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      The Newsletter of the

    LOESS HILLS AUDUBON SOCIETY     Volume 44: No. 5, May-August 2018



 The Loess Hills Audubon Society meets on the first Thursday of the month at the

                 Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

                 4500 Sioux River Road (Highway 12 North)

                 Sioux City, IA 51109


                 Like us on Facebook:  Loess Hills Audubon Society


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




By John Polifka



     This is my last “President’s Message” since my term is over at the end of the May 3 meeting.  I consider it a privilege to have served as president of the Loess Hills Audubon chapter.,  Most of all, the wonderful friendships and acquaintanceships that Sharon and I have formed through Audubon has been a bonus.


     My future term as “past president” (an oxymoron?) will serve as a segue back into general membership.  We both look forward to helping out behind the scenes though.








                                             CALENDAR OF EVENTS


Thursday, May 3—LHAS monthly meeting  DPNC.  7:30 pm.  Program will be presented by our member Tucker Lutter.  Tucker is a curatorial assistant at the National Music Museum in Vermillion and is studying toward a Museum and Archive Studies Graduate Certificate at USD.  His topic will be ”The Swallow-tailed Kite:  Symbolism and Bundling in Native American Tribes of the Midwest”.  Board meeting at 6:15 pm.  All are welcome to attend.

Saturday, May 12—Birdathon.  See details elsewhere in this newsletter or go to the Birdathon Page on our web site.  May is one of the best birding months of the year so plan to join us.

Friday-Sunday, May 18-20—Iowa Ornithologists Union semiannual meeting.  Briar Cliff University.  See related article elsewhere in this newsletter.

Saturday, June 9, Saturday, July 7, and Saturday, August 4—Show and Go Outings   We will meet at the Northwest corner of the Super Walmart parking lot on Singing Hills Blvd. At 7:30 am.  An email will be sent shortly before the dates to advise you of the probable destination and lunch plans. Our web site outings page will also be updated at that time.  Contact Jerry Von Ehwegen at or 276-1546 for more information.





DOROTHY PECAUT NATURE CENTER                                                                              

Exit 151 I-29, Take State Road 12 North for 4 miles to the Nature Center.  To register for events or for more information call 712-258-0838  Or check our website –

Monday, May 1—Woodbury County Conservation Board Campgrounds open for the Season.  Pressurized water systems, restrooms, and park facilities at Snyder Bend Park, Little Sioux Park, Bigelow Park, and Southwood Conservation Area will open for the camping season.  Camping is first-come, first-served.  See more at:

May 4-6:  Camping Kickoff Weekend.  Camp at Snyder Bend, Little Sioux, or Bigelow Parks and Southwood Conservation Area this weekend and earn a free camping pass for a night of camping later in the season.

Thursday, May 10—Live Animal Lunchtime  4:30 pm.  DPNC.  Come and watch our live animals eat.  Learn about their habitat needs and adaptations.  Free!

Saturday, May 12—Wildflower Walk  10:00 am.  Fowler Forest Preserve.  Celebrate Iowa Wildflower Month by joining us for a walk through this woodland to view the diversity of spring wildflowers.  Fowler Forest is located mile west of Smithland on State Highway 141.  The event is free and open to the public.  Wear sturdy walking shoes and dress for the weather.  Sponsored by Woodbury County Conservation, Loess Hills Wild Ones, and the Iowa Native Plant Society.

June 1-2—Loess Hills Prairie Seminar.  Educational field sessions at the Loess Hills Wildlife Area near Turin, IA.  For more information contact or 712-433-2400.  To register,

Tuesday, June 5—Nature Tales  10:00 am.  DPNC.  Pre-schoolers, join us with an adult for this special story time.  We’ll hike too, weather permitting.  Please pre-register by calling 712-258-0838 or email

Thursday, June 7—Live Animal Lunchtime  4:30 pm.  DPNC.  Watch our live animals eat.  Learn about their habitat needs and adaptations.  Free!  Open until 7 pm on Thursdays in June and July.

Friday, June 8—Evening Campfire.  DPNC 7:00 pm.  Join the Summer Naturalists and kick off a great summer of activities while we enjoy time around the campfire—complete with S’Mores.  Free!

Saturday, June 23—First Day Hike  10:30 am  Stone State Park.  Join the Friends of Stone Park for a hike to welcome Summer.  Meet at the parking lot at the East entrance of Stone Park off Memoraal Drive.  For more information contact The Friends of Stone Park at

Tuesday, July 3—Meet the Animals  10:00 am—noon.  DPNC.  Stop in to meet our feathered and scaled live animals.  This will give you an opportunity to view the salamanders, turtles, snakes and birds of prey up close and personal.  Free!

Thursday, July 5—Canoeing on the Lake  1:00-3:00 pm.  Little Sioux Park.  2 mi SW of Correctionville.  Meet near the beach area.  Learn about canoeing  basics and then practice your skills on the lake.  All equipment provided.  This program is free and pre-registration is appreciated by calling 712-258-0838 or email

Tuesday, July 10—Nature Tales  10:00 am.  DPNC.  Preschoolers, join us with an adult for this special story time.  We’ll hike too, weather permitting.  Please pre-register by calling 712-258-0838 or email

Thursday, July 12—Live Animal Lunchtime  4:30 pm.  DPNC.  Come and watch our live animals eat.  Learn about their habitat needs and adaptations.  Free!

August 1-5—Come see us at the Woodbury County Fair in Moville—Varied Industries Building

Thursday, August 9—Live Animal Lunchtime  4:30 pm.  DPNC

Friday, August 10—Evening Campfire  DPNC 7:00 pm.  Join the Summer Naturalists and celebrate a great summer of activities while we enjoy time around the campfire.  Complete with S’Mores.  Free!

Tuesday, August 14—Nature Tales  10:00 am.  DPNC.  Pre-schoolers, join us with an adult for this special story time.  We’ll hike, too, weather permitting.  Please pre-register by calling 712-258-0838 or email







Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is located 1 mile west and mile south of I-29,. Exit 4 in South Dakota.  For information and pre-registration, call (605) 232-0873 or e-mail

Archery Programs--  Wednesday, May 2—Senior Shoot  3:00 pm.  You are never too old to learn a new hobby.  If you are 60 years or older, come out to Adams Homestead and try out some archery.     Saturday, May 5—Family Archery Day   1:00 pm.  What a great new hobby and skill to get the whole family involved.  A great program for all ages.  Come to Adams and try out the equipment.

Saturday, May 19—Donkey Dash 5K Fun Run/Walk  Registration 9:00 am, Run/Walk 10:00 am.  Join us for a family friendly 5K run/walk at Adams Homestead.  All proceeds from this event will benefit Sonny’s Acres live animal working farm.  The cost is $30 per participant (16 and older) or $50 per family (2 adults and any kids under 16).  Come dressed as your favorite barnyard animal or in your best farm attire!  Everyone is welcome to come and meet the residents on the homestead site.  Great day for all ages.  Online registration is available at Dash or contact the visitor center to have a form emailed to you.

Little Naturalist Program—Fridays, June 15, July 20, August 17. The Little Naturalist program is for toddlers ages 2-4 years old and their parent or guardian.  Kids learn about the outdoors through games, crafts, activities and stories.  Classes start at 10:00 am.

Barnyard Buddies—Fridays, June 22, July 27, August 10.  Our friends on Sonny’s Acres would like all kiddos to come out and visit them.  We will learn about the different chores we need to do to keep everyone at Sonny’s Acres happy and healthy.

Saturday, August 11—Adams Homestead Celebration  10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  On August 14, 1997, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve officially opened as a state park.  We mark this very special occasion by having an annual festival. There are exciting activities scheduled through the day such as threshing machine demo, corn shelling, candle making, tin punching, homestead tours, rope making, musicians, watermelon seed spitting contest, buffalo chip throwing contest and many more.  Those interested in participating in the homemade pie judging contest need to bring their pies to Adams Homestead by 10:30 am.  Judging will start at 11:30 am.  Pies will be judged on appearance, texture, and taste.  Plan to spend the entire day.  Food will be available for purchase.  Everything else is free!



PLYMOUTH COUNTY PARKS  Hillview Park is located west of Hinton, Iowa at 25601 C60.  For information and registration call Victoria at 712-947-4270 or e-mail or visit us on Facebook  at Plymouth County Conservation or our website at

Knee High Naturalists:  Saturdays:  June 9, Fun with Fish;  July 21, What’s in the Pond?; and August 18, Marvelous Mammals.  The Knee High Naturalists program is for young children and their caregivers.  Each program is held at Hillview Park in the Center for Outdoor Learning at 10:00 am.  Cost is $3.00 per child.  Please register by the day prior to the program.  Outdoor activities will be modified if weather conditions are not favorable.  Please dress appropriately for the weather.

Become an Outdoors Family—Family Camp Out, June 23-24.  Hillview Park.  3 pm Saturday – 10:am Sunday.  No tent? No problem!  Have your own?  Bring it.  We want to give you a chance to gain tent camping skills such as equipment set up and care, campfire cooking, and some activities to do while camping with the family.  Dinner and breakfast are included.  Space is limited and tents available are on a first come, first served basis.

Have Nature, Will Travel.  Join us at a park in your community and explore nature in your neighborhood.  This free program is for pre-school through upper elementary kids. 

July 5–10-1130 am.  Akron City Park, Akron                                                                                            July 5–1-2:30 pm  Cleveland Park, LeMars                                                                                               July 6–10-11:30 am  Kingsley City Park, Kingsley                                                                                    July 6--1-2:30 pm  Beck Park, Remsen






                                                      LHAS OUTINGS

                                  By Jerry Von Ehwegen

Saturday, 17 March 2018  The outing that was scheduled for a trip to Yankton was canceled due to a snowstorm..

Saturday, 21 April 2018  Bob & Phyllis N., John & Sharon P., Sharon D., Rex R., Paul R., Bob L., Jerry P., and Jerry V. participated in our April outing.  It was a cool and cloudy morning with a temp of 44 degrees and calm conditions.  Temps rose to the mid 50’s later in the day.  We made stops at Brower’s Lake, New Lake, Brown’s Lake, Snyder Bend, and Sandhill Lake in the morning before one car had to leave us before our lunch at the Subway in Sloan.  After lunch, we continued on to Owego Wetlands, both dairy ponds and other related areas before calling it a day.  A couple of birders birded some other areas and added some good species to our list.

     We recorded a total of 96 species for the day.  Highlights included:  Yellow-headed Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle, Wilson’s Snipe, Wilson’s Phalarope, Forster’s Tern, Swainson’s Hawk, Bonaparte’s Gull, American Pipit, Red-breasted Merganser, White-faced Ibis, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Common Loon, and Cinnamon Teal.  The entire species listing can be found on the Outings Highlights Page of our web site at:  Thanks to all who participated.



                                  BIRDATHON 2018


     Saturday, May 12 is the day of Birdathon and will be the May Outing!  This is one of our important fundraising events.  It is a good date because some of our winter birds are still here and many of our summer birds have just arrived providing a great overlap of species.

     Come and be part of a team or make up your own team.  Old timers welcome and teach beginning birders.  Some teams are singles who watch their feeders or neighborhoods.  Sometimes a rare bird is spotted at a feeder.  Some go out a few hours, some go all day, some start pre-dawn and go until after dark.  If you are not part of a team, I will be at the northwest corner of the Singing Hills Walmart parking lot at 7:30 am on May 12 to help get teams together.  For this event we are counting numbers of species, but don’t need to worry about the number of each species.

     Keeping in mind that this is also a fundraiser, some people donate a lump sum dollar amount, some people give a certain amount for each different species of birds that are spotted that day.  Last year we saw 162 species!  At the May 3rd meeting, I will have a sign-up sheet, a donation sheet, and species lists.  Please join and list the species you see, then report them to me (Donna Popp).  Questions, contact Donna at or 712-274-1979 or 712-251-5535.


              IOU NATURE EVENT—FOCUS ON BIRDS—MAY 18-20, 2018

          2018 is the “Year of the Bird”.  Nature lovers around the world are coming together to learn about and protect birds today and for the next hundred years.

     This event has something for everyone—novice or expert—if you are interested in the outdoors, conservation, and/or birds.  Registrants may participate in any or all events of the weekend.  This will include field trips on both Saturday and Sunday am, three presentations by well known speakers, a Saturday Banquet-Keynote address by famed Laura Erickson of Duluth, Minnesota.

     Organized by the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union and hosted by the Loess Hills Audubon Society, all meetings and meals will take place at the St. Francis Center on the campus of Briar Cliff University.

     The event is open to the public.  Registration:  $20.00.  Meals are available if you register by May 10.

     Accommodation reduced rates have deadlines—see info at the registration link:

Questions and local contact—Paul Roisen.



                                 MEMBERSHIP PAYMENT PROCEDURE

                                      By Donna Popp

 For Renewals, send your dues to:  National Audubon Society, PO Box 97194, Washington, DC 20090-7194.  Be sure to put on the check which should be made out to National Audubon Society, our chapter identification H52.  For new memberships,  send them to me with a check made out to National Audubon Society and the H52 identification.  The renewal memberships begin at $20 and the new memberships are $25.  Anything above the $20 is, of course, much appreciated. 

If you have any questions, please contact me at 712-274-1979 or




                                                       Loess Hills Audubon Society

                                                            Membership Application




City___________________State_____ Zip__________



Introductory 1 year membership $25

Make check payable to National Audubon Society and send to:

                    Donna Popp, 630 Surrey Lane, Sioux City, IA 5110

                               CHAPTER OFFICERS


President John Polifka 712-253-2138


Vice Pres./Progs. Rex Rundquist 712-251-0345 or 712-255-3136


Secretary Sharon Polifka 712-212-5395


Treasurer Jeri Watkins 712-389-6342


Membership Donna Popp 712-274-1979


Newsletter Anne Shaner 712-252-2182


Iowa Audubon Rex Rundquist 712-251-0345 or 712-255-3136


Conservation Bill Zales 802-275-4716 (text only)


Education Jody Moats 712-490-5570


Outings Jerry VonEhwegen 712-276-1546


Bird Food Sales Bill&Dotty Zales 712-568-1006


Social Committee Carol Blair 712-948-3350


Publicity Dawn Snyder 258-0838or898-9168


Birdathon Czar  Vacant


Audubon Adventures Gary Heineman 712-428-6443


Naturalist Jody Moats 712-490-5570


Past President Bob Livermore 712-301-8880


Website Jerry VonEhwegen 712-276-1546