PRAS YouTube Project Feeder Watch | In The Sky - Jan 2022

Eastern Bluebird (male) found on Jan 18, 2022 Climate Watch survey. Photo by Tom Moon

Horned Larks - Grundy County  Photo by Scott Garrett

The Denver Forum: Volunteers Sought for Project Feeder Watch
Denver residents: Please remember to turn in your bird observation checklists to the Denver Public Library!
Watch for the monthly articles in the Denver Forum in support of the many and varied bird friendly initiatives.

Winter Bird and Wildlife Program
 by Bremer ISU Extension
Saturday, Jan 29th, 10-11am at the Denver Public Library
Topics will include suggested feeds, feeders and identifying bird species; identifying wildlife tracks in the snow; locating parks and locations for winter sports. Please bring a food donation that will be shared with area food pantries and social service agencies.

Snowy Owl Reports in Grundy County

“Bicycling with Butterflies”

by Sara Dykman, educator and author

Watch recording - begins around the 9:30 minute mark.

Sara Dykman, author of Bicycling with Butterflies, spoke of her 10,201-mile bicycle adventure as she gave voice to what can be done to help fight for a future with monarchs. In 2017 Sara Dykman became the first person to follow the eastern population of monarch butterflies on their roundtrip, multinational, multigenerational migration. From Mexico to Canada and back, her nine-month adventure, on a beat-up bicycle, was a call to action. 

“The monarchs need us,” Dykman explained. “They can’t call politicians to demand healthy prairies or rally for native gardens. But we can. We might not be able to fly like butterflies, but we can bike alongside them, and be their voice.”

Sara Dykman is the founder of beyondabook.org, which fosters lifelong learners, boundary pushers, explorers, and stewards. She works in amphibian research and as an outdoor educator, guiding young people into nature so they can delight in its complicated brilliance. She hopes her own adventures – walking from Mexico to Canada, canoeing the Missouri River from source to sea, and cycling over 80,000 miles across North and South America (including the monarch migration trip) – will empower young and old to dream big.

Winter Bird Sightings by PRAS Members
Short-eared Owl observed during the Bremer Co. Christmas Bird Count Photo by Tom Moon

Bald Eagle - Jan 1, 2022 - George Wyth SP Photo by Stephanie Kleiner

Trumpeter Swan - Jan 1, 2022 - George Wyth SP Photo by Stephanie Kleiner

Red-tailed Hawk - Jan 1, 2022 - George Wyth SP Photo by Stephanie Kleiner

Prairie Rapids Audubon Grants - Spring 2022 

Proposals Due March 15 

By Dennis Schmadeke, PRAS Grant Coordinator
Prairie Rapids Audubon Society (PRAS) serves Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Grundy, and Hardin counties. The mission of PRAS shall be to engage in programs that provide to members of the public: education and appreciation for birds; increased knowledge and awareness of birds and birding; and conservation, preservation and restoration of natural bird habitat for the benefit of humanity and earth’s biological diversity.

PRAS is pleased to announce that we have $5000 or more in funds available for project grants to be awarded in 2022. These funds are made possible by membership dues, and bird-a-thon pledges and gifts. The goal of these grants is to provide a resource to organizations or groups in our service area that have a vision that is in line with the mission of PRAS. The amount of individual grants will be determined by the scope of the project and the number of grant proposals received. Individuals interested in submitting a grant proposal should contact and work with their county conservation office (naturalist) or other community organization. The deadline for submitting a proposal is March 15, 2022, with grants usually awarded in April. For details and guidelines on grant proposals, please contact Dennis Schmadeke (PRAS grant coordinator), phone 319-240 7046, email dschmadeke@cfu.net. If you are interested in learning about what types of grants have been awarded in past years, visit the "Making a Difference” section of the gopras.org website. You will find descriptions and photos of the projects we supported from 2014-2021.

Study Up on Birds This Winter

Waterfowl make for great winter birding goals! Learn how to use eBird to plan and predict where to find the waterfowl you hope to see or hear this year in this 
article from Living Bird magazine.
A Leconte's Sparrow along with a view of sparrow ID guide pages. Text: Free Resource, Sparrow ID Guides.

Sparrows are a fun birding challenge for birders in their winter ranges, but sparrow identification can be difficult for birders of all skill levels. When you take time to learn them, you will begin to appreciate the beauty and subtle patterns of sparrow plumage. Jump start your sparrow journey with these free Sparrow ID Guides. These helpful sparrow reference guides have full-color photos of eastern, central, western and widespread sparrows from the U.S. and Canada. Download, print out, and bring them with you on your next winter birding adventure, courtesy of the Cornell Lab's Macaulay Library and Bird Academy.

Staying indoors? Cornell Lab Bird Cams livestream from bird feeders and nests all around the world. Watch snowy feeder birds in Ontario or see who's arriving at the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam, all from the comfort of your living room, completely free. Look for links to this bird cam and others on the Links page of the PRAS website.

Trumpeter Swans at Big Woods Lake - Dec 2021  Photo by Scott Garrett

Ivory-billed Woodpecker & Other Bird Species Declared Extinct

Song on a Wire - Wikimedia Commons
Bird Flight Patterns and Music Concert Program
You are now able to access the online concert video and curriculum (see link and password below-posted with permission by the copyright holder).
The link provides the full concert video and online curriculum with activities, lessons, extra musical performances, composer interviews and educational games. 
This resource will remain active through June 2022 (for one year), so utilize it for your programs, personal edification working with your children or grandchildren to teach them about music and birds!

Password:  BFPMC  (case sensitive)

      Find an injured bird or animal? Call Black Hawk Wildlife Rehabilitation Project 319-277-6511

Subscribe to the PRAS YouTube Channel if you are interested in watching recordings of our past Zoom meetings for which we have permission to post for viewing.

Contribute to our Flickr Photo Stream
Go to this URL:   https://www.flickr.com/photos/prairierapidsaudubon/
Click "Login" 
The email address associated with PRAS's account is:   praudubon@gmail.com
Email praudubon@gmail.com to request password for email; we won't post it here online.
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