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BIRD OF THE MONTH!

January 2020 Bird Of Month
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Prairie Falcon

Prairie Falcons are large falcons about the size of a peregrine. They have pointed wings and medium-long tails and occur in wide-open habitats of the West, including sagebrush, desert, prairie, agricultural fields, and alpine meadows up to about 11,000 feet elevation. They nest on ledges on sheer rocky cliffs. Prairie Falcons often hunt from low altitudes, flapping powerfully across open areas and surprising prey such as ground squirrels and other small mammals and birds as they hug the ground contours to stay out of view. In flight, look for the dark triangle of “armpit” feathers that distinguish it from other light-colored falcons. Resident to short-distance migrant, most Prairie Falcons don’t migrate directly to wintering areas, but instead “wander” east or even north of their breeding grounds before moving south and is occasionally found locally at these times.

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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

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Red Crossbill

A fascinating finch of coniferous woodlands, the Red Crossbill forages on nutritious seeds in pine, hemlock, Douglas-fir, and spruce cones, sometimes in flocks which often fly in unison from tree to tree. Their unusual, twisted bill that crosses when closed allows them to break into unopened cones, giving them an advantage over other finch species. A bird's biting muscles are stronger than the muscles used to open the bill, so the Red Crossbill places the tips of its slightly open bill under a cone scale and bites down. The crossed tips of the bill push the scale up, exposing the seed inside. Their song is a variably sweet, loose trill or warble and adult males sometimes perch on top of conifers to sing and watch for predators. Erratic dispersals (irruptions) often occur during years with poor cone crops, but not a true migrant. Has been found locally at Graceland Cemetery.