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BIRD OF THE MONTH!

February 2015 Bird Of Month
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Merlin

Merlins are small, fierce falcons that use surprise attacks to bring down small songbirds and shorebirds. Their powerful build is broader and stockier than the slightly smaller American Kestrel. They are fierce, energetic predators that patrol shorelines and open areas looking for their prey of small birds (and sometimes dragonflies). They fly powerfully with quick wingbeats, pausing to glide only rarely. It catches birds in flight by a sudden burst of speed rather than diving. They also spend long periods perched in open areas, scanning for prey. During migration and winter, be on the lookout for Merlins in open forests and grasslands. Two were seen in Woodbury County during our January 2015 outing (one at Owego Wetlands).  Merlin populations have largely recovered from twentieth-century declines, thanks to a ban on the pesticide DDT and their ability to adapt to life around towns and cities.

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Loess Hills Audubon Society meets at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, 4500 Sioux River Road the first Thursday of the month during the months of October thru May at 7:30 P.M. The first meeting of the year is the annual potluck at Stone Lodge in Stone State Park at 6:00 P.M.

Each of these meetings includes a quality program of various subjects. The public is invited and welcome to attend these meetings. Check the Meetings Page for information on upcoming programs.

Birding outings occur monthly. The public is invited and welcome to attend these outings. Check the Outings Page for information on upcoming outings.

Loess Hills Audubon Society
PO Box 5133
Sioux City, IA 51102
http://lhas.tripod.com/
 
 

Mission Statement

The Loess Hills Audubon Society exists to educate individuals and the general public, to enjoy and promote birding, to support ornithology, and to be an advocate for wild areas and environmental issues.

 

"Loess Hills Audubon Society is a Chapter of National Audubon Society, Inc."

Last Month's Bird Of The Month

January 2015 Bird Of Month
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Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is the bird that Roger Tory Peterson famously described as a “sparrow dipped in raspberry juice.” For many of us, they’re irregular winter visitors to our feeders, although these chunky, big-beaked finches do breed in northern North America and the West Coast. Separating them from House Finches requires a careful look, but the reward is a delicately colored, cleaner version of that red finch. Look for them in forests, too, where you’re likely to hear their warbling song from the highest parts of the trees. Purple Finches readily come to feeders for black oil sunflower seeds. In winter they may descend to eat seeds from plants and stalks in weedy fields. Their flight is undulating. Purple Finches breed mainly in coniferous forests or mixed deciduous and coniferous woods. They can be seen in our area during the winter. A pair were recently seen at feeders at the DPNC.