SAVE THE DATES: Christmas Bird Counts (CBC) 2018-19
Saturday, Dec. 15th: Bremer County
Thursday, Dec. 20th: Hardin County, call Mark Proescholdt at 641-496-5219 for information.
Saturday, Dec. 22nd: Black Hawk County
Buchanan County CBC to be announced.

If you would like to participate in the Christmas Bird Count by counting birds at your feeders contact Francis Moore at superfoot99

Fontana Interpretive Nature Center Hazelton, Iowa

Save Iowa Nesters is a traveling art and informational exhibit designed by 16 year old Coralee Bodeker.  Coralee is a Brandon, Iowa resident, artist, conservation volunteer and member of Iowa Young Birders.  Bodeker created the Save Iowa Nesters exhibit to travel to Iowa nature centers to draw attention to the truly remarkable birds that nest in Iowa each year.  She has illustrated and researched 8 species that have been negatively affected by habitat loss and shares this information in an interactive format.  “We are at a crossroads today in Iowa in terms of habitat loss – we need to act now before it’s too late,” states Bodeker.  She has certainly done her part in educating visitors on the plight of these birds and how individuals can help.  Stop into the Fontana Interpretive Nature Center during regular hours (M-T 8-12; W-F 8-12 & 1-4:30, S-S 1-4) to check out the art and information on her display and use the frame to take a selfie with your favorite nester! The exhibit will be on display until Thanksgiving. For more information see #saveiowanesters

Monarch and Pollinator Seed Packages Available at Fontana
Click here for more details.

Read all about it...
Hybrid warbler that is three different species
Birding in a Pioneer Cemetery by Ruby Bodeker

Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Photograph by Kenneth Heiar

Eurasian Tree Sparrows - A Few Among Many
Many of you are used to seeing sizable flocks of House Sparrows, but sometimes if you look closely at the birds individually, you will find one that doesn't look like the others. Such was the case for PRAS Board Member Kenneth Heiar who captured this photograph above. 

Eurasian Tree Sparrows are being seen more frequently in Iowa. Francis Moore, PRAS Treasurer has counted them during the Lee County Christmas Bird Count for years. This species is also regularly seen at Cone Marsh in Louisa County and at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area. If you see an Eurasian Tree Sparrow, please email us at to report your sighting and we will pass your sighting along to Dr. Jesse Ellis, professor at Coe College who is doing research on the distribution of this species. To identify the differences between House Sparrows and Eurasian Tree Sparrows look at the photos below and notice the difference in field marks.

House Sparrow - Photo by J. M. Garg - Creative Commons - Note white cheek.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Kenneth Heiar - Note black cheek patch, brown head.

Male House Sparrow (left):

Clear white cheek

Larger black throat patch

Gray, not brown cap

Chunkier bird compared to the Eurasian Tree Sparrow


Adult Eurasian Tree Sparrow (left): 

Black spot on white cheek

Smaller black throat patch

Brown cap, not gray

Thin white collar line

Chunky sparrow, but slighter than the House Sparrow



Have you seen this bird?
Red-breasted Nuthatch - Photo by Wolfgang Wander - Creative Commons Photo

Keep your eye out for this visitor to your suet or seed feeders. Reported observances of the Red-breasted Nuthatch have been received for Iowa since late September. Learn more about this endearing little bird at Cornell's website. Be sure to listen to the sound files of this bird's vocalizations. It sounds like a tiny tin horn! Let us know if you see this species...this seems to be a great year to see these birds.

Buying Federal Duck Stamps is among the simplest ways that anyone can participate in wildlife and habitat conservation. Duck Stamps are a required annual purchase for waterfowl hunters 16 and older, and a current duck stamp grants the bearer free entrance into any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee. But whether you are a hunter, birder or other outdoors enthusiast or you simply want to help preserve our natural resources for future generations to enjoy, you can contribute to conservation by buying Duck Stamps.

You may often purchase duck stamps at sporting goods stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses. Call your local post office and ask if they have duck stamps for sale.  You may also buy them online from the American Birding Association.

Information from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website for Duck Stamps. 

2018 Grant Project Funds Awarded
Your donations are working to make a difference to birds, people and habitats. See our Making a Difference page for more details.

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