Join us:   PRAS meeting: Birds of Florida - February 10, 2014  7 p.m.

Winter In Iowa Means Eagle Watching!
Various eagle watching celebrations are held throughout the winter, check out the "Field Trips" page to learn about the many different opportunities to learn about Bald and Golden Eagles in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Audubon's 314 Birds At Risk: American Avocet

Photo: Dan  Pancamo/Flickr Creative Commons
Click here to learn about the American Avocet and the precarious future this species faces due to climate change via Audubon's dynamic website. 

American Avocets can be observed in Iowa during spring and fall migration. This striking shorebird looks delicate, but nesting avocets aggressively attack predators, sometimes physically striking Northern Harriers.

Even more amazing, in response to predators, they sometimes issue a series of call notes that gradually changes pitch, simulating the Doppler effect and thus making its approach seem faster than it actually is. 

Their chicks leave the nest within 24 hours after hatching. Day-old avocets can walk, swim, and even dive to escape predators. 

American Avocet nests are often depressions on the sand or platforms of grass on mudflats. Should the water level rise, the breeding pair will raise the nest up to a foot or more with sticks, weeds, bones and feathers to keep the eggs above water.