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      The Newsletter of the

    LOESS HILLS AUDUBON SOCIETY     Volume 45:  No. 2, November/December 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 Dave Hoferer


     As I am sure you all know, 2018 has been the Year of the Bird.  We have also remembered (and hopefully celebrated) the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  It is never too late to contact your representatives to urge them to support, renew, and strengthen that Act.  As Thomas Lovejoy, who has been called the Godfather of Biodiversity, reportedly said, “If you take care of birds, you take care of most of the environmental problems in the world.”

     I am particularly reminded of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s importance during this fall migratory period.  At least one of our members has totaled over 200 species seen in our area this year, including recent migrating Common and Pacific Loons.  I have been heartened by the arrival of Red-breasted Nuthatches in my backyard.  No backyard sightings of Juncos yet, but they will be here soon.  I’m sure many of you have already seen them visiting your backyard feeders.  Given the importance of birds no only in our hearts and minds, but in the ecology of the world, I invite you to share your ideas for local bird and environmental conservation with me and other members of the Board.  We have a Conservation Committee that engages in these issues every year.

     But there are other ways to continue to enjoy the birds.  Participate in our monthly outings, for instance, and bring a friend.  Our field trips, led by Jerry Von Ehwegen, are open to people of all ages and skill levels.  Be the expert helping to identify the elusive call in the distance or be the novice beginning to learn to identify birds.  Either way, you’ll be able to visit local birding hotspots and engage in fellowship with others.  Another way to enjoy the birds is to come to our monthly meetings held at 7:30 on the first Thursday of each month at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center.  In November, Jordan Giese, a Ph D. student at Iowa State University, will share a program titled “Prairie Strips and Birds.”  In December we will feature our annual presentation of bird photographs taken by our members.  Please come to our chapter meetings and bring a friend.  You don’t need to be a member to attend.

     As this is the last newsletter for the calendar year, I want to close by wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and safe travels to wherever you may roam!  If you can, please join us for our first meeting of 2019 on January 3rd.






                                             CALENDAR OF EVENTS


Thursday, November 1—LHAS Monthly meeting. 7:30 pm.  DPNC.  Program:  Prairie Strips and Birds.  Jordon Giese will present research by graduate students at Iowa State University.  Board meeting.  6:15 pm.  All are welcome to attend.  BIRD FOOD DELIVERY!!

Saturday, November 10—Show and 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 10th 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.

Thursday, December 6—LHAS Monthly meeting.  7:30 pm.  DPNC.  Our annual sharing of bird pictures.  Bring a few of your favorites.  A computer to show them and an operator to organize them will be provided.  Bring a treat to share as well.  Board meeting 6:15 pm.  All are welcome to attend.

December Outings will be our annual Christmas Bird Counts--

December 14—Ponca State Park.  Contact Bill Huser for details.

December 15—Sioux City.  Contact Jerry Probst for details.

December 16—Yankton

December 20—Westfield.  Contact Bill & Dotty Zales. Meet at Zales tractor mailbox at 8 am.  We will bird day with lunch and compilation about 1:30 pm.  Head on home or stay later and bird.

January 5—Ida Grove.  Contact Don Pogensee for details.



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 –


Tuesday, November 13—Nature Tales  10:00 am. DPNC.  Pre-schoolers, join us with an adult for this special story time about Turkeys.  We’ll hike too, weather permitting.  Please pre-register by calling 712-258-0838 or email

Saturday, November 17—DNA Extraction Activity.  1:00-4:00 pm.  DPNC.  Join Ashley Collins, Western Iowa Coordinator of the Science Booster Clubs today for a fun hand-on activity demonstration.  Participants have the opportunity to extract DNA from fruit using simple household ingredients, so you will see and touch DNA!  She will be at the Nature Center throughout the afternoon to share this quick and fun demonstration.

Saturday, December 8—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 if you choose.  We’ll also have snowshoeing or hiking and other fun indoor and outdoor activities.  Dress appropriately and join us for some family fun!  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.

Tuesday, December 11—Nature Tales.  10:00 am.  DPNC.  Pre-schoolers, join us with an adult for this special story time about Deer.  We’ll hike too, weather permitting.  Please pre-register by calling 712-258-0838 or email

Thursday, December 13—Images Beneath our Feet:  Archaeological Discoveries on Highway 20.  6:30 pm.  DPNC.  Megan Stroh Messerole, Archaeologist from the Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee will present about the 2014 archaeological exploration of the project area near Correctionville where U.S. Highway 20 would be expanded.  During survey, archaeologists identified two important ceremonial sites that go back more than 1000 years ago.  These sites have geoglyphs underneath the top soil.  Geoglyphs are large designs formed on or in the ground.  The designs that are displayed at these two sites include images of bison, stickmen, or dragonflies, turtles, and a thunderbird.  These sites are unique because few others have been identifies in the Midwest.

Thursday, December 20—Winter Solstice Snowshoe or Hike.  3:00 pm.  DPNC.  Take a walk or snowshoe in the woods on one of the shortest days of the year.  If snow amounts are greater than 4 inches, we will strap on a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails.  If the snow amounts are less than that, we will still go for a hike to celebrate the upcoming Winter Solstice.  Dress for the weather and in layers.  Wear comfortable hiking or snow boots with good ankle support.  Call 712-258-0838 to reserve a pair of snowshoes.  Limited numbers are available.





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

Friday, November 16—Little Naturalist Program. 10:00 am 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.

Saturday, November 10—Christmas at the Homestead.  12:00 – 4:00 pm.  Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve would like to invite their visitors to get in the holiday spirit and take a step back in time by attending the annual Christmas at the Homestead  celebration.  This free family event allows participants to tour the Stavenger Church, Shay/Adams House and Lamont Country School decorated for the Christmas season.  Adams Homestead volunteers will be showing off their talents in each of the homestead buildings.  Visitors will also get to enjoy refreshments in the Visitor Center, make children’s crafts in the Lamont Country School and hear Christmas music at the Stavenger Lutheran church throughout the day.  Vendors will be displaying their talents and merchandise for all visitors to see and purchase.  Take time to shop for Christmas while enjoying homemade goodies and the warmth of the fireplace.  Santa Claus will also make an appearance in the Visitor Center and will be hanging out by the fireplace taking pictures with kids of all ages.  For more information or if you are interested in being a vendor, please call Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve at 605-232-0873. 



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—November 17:  Fall Mixed Up.  December 15:  Tree-rific Trees!  Knee High Naturalists is a program for 2-5 year old children and their caretakers.  Each program is held at Hillview Park in the Center for Outdoor Learning at 10:00 am.  Cost is $3 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.

Friday, December 28—Winter Day Camp I.  9:00 am – 4:00 pm.  Looking for something for the kids to do on winter bread?  Send them to camp!  We will spend the day playing and learning outside.  There are a limited numbe5r of spaces available for this camp so sign up early.  We will be providing lunch and snacks.  Cost is $20.00.

Tubing Hill at Hillview will be open December – February.  Public hours are 1-5 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and New Years Day.  Reservations can be made for private groups beginning November 1.  Private groups can rent the hill during the week for a two hour time frame.







                                                      LHAS OUTINGS

                                  By Jerry Von Ehwegen

Saturday, 15 September 2018  Bob & Phyllis N.  Rex & Maria R.,  Bill & Dotty Z., Anne S., Jerry P., Chuck J., Donna P., Jan N., and Jerry V., participated in our September outing.  It was a warm morning under clear skies with a light breeze and warmed to the upper 80’s later in the day.  We made stops at New Lake, Snyder’s Bend, Sandhill Lake, and Owego before lunch at B&R’s Pizza Post in Sloan.  The menu included varied choices from pizza to cod and we enjoyed our lunch while watching ISU battle Oklahoma on a nice wide TV screen.  We topped off our lunch with delicious Swirl soft ice cream cones or dishes before we headed home.

We recorded at total of 50 species for the day.  We walked the trail at Snyder’s Bend to the overlook and while resting on the benches we had a nice surprise as 6 Caspian Terns flew slowly by occasionally diving head first into the water to snatch a minnow.  Other highlights included:  Great Egret, American Pipit, Black Terns, Cooper’s Hawk, and Merlin.  The entire species listing can be found on the Outings Highlights Page on our web site at:  Thanks to all who participated.

Saturday, 20 October 2018  Bob & Phyllis N., Gary H., Randy W., Jeanette H., Pat J., Linda S., John & Sharon P., Paul R., Jan N., and Jerry V., participated in our October Outing.  It was a cool, breezy morning with a beginning temp of 37 degrees that warmed up later to 51.  We made stops at Brower’s Lake, New Lake, Snyder’s Bend, Luton Wildlife Area North, Owego Wetlands, Southwood Conservation Area, and related areas.  We then went to the Polifka’s home just east of Smithland for a delicious lunch featuring tasty pizza, pumpkin cheese cake and many other goodies!  Their good habitat and bird feeders also produced 2 species for our list (Pine Siskin and Yellow-rumped Warbler).

We recorded a total of 54 species for the day.  Other highlights included:  Sharp-shinned Hawk, Merlin, Northern Harrier, and Cooper’s Hawk.  Even though the brisk wind kept most of the Sparrows hunkered down, we did manage to find 10 species of Sparrows.  The entire species listing can be found on the Outings Highlights Page on our web site at:  Thanks to all who participated and a special thanks to the Polifkas for the delicious lunch and great hospitality at their beautiful home!


                                        BIRD FOOD SALE

Bird food will be delivered to DPNC on Thursday, November 1 from Bomgaars and The Feed Shed at an undetermined time until that day.  Watch for an email from LHAS that morning.  We can always use help unloading and organizing the bags for pick-up.  Pick up your order then or at 7 pm before the meeting.  We have ordered a few extra 40# bags of black oil sunflower seeds in case you want more or forgot to order.  Thanks for supporting LHAS thru this fundraiser.  We are grateful for your order and we’re happy to accept monetary donations.


                                 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 51106

                               CHAPTER OFFICERS


President-David Hoferer 847-660-0650


Vice Pres.-Paul Roisen 712-301-2817


Programs- Leesa McNeil 712-253-2412


Secretary-Randy Williams 712-259-4705


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


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 712-540-0952


Social Committee-Carol Blair 712-948-3350


Publicity-Dawn Snyder 258-0838 or 898-9168


Birdathon Czar-Paul Roisen 712-301-2817 or 712-276-0371


Audubon Adventures-Gary Heineman 712-428-6443


Naturalist-Jody Moats 712-490-5570


Past President-John Polifka 712-253-2138


Website-Jerry VonEhwegen 712-276-1546