LOESS HILLS AUDUBON SOCIETY Volume 44: No. 2, November/December
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
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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
By John Polifka
One of the items that was discussed at the October 5 Board meeting
was the possibility of Sioux City hosting the Spring 2018 Iowa Ornithologist’s Union meeting. This would entail the arrangement of logistics, such as a meeting site and field trip leaders/locations. If Sioux City were to host the event, it would be held May 18, 19, and 20. It was decided by the Board that the final decision to host the meeting would be made in the event that
all the arrangements could be made. If hosting the Spring IOU meeting comes to
fruition, it would have a positive economic impact on the city.
I researched some of the websites dealing with the economic impact
of birding (a/k/a avitourism). A four-day Hummingbird Migration Celebration was
attended by 7,970 individuals and had a total economic impact of $97,654, for example.
Over 71 million Americans spent nearly $45 billion on observing, feeding, or watching wildlife in the US in 2006. Forty-six million Americans watch birds. This
exceeds the economic impact of hunting and fishing. The impact spreads to restaurants,
hotels/motels, and other retail establishments. The economic importance of birding
was apparent when birders converged on the small community of Chariton for the IOU meeting last Spring. There were volunteers from the community who didn’t consider themselves to be birders beyond their
back yards but knew a good thing for their community when they saw it.
I’m hopeful that LHAS will partner with the IOU in bringing
the Spring 2018 meeting to Sioux City but, as I said, it is not yet a done deal. The
last time Sioux City hosted the IOU was May of 2007. And before that it was May
1997 and May 1987, respectively. The pattern appears to have missed being auspicious
by one year. Maybe 2018 will make it relatively so.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
LOESS HILLS AUDUBON SOCIETY
Thursday, November 2—LHAS monthly meeting
7:30 pm. DPNC. Program: “Bluebirds”. DPNC Resource
Naturalist, Tyler Flammang, will present stories and insights from the field, photography from inside the nest boxes, nest
box building and mounting tips, website resources, etc. He will share his opinions
and real-world application of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “Nest Watch” app. You’ll also learn how to utilize this free and simple to use website and portable electronic application
for your own backyard citizen science enjoyment. Board meeting 6:15 pm. All are welcome to attend.
PICK UP BIRD FOOD THIS DAY/NIGHT
Saturday, November 18—Show & Go Outing
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 18th to advise you of the probable destination and
lunch plans. Our web site outings page will also be updated at that time. Contact Jerry VonEhwegen at email@example.com or 276-1546
for more information.
Thursday, December 7—LHAS monthly meeting
DPNC. 7:30 pm. Christmas
Party. Program will be pictures that you have taken of birds or travels during
the last year. Please limit your pictures to about 20. A computer will be available to show the pictures. Still pictures
can be displayed on a table as well. Everyone please bring a treat to share. Board meeting 6:15 pm. All are welcome
December Outings will be the various Christmas bird counts.
Ponca—Contact Bill Huser for date
and meeting locations at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sioux City—Saturday, December 16. Contact Jerry Probst for information at email@example.com
Yankton and Ida Grove—Sunday, December
17. Contact Jerry Probst for information.
Westfield—Thursday, December 21,
the first day of winter. Plan to arrive at Zales mailbox at 15384 North Ridge
Road at 8:00 am and we will divide into groups and “bird” until 1:00 pm when we will serve a hearty and hot lunch
at our home and tabulate our group counts. Those wanting to bird afterwards may
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 – www.woodburyparks.org
Thursday, November 2—Bluebirds 7:30
pm DPNC. Spend an evening recapping the 2016 and 2017 Bluebird nesting seasons
with Resource Naturalist Tyler Flamming.
Saturday, November 4—Float the Little Sioux River from Walling Access to Little Sioux
Park. Noon-5 pm. Meet at Walling
Access, 1 mile north of Correctionville off Highway 31. Bring your own kayak
or canoe, paddles, personal flotation device and transportation. Meet at Walling
Access at noon and we’ll organize a shuttle on site. Don’t have your
own boat? No problem! We will have
10 canoes, life jackets, and paddles available for reservation for this event only.
Pre-registration for ALL attendees is appreciated and necessary if you plan to reserve a canoe. Contact Resource Naturalist Tyler Flammang with questions. 712-258-0838
Tuesday, November 14—Nature Tales 10:00
am. DPNC. Pre-schoolers, join us with an adult for this special story time about
foxes and coyotes. We’ll hike too, weather permitting. Please pre-register by calling 712-258-0838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, November 17—Painting with Light Photography
6:30-8:30 pm. DPNC. Ever
wondered how names, shapes, and designs are drawn with light in photos? Here’s
your opportunity to find out!. Resource Naturalist Tyler Flammang will share
tips and insights for creating beautiful and interesting light trail images. Bring
your own digital camera, tripod, and trigger release. Digital cameras with a
full manual mode work best, but any camera will do. Pre-registration is appreciated. Contact Tyler Flammang with any questions at 712-258-0838 or email@example.com.
Saturday, November 18—Appalachian Trail Adventures
10:00 am. DPNC. Tim and Christine
Case, age 60-something amateur trail hikers, have recently hiked 2 sections of the Appalachian Trail. They will share memorable experiences and photos of breathtaking views and discuss why they hiked, how
they prepared, and what equipment they carried. Weather permitting, take your
own hike afterwards on the DPNC trails.
Friday, December 1—Snowshoe Hike 6:00-8:00
pm. DPNC. Enjoy an evening of hiking
by starlight through the hills of DPNC. If snow amounts are greater than 4 inches,
we will strap on a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails, If not, we will still hike and take in the sights and sounds of the
loess hills after dark. Pre-register at 712-238-0838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, December 9—Winter Fun Day and Artist Open House 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. DPNC. Join us for a fun day of winter activities. We plan to have
recycled materials crafts for you to create for holiday gifts; snowshoeing or hiking; and other fun indoor & outdoor activities. Dress appropriately. Free! Area artists will also have their artwork on display and available to purchase. For more information or to be a vendor, contact us at 712-258-0838,
Limited vendor space is available.
Tuesday, December 12—Nature Tales 10:00
am. DPNC. Pre-schoolers, join us
with an adult for this special story time about Animal Tracks. We’ll hike
too, weather permitting. Please pre-register by calling 712-258-0838 or email
Friday, December 15—Retirement Open House for Director Rick Schneider 1:00-4:00 pm. DPNC.
Rick Schneider is retiring as Conservation Board Director after serving 42 years.
Please attend this open house to greet, thank, and wish him well during his retirement.
Thursday, December 21—Winter Solstice Snowshoe or Hike 3:00 pm. DPNC. Take
a walk or snowshoe in the woods on the shortest day of the year. Dress for the
weather and in layers. Call 712-258-0838 to reserve a pair of snowshoes.
Thursday, December 28—Survival Shelters 1:00-3:00
pm. DPNC. Ages 10 & up. Come learn multiple shelter styles and arrangements as well as useful rope and knot
combinations. Dress for the outdoor weather.
Contact Resource Naturalist Tyler Flammang at email@example.com.
Friday, December 29—Fire Starters 1:00-3:00
pm. DPNC. Ages 10 & up. In this thrilling program, you will get the opportunity to try out multiple commercially
made and homemade fire starters, using conventional and unconventional ignition methods.
There will be time available to make and take your own fire starters for home and camping. Pre-registration is required at 712-258-0838 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADAMS HOMESTEAD AND NATURE PRESERVE
Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is located 1 mile west and ½ mile south of I-29,. Exit 4 in South Dakota. For information and pre-registration, call (605) 232-0873 or e-mail email@example.com
Saturday, November 11—Christmas
at the Homestead 12:00 – 4:00 pm.
Get into the holiday spirit and take a step back in time by visiting Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve. Tour the homestead buildings decorated for the Christmas season.
Enjoy refreshments in the visitor center and carolers in the Stavenger Church.
Vendors will also be in the visitor center. Have fun Christmas shopping
while enjoying some homemade goodies and the warmth of the fireplace. Santa Claus
will be in the visitor center all afternoon. For a free will donation, you may
get your picture taken with Santa.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit us on Facebook at Plymouth County Conservation or our website at plymouthcountyparks.com
Saturday, December 16—Knee High Naturalists 10:00 am. Hillview Outdoor Learning Center. $3.00 per child. “Animals Prepare
for Winter”, a program for young children and their caregivers. Please
register by the day before the program.
By Jerry Von Ehwegen
Saturday, 30 September, 2017 Bob & Phyllis N., Rex &
Maria R., Anne S., Jan N., and Jerry V., participated in our September outing. It
was a cloudy, cool morning with a temp of 47 degrees and a few spotty showers, but it warmed to the low 70’s later in
the day. We made stops at New Lake, Snyder’s Bend, Sandhill Lake, and Luton
Wildlife Area North before lunch at the Subway in Sloan. After lunch, one car
visited Owego and 252nd Street on the way home.
We recorded a total of 50 species for the day.
Highlights included: Marsh Wren, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Osprey,
Red-eyed Vireo, Clay-colored Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Peregrine Falcon, and American Golden-plover. The Peregrine was perched in a dead tree at the SW corner of New Lake, so we drove down for a closer look
and it flew real low right in front of us with its powerful Falcon flight towards the east.
The Plover was found at Sandhill Lake and we studied it close by for quite a spell and the consensus was that it was
an American Golden-plover. (Winter plumage birds can be a challenge to ID this
time of year). The entire species listing can be found on the Outings Highlights
Page on our web site at http://lhas.tripod.com/. Thanks to all who participated.
Saturday, 14 October 2017 Bob & Phyllis N., Paul R.,
Bob L., Jan N., and Jerry V., participated in our October outing. It was a misty
morning with a temperature of 52 degrees with calm conditions. The forecast of
rain never materialized and we were able to bird the entire morning and into the afternoon with just a few sprinkles and steady
temperatures. Our first stop was at Graceland Cemetery where we found some good
bird activity to search through in the poor light conditions. We found some good
birds including Pine Siskins, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, and several Ruby-crowned Kinglets, but no Crossbills that had been
located the night before. On the way to Luton Wildlife Area North as we turned
onto the Luton blacktop, we were greeted with a massive flock of blackbirds which included Common Grackles, Red-wings, and
Brown-headed Cowbirds. We were enjoying searching the flock for Rustys and Brewers
when a train went roaring by blowing its loud whistle causing the entire flock to lift off and fill the sky with noisy black
At L.W.A. No. we found several species of sparrows including one LeConte’s After
lunch at the Subway in Sloan, our next stop was at Owego where we found several raptors including a Merlin and several Northern
Harriers. There were 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks in a tree at the town site interacting
with each other and as we were posing for our group picture one of them zoomed right over our heads in hot pursuit of a frightened
Mourning Dove which it just missed grabbing. The Dove and Sharpie were similar
in size and we thought maybe the Sharpie was just having fun or practicing his pursuit skills or trying to get in our picture. It was a good day for raptors as we found 9 species and multiple numbers for some
of them. Sparrow species were also good.
We rounded out the day with a quick stop at Table Marsh. Other highlights
included Hermit Thrush, Rusty Blackbird, and Brewer’s Blackbird. We recorded
a total of 64 species for the day. The entire species listing can be found on
the Outings Highlight Page of our web site at http://lhas.tripod.com/. Thanks to all who participated.
BIRD FOOD SALE
The LHAS Bird Food Sale was a grand success thanks to folks like YOU who plan to keep
our local birds healthy and well fed this winter! THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH!! Delivery will be sometime the middle of the day on Thursday, November 2 at Dorothy
Pecaut Nature Center. Donna Popp will send out an email the day before or that
day with a definite time, so watch for a notice from LHAS. You are encouraged
to come & help unload the seed or just come to pick up your order. There
are several of you who requested delivery & we will contact you that day to set up a delivery time. Seed will be available to pick up at 7:00 pm that night before the LHAS meeting. Stay for our program. We will have a few extra bags of 50#
black oil sunflower seeds @ $25.00 & 50# Cardinal Supreme @ $29.00 (our 2 most popular items) available for sale that
day. Thanks again for your support of this fundraiser!
IS “BIRD FRIENDLY IOWA”?
“Bird Friendly Iowa” is a statewide bird habitat conservation and educational
outreach program created by a partnership of Iowa conservation organizations. The
flagship outreach and action program of Bird Friendly Iowa is called “Bird Friendly City”, similar to the Arbor
Day Foundation’s “Tree City USA” program. Other states have
recently initiated programs with “Bird City Wisconsin” being recognized as the national leader. Bird Friendly Iowa was envisioned by its partners as a program which could promote birds and habitat conservation
in a variety of public and private locations across the entire landscape. Check
it out at www.birdfriendlyiowa.org.
Conservation chair, recommends the purchase of the yearly Duck Stamp. Buy it
at the post office.
was recently honored for distinguished service by South Dakota State Parks. Congrats,
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 email@example.com.
Loess Hills Audubon Society
1 year membership $25
payable to National Audubon Society and send to:
Donna Popp, 630 Surrey Lane, Sioux City,