In the Sky: July 2020

Of special interest will be brilliant Jupiter followed by bright Saturn at their brightest as they move into the the southeastern sky.
As a result of the work of Margaret Burbidge and her team, Carl Sagan could say, “We are made of star stuff.”


Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird   Photo by John McCormick

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird  Photo by John McCormick

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird  Photo by John McCormick
Birding with Social Distancing Still Rewarding!
Mark Hemmes, a birder visiting from Colorado scored five new life birds while birding recently with Craig Rash, Tom Schilke and Bill Hemmes. While staying at an appropriate distance away, birding can still be rewarding, especially when your new life birds are Merlin, Black-billed Cuckoo, Bell's Vireo and Eastern Meadowlark! We love to bird with our PRAS members' family when they visit (Mark is Laura and Bill Hemmes son); it is such fun to introduce them to our regional birds and show them our birding hotspots! We're glad you shared your birding adventures with us Mark!
Mark Hemmes, Tom Schilke (center), Craig Rash. Bill Hemmes not pictured.
Bobolink field at Hickory Hills, Tama County.

Two course meal! Male Eastern Bluebird  Photo by John McCormick

Female Eastern Bluebird with a two course meal as well!  Photo by John McCormick

Online Articles For Your Edification:
Microplastics Detected In Raptors
5 Key Takeaways from 1st Black Birders Week
Bee Pollination Tactics

Nature can a quote for these troubling times:
“Look more often at the stars.  When you have a weight on your soul, look at the stars or the blue of the sky. 
Then your soul will find peace.” 

    -- Pavel Florensky, Russian Orthodox priest, in a letter to his children shortly before his execution in a Soviet gulag in 1937.

White-faced Ibis at Diagonal Marsh, Waterloo. Photo by John McCormick

Bird-A-Thon 2020

211 Species Sighted!

Go to our Bird-A-Thon page to read Craig's summary and find a printable donation form or make a donation online.

Any and all contributions are appreciated!

Yellow Warbler @ Greenbelt Lake, Waterloo   Photo by John McCormick
Bird Migration 101: By Anna Buckardt Thomas, DNR Avian Ecologist.  Anna was to be our April speaker until we had to cancel our program. But don't worry we are working to schedule her for next year!

Yellow-rumped Warblers are back!  Photo by John McCormick

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Online Activities
This article provides multiple links to online resources. Watch online birdcams for various bird species around the world, learn bird vocalizations, brush up on identification skills, take the free webinar on how to use eBird, etc. 

Dubuque County Peregrine Falcon Cam

Panama Fruit Feeder - Cornell Feeder/Nest Cams
Click the play button below to watch the live footage of Panama birds and other mammals!
Click the link to the Cornell Feeder/Nest Cams above to find other live bird cams to enjoy!

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   Photo by John McCormick
This tiny bird has kind of a big song, take a listen; it just sings and sings and it is loud for such a small bird.

Discover Birds & Nature Virtually

PRAS Election

We will now hold our elections for PRAS officers at our September 2020 meeting. Standing for re-election are our officers Tom Schilke - president, Craig Rash - vice president, Francis Moore - treasurer, and Candace Havely - secretary.  Board members seeking renewal are Kris Rash, David Voigts, Jim Welch, Charlene Heiar, and Tom Stone. Those wishing to be considered for board election should contact PRAS at  

Find an injured bird or animal? Call: 319-277-6511

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