It's that time again...Sandhill Crane Migration in Nebraska
Enjoy the sights and sounds of this 2013 video from Nebraska's Crane Trust which documents this magnificent natural event. 

Pandemic-related changes in birding may have consequences for eBird research

Tuesday, March 9th: The Fungus Among Us - Fungi in Iowa

By Jessica Lancial, Naturalist, Story County Conservation
7 p.m. via Zoom 

Zoom meeting ID is: 581 087 8571 Passcode: 1999

OR Use this: One-click link to join meeting without entering the meeting ID or password.

About our presenter: Jess Lancial has a degree in Wildlife Management and Interpretation from Iowa State University. She has been serving as an environmental educator throughout Iowa for the last fifteen years. Jess currently is a Naturalist for Story County Conservation. She loves to teach about wild edible foraging, and has been an avid mushroom hunter since the age of four.

About the program: Jess will share with us the basic ecology surrounding the Kingdom Fungi. We will explore the basics of how fungus grows, the role they play in our lives, the different types of fungi, and what crazy mushrooms you can find near you this spring, with special emphasis on seven edible varieties.

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.

Fontana Nature Center Winter Exhibits
The clever staff at Fontana Nature Center in Buchanan County have crafted a fun activity for these cold winter days. Read more details here and find your favorite birds fashioned in unique snowflake cutouts.

This winter on the Fontana Interpretive Nature Center display floor is an exhibit on Iowa Threatened and endangered species – “Saving all the Pieces.” This exhibit includes taxidermic mounts of some of Iowa’s rarer species with profiles on each including information on how individuals can help. All individual specimens for the display came from illegally harvested animals confiscated or from sources where the animal was obtained before being listed as threatened or endangered. You can literally “get a feel” for these animals as you can touch pelts of some that are included.

Ibis Snowflake on display at Fontana Nature Center

Virtual Wings & Wetlands Birding Festival, March 24-26, 2021
Through a series of Zoom classes, we will see leading experts on birds, wetlands, and conservation to enhance your next wetland visit. Featured presenters include Kenn Kaufman (field Guide author, naturalist, and artist), Alvaro Jaramillo biologist, conservationist, guide), Sharon ‘The Bird Chick’ Stiteler aka (Birder, speaker, author) and others.

Topics of presentations will include the link of Kansas wetlands to bird migrations, the psychology of birding, humorous birding stories, bird identification, Kansas wetlands, Kansas raptors and SmartPhone birding.

The Wings & Wetland Festival virtual event will take place on March 24 - 26, 2021. Registration is $20. Proceeds from the Wings & Wetlands Festival will benefit conservation efforts at Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. 
Information and registration at

Photos, Blogs and Birdcams, Oh My!
Photos: Check out our "Photos" link on the home page to see the outstanding captures shared on the PRAS Flickr feed. Want to share your photos? See instrutions on the bottom of this page to add your photos to the Flickr account.

Blogs: Speaking of Nature by PRAS Board Member, Kenneth Heiar and Ladage Photography, by Kip Ladage

Birdcams: Check out the links to various birdcams on our "Links" page. You might particularly enjoy the Owl Research Institute's Long-eared Owl Nest Cam or Great Gray Owl Nest CamWatch the International Owl Center's Great Horned Owl cam; GHOW vocalizations are the special research interest of director, Karla Bloem. 

As an added bonus in the wildlife cam department, indulge in videos posted on the Monterey Bay Aquarium page, including their aviary cam. The jellyfish meditation is super relaxing!

Panama Fruit Feeder & Fruit Feeder in Costa Rica

Listen to worldwide owl experts share their experiences, research and expertise about owl species from around the world, by tuning in to the International Owl Center's YouTube channel. Learn about the 800+ Long-eared Owls that roost in a small village in Serbia or learn more about the forest owls of the western U.S. These programs are fascinating and bring worldwide experts to your living room!

You may register to attend the online speaker series which are held on Sundays at 1 p.m. or you may view the recordings for those presentations that the speakers have given permission to post.

In the Sky: February 2021 and March 2021
Here is what will be happening in the sky during February.  Unfortunately, there is not much to see in eastern Iowa until the clouds clear.  If and when that happens, the highlight will be the bright stars of and arround Orion (the Hunter) and the slow approach of Mars to the Pleiades (or Seven Sisters) open star cluster. 
-- The Lord speaks, ...“Can you (Job/man) bind the beautiful Pleiades?” Job 38:31
Barred Owl, George Wyth State Park     Photo by Stephanie Kleiner

George Wyth Northern Saw-Whet Owl
PRAS Board Member Tom Stone showed new members this owl.  Photo by Mark Dutton

Thanks for your bird food donations...
With winter in full swing, our feathered friends appreciate the sustenance PRAS members offer by way of donating to our bird food fund. Thanks to all who have generously donated funds already. We appreciate any and all donations. PRAS maintains bird feeding stations at George Wyth State Park, Cedar Falls Visitor Center and the Cedar Valley Hospice.
Send donations to: PRAS P.O. Box 682 Waterloo, IA 50704 or make a donation using our secure PayPal link on the About Us page.
      Find an injured bird or animal? Call Black Hawk Wildlife Rehabilitation Project 319-277-6511

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