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Save the Date: June 19, 2021

The Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition with other organizations and even some PRAS members have helped plan this special event (click link above for more details). Check out the day's activities and get involved!

In the Sky: June 2021

 Of special interest in June will be first Mars and then Venus passing by the twin stars of Gemini.  Mars also will pass the Beehive open star cluster.  A special evening will be June 13 when the two bright planets, the bright twin stars, and the Moon will all be close in the early evening western sky.


"Instead of thinking that I am born with rights, I choose to think that I am born with obligations to serve past, present, and future generations, and the planet herself." -Stan Rushworth, Cherokee elder


Upcoming program opportunity from Buchanan County Conservation Board
 

Young Families Canoe Float – $15/family

Saturday, June 26 – 10 am – 12:30 pm  from Knott’s Landing Access to Three Elms Park, Independence


Are you looking for a way to get your young family more active in the outdoors? Do you have children ages 1 - 8 years? Have you had an interest in canoeing, but weren't sure where to start? Do you like exploring nature and learning with your kids? If so, this is the trip for you. The 2.5 hour trip will include canoeing, sandbar stops for wading and exploration, snack time and unloading. You will want to take the time to shuttle a vehicle to Three Elms Park landing from Knott's landing so you have transportation after completing the trip. There is a bike lane and walking trail along the roadway if you want to utilize that for getting the driver back to the start.


Buchanan County Conservation provides canoes, life jackets and paddles for you as well as basic canoeing instruction for this lazy 1 ½ miles trip on the Wapsipinicon River. Canoes will fit 2 adults and 1-3 young children, but children will not need to be active paddlers. You will get a Wapsipinicon River Water Trail Brochure and a mesh bag for "collectables" kids find along the river and banks. And Naturalist Sondra Cabell will travel with you to guide the way and share in discoveries along the way.


You will need to provide your family (It is best to have 2 adults)  Be sure to have clothing and sturdy footwear that can get wet, sunscreen &/or hats and protective sunwear, insect repellant, snacks and drinks (a small cooler is OK) and something to contain your items in while in the canoe (backpack, drawstring bag or small cooler). Small youth chairs (or coolers work for this) can be brought to allow them to sit high enough in the canoe to see over the sides and watch the natural landscape unfold around the bends.


Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the trip or if you

would like more information before registering at scabell@co.buchanan.ia.us.








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Experience the wonder of bats
from wherever you are!

 You're invited
to join us for these
inspiring virtual experiences!

Jun 14 (National Children's Day), 1pm CT - Bat Brief: Bat Parenting

Discover the upside-down world of bat parenting with Conservation Research Program Manager Amanda Adams, Ph.D. Can you imagine giving birth while hanging from your toes? Or flying with a baby half your size hanging from your side? We’ll dive into the challenges and triumphs of pup-rearing in the bat world.

REGISTER

Jun 15, 1pm CT – Bracken Brief: The Birds of Bracken

Bracken Cave Preserve protects more than bats. Join Director of Bracken Cave Preserve, Fran Hutchins for a look at the Preserve’s feathered friends, how we protect them, and the ongoing research studying their lives.

REGISTER

Jun 24, 2-3:30pm CT – Pollinator Week’s Pollinator Power Party Kickoff: When You Are Sleeping...Bat Magic.

Join BCI’s Chief of Strategic Partnerships, Mylea Bayless, and Endangered Species Intervention Specialist Kristen Lear, Ph.D. for the keynote address kicking off Pollinator Week’s Pollinator Power Party! Participants of this family-friendly interactive experience will join BCI researchers virtually in the field where they are studying pollinating bats, learn how to help pollinating bats, and follow along with guided activities. Free registration for the Pollinator Power Party is required.

REGISTER

Jul 1, 1pm CT – Bracken Brief: Edible and Beneficial Plants of Bracken Cave Preserve

Bracken Cave Preserve supports healthy and diverse ecosystems, and human habitation of the area can be traced back 10,000 years. Fran Hutchins, Director of Bracken Cave Preserve, will explore some of the most interesting, edible, and beneficial plants of the preserve that have supported human life here for thousands of years.

REGISTER

Photos: Jonathan Alonzo
Piotr Nasrecki/Minden Pictures, Bat Conservation International
Jonathan Alonzo
J. Scott Altenbach
Fran Hutchins, Bat Conservation Internatonal

The Future Needs Us All.

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Bat Conservation International
500 N. Capital of TX Hwy, Bldg 1, Austin, TX 78746-3450



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Cornell Lab Bird Academy logo
 
i heart birds email banner-northern parula



When it comes to birdwatching, there’s no place like home. Colorful birds are a delight for the eyes and a balm for the soul. And it’s easy to make a haven for birds right outside your window:  When it comes to birdwatching, there’s no place like home. Colorful birds are a delight for the eyes and a balm for the soul. And it’s easy to make a haven for birds right outside your window:  

  • Put Up a Bird Feeder. The three bird-food staples are black-oil sunflower, nyjer, and suet, but there are plenty of others. Here's a handy tool that matches common birds with their favorite foods, so you know just what to buy. We can also help you choose a bird feeder
  • Give Them Water. Offering a quick sip and a place to bathe is a sure way to bring birds into your yard—including species that won’t visit feeders. Adding a water drip makes a birdbath even more irresistible. Download our full set of birdbath tips
  • Put Up a Bird Feeder. The three bird-food staples are black-oil sunflower, nyjer, and suet, but there are plenty of others. Here's a handy tool that matches common birds with their favorite foods, so you know just what to buy. We can also help you choose a bird feeder
  • Give Them Water. Offering a quick sip and a place to bathe is a sure way to bring birds into your yard—including species that won’t visit feeders. Adding a water drip makes a birdbath even more irresistible. Download our full set of birdbath tips
  • birdacademy@birds.cornell.edu


May 28 Birding at Washington Union Access: 





Yellow-Breasted Chat




Yellow-Breasted Chat




Birders looking at Red-Shouldered Hawk


Photos by Tom Moon.

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Budgie found in Cedar Falls


On June 4, Cedar Falls resident Dave Nation has had a Parakeet or Budgie at his residence in Cedar Falls at 5313 Caraway Lane. It has a purple band around one leg. It has a green body and a yellow head. He would like our members and friends to spread the word about wanting to find the owner of the bird. Thanks!




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Wildlife Diversity News masthead

Acoustic Monitoring Survey for Iowa's Nine Bat Species


The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University are looking for volunteers interested in performing night time surveys for bats in Jackson, Franklin and Butler counties.

Hoary Bat on Tree

The survey monitors bat occurrence in key areas of the state. It began in response to declining bat populations from White Nose Syndrome, among other challenges.
This survey uses acoustic recording equipment mounted on top of a car to detect bats along specific routes. Data has been collected on some of these standardized survey routes for the last eight years.  

Some new routes are being added as well as some stationary sites where equipment is left out for several nights.  Volunteers will be responsible for both conducting the driving survey and placing and retrieving stationary equipment.

Volunteers will need a vehicle and a partner to run the drive survey and be available for at least two nights during a specified two week period in early July. The driving survey begins 45 minutes after sunset and takes roughly 2.5 hours. Please note that you will need to be in a car with a survey partner for at least 5 hours across both surveys so in light of COVID 19, please be sure that both you and your partner are comfortable with this and the risk it may involve.

Stationary equipment should be put out prior to the first drive survey and left out until the second drive survey has been completed (a minimum of 4 nights). 

The total time commitment, including virtual training, the two surveys, placing and retrieving stationary equipment and picking up and dropping off equipment, is roughly 12 hours primarily in the first two weeks of July.

The three routes that need adoption are located as follows:

  • Western Jackson County
  • Southwestern Franklin County on Hardin County Line
  • Eastern Franklin County near Geneva into Western Butler County.

How to Get Involved!


More details can be found at the Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Website as well as a volunteer interest form that can be filled in electronically or a pdf is available for download on the website. 

Button Link to Bat Survey Webpage



State Park News masthead

Three popular state parks open amenities in 2021

Three of Iowa's most popular state parks are now open this spring for the first time in several months. Plan your summer visit, find out details to help you enjoy your outdoor time, and find a state park near you!


Maquoketa Caves

Maquoketa Caves State Park opens caves for 2021

For the first time in a year, Maquoketa Caves State Park is opening caves to visitors, which were closed due to the pandemic and then winter bat hibernation. With big weekend crowds expected, be sure to read how to plan your visit before heading to Maquoketa.


Palisades-Kepler State Park opens gates after Derecho 

Closed since the August 2020 Derecho, Palisades-Kepler State Park opened its gates to visitors and campers this spring. Learn about clean-up and what's available at the park, which is known for its stunning scenery outside of Cedar Rapids. 

Palisades-Kepler

Pine Lake

Pine Lake State Park opens campground after renovations 

Complete with new renovations, Pine Lake State Park is opening its campground with more spacious sites and other amenities. Learn about the renovation projects at this beautiful park outside Eldora for your next visit. 


Bird-A-Thon 2021

Through your generous contributions, PRAS will be able to support grant requests for education and conservation projects for 2022. The PRAS board is always appreciative of projects our members suggest for funding in our six PRAS counties. It is a “feel-good” activity.  It’s easy to contribute, print out the form below, or make a donation online using the link below. Any and all contributions are appreciated! Species observed PRAS Bird-A-Thon week May 3-9, 2021

Send your sightings to ckrash105@aol.com

Get a printable Bird-A-Thon pledge form and return your pledges to:

Craig Rash 105 Woodland Springs Road, Denver Iowa 50622

Thank you again for your Bird-A-Thon donations; your support and efforts help PRAS in making a difference to our communities.

                

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)



Osprey at Greenbelt Lake - Waterloo  Photo by John McCormick




      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.