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The Newsletter of theLOESS HILLS AUDUBON SOCIETY Volume 45: No. 3, January/February 2019


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

Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center4500 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

Greetings.welcome to the new year! I hope that you found peace and warmth with family and friends over the holidays. If you don’t mind a little cold, birding this winter may be good for us in the tri-state area since the forecast is for poor nut and berry production in the forests of eastern Canada. This means that the winter of 2019 may see irruptions of finches, perhaps including our redpolls and crossbills. While the forecast is especially rosy for seeing these birds in the northeastern states, we can hope for more plentiful than usual sightings in the upper Midwest, too. Let us know what you are seeing!

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Christmas Bird Counts. These counts show how all of us can contribute to the scientific study of birds. Coordinated by the National Audubon Society, the Christmas Bird Count is heralded as the "longest-running community science bird project" in America. By going to Audubon’s CBC pages online, you can see records going back for over a century. These data are used by scientists to track bird populations and to test predictions about how human alterations of the landscape affect birds. Anyone can participate, but if you feel like you don’t know how to identify birds well enough to participate, then I invite you to participate in our monthly outings this year. Birders of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Those more experienced at identifying birds will help you hone your skills and by next Christmas you’ll be helping science!

The new year is often a time for resolutions. This year I hope that one of your resolutions will be to become more active in the Loess Hills Audubon Society. We have several committees that consider issues from Education to conservation to membership to outings and even more! You may come to any of our Board meetings that normally begin at 6:15 pm at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center on the first Thursday of every month and offer your ideas for the Society or even volunteer to serve on a committee. Of course, you can do the same at the beginning of our general meetings at 7:30, too. What would you like to see us do in 2019? What can you do to help the Loess Hills Audubon Society? Help us make 2019 a productive and impactful year for the Loess Hills Audubon Society.





Thursday, January 3—LHAS monthly meeting 7:30 pm. DPNC David Swanson, Dept of Biology at the University of South Dakota will provide a talk on "How Birds Tolerate the Cold" and review a guidebook "The Birders Guide to South Dakota" Board meeting 6:15 pm. All are welcome to attend.

Saturday, January 26—Show and Go Outing. Rather than our usual morning outing, we will have an afternoon outing like we did last year. We will meet at the northwest corner of the Super Walmart parking lot on Singing Hills Blvd at 1:00 pm. Current plans are to bird some local areas and then we will proceed to the Owego Wetlands area later in the afternoon to search for Short-eared Owls (hopefully they will still be around). Then for those interested we will find a restaurant for supper to conclude the evening. An email will be sent shortly before the 26th to clarify our 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, February 7—LHAS monthly meeting, 7:30 pm. DPNC. Katherine Koskovich, retired DNR Officer, will explore recent archeological finds in NW Iowa. Board meeting at 6:15 pm. All are welcome to attend.

February 15-18—Great Backyard Bird Count. Count birds anywhere you like. Recommend at least 15 minutes. Keep track of numbers and species—i.e.--4 cardinals, 3 crows. Enter your lists online at Put in a new checklist for each new day: each different location: same location, same day, different time of day.

Saturday, February 23—Show and Go Outing. We will meet at the Northwest corner of the Super Walmart parking lot on Singing Hills Blvd at 8:00 am. An email will be sent shortly before the 23rd 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.



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 –

December 26-January 13—Recycle your Christmas trees. The Conservation Board will collect undecorated Christmas trees to be chipped for cover on the trails at the Nature Center. You can drop off your tree with no lights, ornaments, stands or plastic bags and no wreaths at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in the lower parking lot. January 13 is the last day the trees will be accepted.

Tuesday, January 8—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

Tuesday, February 12—Nature Tales 10:00 am. DPNC. See above.


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

Little Naturalist Program—Fridays, January 13 and February 15 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.

Beginner Cross Country Ski Class—Saturdays, January 12 and February 2. 10:00 – 11:30 am. Time to wake up those tired legs and get outside to try out some new winter activities. Learn the basics of cross country skiing and how to use the equipment. Please call to reserve your boot size and ski size. Limited sizes available.

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

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.

Knee High Naturalists—January 29: Who Goes There? February 16: Give a Hoot! 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 prior to the program. Outdoor activities will be modified if weather conditions are not favorable. Please dress for the weather.

January 29—Becoming an Outdoors Family: Tracks and Trails 2-4 pm. Join the naturalist on a snow shoeing hike on the trails at Hillview. There is very limited space in the program so please call ahead to reserve your snow shoes $5/person.

February 14—Love is in the Air 6-8 pm. Grab your sweetheart and spend the evening hiking/snowshoeing the trails at Hillview. Listen to love stories from the natural world. After the hike, enjoy some refreshments by the fire. This program is for couples over the age of 18. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. $10/couple.

February 18—Winter Day Camp II 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. This camp is for kids in 3-6 grades. We will spend the day playing and learning outside. Lunch and snacks provided. Pre-registration required.


By Jerry Von Ehwegen

Saturday, 10 November 2018 Jan N and Jerry V. participated in our November outing. It was a cloudy, cold, breezy morning with a temp of 10 degrees and it eventually "warmed" to the upper teens. We made stops at Brower’s Lake, Snyder’s Bend, Brown’s Lake, DPNC and related areas. Due to prior commitments, we ended our trip early at 11:00 am. Bob N. was unable to attend but he did report some birds at his feeders. We recorded a total of 32 species. Highlights included Rusty Blackbird, Brewer’s Blackbird, Bald Eagle, American White Pelican, and Red-breasted Nuthatch and White-throated Sparrow at Bob’s feeders. The entire species listing can be found on the Outings Highlights Page on our web site at

December 2018 Outing—The December outing was any of the Christmas Bird Counts conducted in our local areas from December 14th through January 5th. These local counts included Sioux City, Ponca State Park, Yankton, Westfield, and Ida Grove. Many of our local birders participated in one or more of these counts. For results of these counts, see other parts of this newsletter or visit the Christmas Bird Count Page on our web site.


Sioux City—Jerry Probst reports that 25 people participated with 67 hours of group observation. We ended with 63 species and 12,152 birds. All were common requiring no documentation cooperated. Some of our best birds were Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher, and Red Headed Woodpecker. The owls and sparrows cooperated. The weather was great with a high of 42 degrees.

Westfield—The Westfield CBC was held on a cold breezy December 20. 10 observers and 5 parties drove 249 miles and walked 10 miles. They saw 42 species totaling 6,930 birds. Compilation and lunch was enjoyed at Bill & Dotty Z’s home. The count total was lower than the last 2 years at 51 species.


The final results are in for the Audubon Bird Food Sale! We tallied 25 orders and received donations of $196. Our total profit this year was $810.39! Slightly down from last year’s profit, but still a respectable amount. Thanks to all who supported this fundraiser!


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