Wednesday Morning Birding Begins Sept. 6th! See the Field Trips page for more details.

What birds are you seeing on your travels?
Barn Owl - Lava Beds Nat'l Monument, Calif. Photo by David Voigts

In the Sky: August 2017 - SOLAR ECLIPSE - Coming August 21st!
Read more from NASA


Join Buchanan County Naturalists on Saturday, August 19 to create your own viewing device. Participants are asked to bring a cereal box or similar sized box to create a solar eclipse projection viewer. We will also demonstrate the safe viewing tips. Meet at the nature center basement at 10 am. All ages welcome. Fontana Park is located at: 1883 125th St, Hazelton, IA 50641  Here are more tips about how to safely view the partial or total eclipse.

Correction: For the partial eclipse, wear approved eclipse glasses and do not use optics without special filters. If you are traveling to see the TOTAL eclipse, PRAS Board member & astronomy expert David Voigts sent this information: You can use binoculars or a telephoto lens during totality. It will only be about as bright as a full moon.  Eye protection is not needed.  I did both during a total eclipse with no ill effects.  Also, a specialized filter, not necessarily specialized optics, is adequate for watching or photographing a partial eclipse.

IA Junior Duck Stamp Winners on Display @ Fontana Park
While you are at Fontana Park's Nature Center, take a look at the the Iowa Junior Duck Stamp Winners on display. The 2017 Best of Show Winner is Buchanan County Conservation volunteer Coralee Bodeker! Click the link above to see her fabulous Northern Shoveler done in colored pencil. Congratulations Coralee! 

314 Species on the Brink: Yellow-throated Vireo

Yellow-throated Vireo - Flickr Photo by Matt Tillett
Yellow-throated Vireos are one of the 314 species the National Audubon climate survey has deemed to be particularly vulnerable of losing its habitat. 

Vireos are often heard more readily than seen. The Yellow-throated Vireo male will often sing well into August and September, so listen for their melodic song of 2 to 3 notes with prolonged pauses between them. The song is simliar, but slower and more husky or burry than the Red-eyed Vireo's.

The Yellow-throated Vireo may be easily confused with a Pine Warbler as both birds have 2 wing bars, but look at the heavier, more blunt beak of the vireo and the yellow spectacles and yellow throat to differentiate. Also, vireos do not forage with such speed and exuberance as warblers.

This bird is the most colorful of the vireo species; they forage for insects high in trees, but will also eat berries, especially before migration. Like most vireos, they make a thick cup nest attached to a fork in a tree branch. Check out the Audubon bird guide to learn more about this species.

Stay tuned for news of the upcoming PRAS programs
Our first meeting of the season will be September 12th. We meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month, September-May, except for December. All are welcome to attend.

Bird-A-Thon 2017 donations are still being accepted. 

BIRD-A-THON 2017: 214 Species Observed
Solitary Sandpiper-Greenbelt Lake    Photo by Tom Schilke

Here are pictures of a few birds spotted during Bird-A-Thon. What have you seen? Email us at to report your bird sightings made during May 10 - May 16th so we can add them to our species list.
Pileated @ Hartman Photo by T. Schilke

Now that the birding is over, it is time to make a pledge use our print friendly pledge form. 

Remember our Bird-A-Thon campaign is our main fundraiser allowing us to produce our newsletter, The Red Tail, bring in great speakers for our programs and to support great projects and grants throughout our six county service area. 

See the grants we awarded in Spring 2017 on our page titled Making a Difference.

Indigo Bunting    Photo by Tom Schilke

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