In the Sky: February 2023
Here is what will be happening in the sky during February.  This is being posted early because there has been interest in the comet. It is currently just beyond the broad end of Bootes (the Herdsman) as of January 19th  It will brighten some until February 1.

An even more dramatic show will be the movement of brilliant Venus toward very bright Jupiter.  They will be very close at the end of the month.

PRAS Grant Funds Available
Submit application via this form by March 15, 2023. Grant awards will be issued in April 2023. Grant requests should support PRAS's mission to engage in programs that provide, to members of the public, education about 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 the earth’s biological diversity.

An Introduction to the Waterfowl and Upland Gamebirds of Iowa by Kelly McKay, avian researcher and educator Tuesday, February 14, 7:00 PM First Presbyterian Church, 9th and Main Streets, Cedar Falls  

About the program: “An Introduction to the Waterfowl and Upland Gamebirds of Iowa” is one of the 21 different Bird Identification presentations offered as part of the Building Better Birders workshops. During this  program, you will be introduced to 22 species. Kelly McKay will discuss the migratory classification of each  species, when and where they are typically found in Iowa, and some of the field marks you can use to identify the species. Additionally, we will hear a recording of each species’ vocalizations.  

About our presenter: Kelly McKay began actively birding in 1979 at the age of 14. At this same time, he  began assisting two of his early mentors (Elton Fawks and Pete Petersen) with some of their ongoing projects, including several different community science-based projects. Among these was the Christmas Bird Count, in  which has participated since 1980. He has continued to be involved in this community science effort for 44  years. You could say he is fanatical about the CBC, since he is one of only two people who have ever  successfully completed a full CBC Marathon (doing 23 counts in a season – each year, all counts must take  place between December 14 and January 5, thus including 23 days). He has, to date, completed 14 CBC  Marathons, and a couple of years ago passed Paul Sykes to become the most prolific CBCer ever (591 total CBCs!).  

Professionally, Kelly received his B.S. and M.S. Degrees in Biology from Western Illinois University. He has  spent much of the last 20 years working as a privately-contracted wildlife biologist through his own consulting  business – BioEco Research and Monitoring Center. However, he has never lost his strong belief in the vitally important role being played by citizen scientists.

Sandhill Crane and Prairie Chicken Bus Tour
Sponsored by Fontana Park, Buchanan County
Thursday, March 23-25, 2023
This 3-day tour will be packed with professional guided tours by Dusty Trails, LLC to view prairie chickens and sandhill cranes, a visit to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, Golden Spike Tour, Buffalo Bill State Historic Park and more! Trip price includes deluxe motor coach transportation, hotel room, professional guides, entrance fees, motel rooms, two breakfasts, and tips. Participants will need to pay for lunches, dinners and incidentals on the trip.

Registration includes your trip deposit. Final payment is due by Feb 23, 2023.
See price and more details here.

MOTUS Towers in Iowa
PRAS has helped to fund MOTUS towers in our service area (Calkins and Bremer County are the first to implement). Check out the MOTUS towers in Iowa; once the list of towers is displayed, click on the number of tags recorded for the tower you are interested in to see what species have been recorded so far.  

The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is an international collaborative network of researchers that use automated radio telemetry to simultaneously track hundreds of individuals of numerous species of birds, bats, and insects. The system enables a community of researchers, educators, organizations, and citizens to undertake impactful research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory animals. When compared to other technologies, automated radio telemetry currently allows researchers to track the smallest animals possible, with high temporal and geographic precision, over great distances.

Watch a recent presentation about the Iowa MOTUS tower project by Iowa DNR Non-game Bird Specialist, Anna Buckardt-Thomas, courtesy of the Iowa City Bird Club. 

Panama Fruit Feeder Cam - Enjoy!

Edifying Articles to Learn From...

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.
Save the UN and PWD so it is quick and easy the next time you upload photos.
Click the Upload icon (looks like cloud with an arrow) and follow prompts.
Here is Flick's help page for uploads.
Click the Photos link on the above navigation bar to see photos.

Find us on Facebook
We share information about field trips, local sightings, fun and interesting photos and stories about birds, nature, the environment, etc. on our Facebook page. Check it out and like us and "share" our posts.