Field Trips

Field trips will be announced on this page, at our PRAS meetings, in the PRAS newsletter, The Red Tail, and by email. Check out the Sightings page after each field trip to read about our observations.

Wednesday Morning Birding Field Trips
Please contact Craig Rash for further details or clarification at 319-984-5608.

If inclement weather threatens, field trips may be cancelled. Check your email, the PRAS website ( and the PRAS Facebook page for updates. If in doubt, call Craig to confirm that the field trip is still being held.

25 April  8:30 am  Martin Lake (Greenbelt Lake) Waterloo
Meet in parking lot off Martin Rd. which is off Hwy 63 in Waterloo.

02 May 8:30 AM Lower level of Hartman Reserve
Go to Look Out Park, access Park Drive and drive to lower level parking area. This is the place where the Hooded Warbler was seen last year during spring migration! Maybe it will make a return appearance, cross your fingers!

09 May 8:30 AM  Greenbelt Lake on Martin Road, Waterloo  (BIRD-A-THON) field trip
Meet in the parking lot, prepare to look for migrating warblers. This place can host an abundance of cool birds during migration.

16 May 8:30  AM  Hickory Hills (South of Waterloo on County Rd V37 aka Dysart Road)
Meet at the Archery parking lot on the west end of Hickory Hills Park which is located south of Waterloo. Contact Craig Rash 319 -984- 5608 by Tuesday if you wish to car pool.
23 May 8:30 AM   Robinson Bird Sanctuary, Waterloo           
Here is the Google map link for directions to Robinson Bird Sanctuary. From the Hwy 20/Hwy 63 exchange, drive south to Ranchero Road and turn right (west). Drive to parking lot—sign is a bit hard to see. The parkinglot is on the left side of the road.

30 May 8:30 AM  Beaver Valley Wetland and Railroad Lake area
Beaver Valley Wetland is a 63 acre wildlife refuge located 3 miles north of Highway 57 on Union Road. Meet at parking lot off Beaver Valley Road.

Hardin Co. Wetlands and Wildflowers Field Trip
Now on Saturday, April 21st  Please RSVP to
7:30 a.m. Leave from Blaine's Farm and Fleet parking lot in Cedar Falls
8:30 a.m. arrive at Pintail Wetlands
We will check out Pintail and the new Legacy Wildlife Area for marsh birds, shorebirds, longspurs, and such.
Eagle City, Hardin City preserve, Blackmon Prairie probable spots for early spring wildflowers and other birds
12:30ish - lunch at Pizza ranch in Ackley
Afternoon -  more exploration and/or head home.
Tom Schilke and Nancy Slife leaders.
Nancy is a wildflower specialist and birder from Ellsworth Comm. College where she teaches biology and recently retired as director of the Conservation Tech. program.

Bird Appreciation Week May 7-13, 2018

Monday, May 7th: 5:30 PM  Waterloo City Council- Mayor’s Proclamation 

Tuesday, May 8th: 6:00 PM  PRAS May Potluck and program – Everyone welcome!

First Presbyterian Church 902 Main Street Cedar Falls, IA
6:00 PM Potluck – Bring a dish to share; desserts will be offered after the program
7:00 PM Program with one of our favorite speakers, Dr. Jim Pease, Wildlife Biologist, presenting “Reflections on Iowa Rivers and their Future”

Wednesday, May 9th: Two field trips at Greenbelt Lake
For both field trips, meet at the parking area for Greenbelt Lake on Martin Road in Waterloo
8:30 AM to 10:30 AM Wednesday Morning Birding - Craig and Kris Rash leaders
4:30 PM to 6:30 PM Candace Havely will lead our traditional late afternoon bird walk

Thursday, May 10th: No event planned

Friday, May 11th: Two Photography Field Trips at Greenbelt Lake in Waterloo
For both field trips meet at parking area for Greenbelt Lake on Martin Road.
Bring a camera, e
xperienced PRAS photographers will be available; we will learn from each other as we share tips and ideas.  Pictures may be posted on our website or PRAS Facebook page if participants give permission for us to do so.
7:30 AM to 9:30 AM PRAS photographers will lead
4:30 PM to 6:30 PM PRAS photographers will lead

Saturday, May 12th: International Migratory Bird Day Annual Field Trip to Sweet Marsh

7:00 AM Meet at Logan Ave HyVee parking lot at the address 2181 Logan Ave, Waterloo.

We will drive to Tripoli, IA and enter the south parking lot of Sweet Marsh at approximately 7:30 AM.

Come join us as we spend the day counting birds or join us for a few hours, you decide. We break for lunch at noon, and will eat at the Panther Lanes Bowling Alley in Tripoli at 502 7th Ave. SW – next to the Casey’s.

After lunch (about 1 p.m. or so) we will resume birding and visit different areas of the marsh.

We generally observe over 100 species on this field trip; an abundance of warblers, Sandhill Cranes, herons, and other marsh birds, etc. are seen.  If you haven’t birded Sweet Marsh, this is a great trip to attend so you can learn the spots that birders go at this location.As an added bonus, after birding in the afternoon, often the group makes one last stop at the Sweet Spot in Denver, IA and ice cream treats (rhubarb sundaes—yes, please!) are enjoyed by all.

Our annual field trip to Sweet Marsh will be led by Francis Moore; call 319-269-0741 if you have questions. 

Want to lead a field trip or do an individual birding trip with a PRAS member?

Contact Craig Rash at 319-984-5608 if you wish to lead a birding event. Or call Craig if you want to request a private birding trip with an individual from PRAS where a donation of $1.00 per species is requested. PRAS members love to go birding…so if you want to bird with us, just ask! 

Other Birding Opportunities
Sunday, April 29th - IOU Field Trip to Shimek State Forest
Lee & Van Buren Counties
The Iowa Ornitholgists' Union Events Committee and Iowa City Bird Club are teaming up to present a day of birding one of the top birding locations in Iowa, Shimek State Forest in Lee and Van Buren Counties in southeast Iowa. Shimek SF is one of the largest remaining contiguous forests in Iowa and is well-positioned in extreme southeast Iowa to be one of the first places in Iowa to greet returning migrating birds to the state. Get a jump on your spring migration warbler watching, potentially including Pine, Kentucky, Worm-eating, and Cerulean Warblers (and many others), along with White-eyed Vireos, a Bewick's Wren and many other great birds.  Meet the group at the Casey's in Donnellson, IA (201 Madison Ave) by 8:00 AM. Please be prepared for wet and muddy conditions. This field trip is FREE and open to all birders, but registration on the IOU website is required. Register for this field trip and join PRAS Treasurer, Francis Moore, who will be one of the field trip leaders. Candace Havely, PRAS Secretary is also attending, so you will see at least two familiar faces! 

May 18-20: Iowa Ornithologists' Union Spring Meeting Sioux City, Iowa
Notable Field Trip Locations include: Broken Kettle Grasslands, Owego Wetlands, Brower Slough, Stone State Park, Fowler Forest Preserve and many more...
Keynote Speaker: Laura Erickson, who is k
nown for her Birdchick podcasts.
Register for this weekend of birding by following this link.

June 9-16, 2018 Big Blue Stem Audubon California Birding Adventure
Explore California's Sierra Nevada mountains, foothills and chaparral, Monterey and Big Sur coastline, Central Valley, and take a sea voyage to Channel Islands National Park. Early bird rates have been extended to the registration deadline of April 30. Email Eric Ollie for more information:


Past PRAS Field Trips - Check out what we saw on the Sightings page.
04 April  George Wyth State Park  Waterloo
11 April  Ingawanis Woodland in Bremer County
18 April  Big Woods Lake - Cancelled due to inclement weather