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January 2015 Bird Of Month
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.


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

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

December 2014 Bird Of Month
Short-eared Owl

A bird of open grasslands, the Short-eared Owl is one of the most widely distributed owls in the world. It is usually active before dark, flight wavering, wing beats erratic. Groups may gather where prey is abundant in marshes, fields, and tundra. Often described as “moth-like”, it flaps its wings high in a slow, floppy fashion. Hunts day and night, mainly at dawn and dusk in winter. Flies low over open ground, locating prey by ear. Kills prey with a bite to the back of the skull; often swallows prey whole. Short-eared Owls don’t need trees; they nest right on the ground.  Female Short-eared Owls choose a high place or a mound and scratch out a bowl-shaped depression, filling it with grass and soft, downy feathers. Birds that nest on the ground are at high risk from predators like foxes, cats, dogs, and other wild and domestic animals. In our area, look for them at dusk at the Owego Wetlands in the winter beginning in early November.