Decorah Eagles, his heart was truly in his peregrine falcon recovery work. This video tells the story of his cliff work and was a special favorite:Iowa Public Televison - Peregrine Falcons in the Mississippi Valley"  There are Peregrine Falcons nesting on the bluffs of the Mississippi River today because of Bob Anderson. There are thousands of people around the world who have a greater appreciation of Bald Eagles because of Bob Anderson. He will be greatly missed but fondly remembered.  Here is a link to Bob's obituary; details of the celebration of life ceremony to be held in Bob's honor are included:  In memory of Bob Anderson.

Have you sent in your Bird-A-Thon pledge?
Click here to see the 215 Bird-A-Thon species observed.

Photo courtesy of Kip Ladage.
We had a record breaking week for our Bird-A-Thon, observing 215 species this year!  

We set the goal of raising $7,000 this year and we have a good start...55% of the 2014 contributors have responded (thank you!) and we would like to encourage the remaining 50 (45%) contributors to write that check and send it before the end of August. 

With your support we are confident that we will surpass our goal and be able to provide financial support to great projects, etc.  

We appreciate all contributions but were most surprised by some unexpected contributors this year. Highland Elementary School students (Waterloo, IA) donated $254.54 from money they collected in their classrooms this spring. Richard and Yvonne Burry from Upper Arlington, Ohio made a contribution to PRAS in memory of Aleta L. Larimer of Cedar Falls, formerly of Marshalltown, Iowa. The Burry’s are longtime friends of Aleta’s son Lynn and wife Carol Larimer from Columbus, Ohio. They requested that their donation to PRAS be put to good use.  We certainly appreciate their gift and will do our best to honor Aleta’s memory. Thank you to the Burry's, the students of Highland Elementary and all of you who have contributed to our Bird-A-Thon fundraiser; we appreciate your generosity!
See the "Making a Difference" page to learn of the projects we funded this past year, including a Chimney Swift Tower at Orange Elementary (Waterloo), funding for educational materials for Fontana Park (Buchanan County), and funds for a new viewing platform at Pintail Wetland (Hardin County).

Please send your Bird-A-Thon check to:
Craig Rash, 105 Woodland Springs Road, Denver, IA 50622-1039.  

314 Species At Risk: Trumpeter Swan

Jeff Kubina-Flickr Creative Commons
The reintroduction of Trumpeter Swans to Iowa is one of our state's success stories, but this beautiful species is still at peril and is listed as one of Audubon's 314 Species at Risk. 

Fun facts about Trumpeter Swans:
  • Swans can live a long time. Wild Trumpeter Swans have been known to live longer than 24 years, and one captive individual lived to be 32.
  • When choosing a nesting ground, the trumpeter swan selects sites with enough space to take off, as well as accessible food, shallow, unpolluted water, and little or no human disturbance. It also requires a suitable structure to nest on, such as a clump of emergent vegetation, an island, or an old beaver lodge.
  • Trumpeters are the largest of the swan species, some birds have a wingspan of 10 feet. They are also the heaviest of flying birds, a single bird can weight between 21 to 30 pounds.
  • Although swans are believed to mate for life some individuals have been known to ‘divorce’ their mate and be serially monogamous. Some males never pair again after the death of a mate. -- Information provided by