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BIRD OF THE MONTH!

Osprey-April 2014 Bird Of The Month
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By Rusty Dungan

Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish and ability to dive into water to catch them, Ospreys are common sights soaring over shorelines, patrolling waterways, and standing on their huge stick nests, white heads gleaming. These large, rangy hawks do well around humans and have rebounded in numbers following the ban on the pesticide DDT. Hunting Ospreys are a picture of concentration, diving with feet outstretched and yellow eyes sighting straight along their talons. They often hover briefly before diving, feet first, to grab a fish. You can often clearly see an Osprey's catch in its talons as the bird carries it back to a nest or perch. Their conspicuous stick nests are placed in the open on poles, channel markers, and dead trees, often over water. There have been two known active nests in our area (located on communication towers) the last few years producing several young. One is located in Woodbury County near Brown’s Lake and the other in Monona County south of Sloan.

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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

Snow Bunting-March 2014 Bird Of The Month
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Winter Plumage

Appropriately named, the Snow Bunting is a bird of the high Arctic and snowy winter fields. Even on a warm day, the mostly white plumage of a bunting flock evokes the image of a snowstorm. In breeding plumage, male Snow Buntings are unmistakable, with white bodies, long, black wings, and white wing-patches. In winter plumage, which is how they look most of the time they are in Iowa, males are whitish, with black streaks down the back and a rusty wash over the upperparts. They are found in weedy fields and grain stubble and along road sides, often in large flocks that may include Lapland Longspurs and Horned Larks.