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Eastern Iowa

Birdwatch


The Iowa City Bird Club Newsletter

Volume 37 Number 2                                                                                                            September 2017

 

Schedule

 

Field Trips are free and open to the public.  Meeting place varies and is noted in the schedule.  Carpooling is encouraged and is arranged at the designated meeting place and time.  Some trips are accessible to people with disabilities.  For more information or questions, email info@icbirds.org.  

Meetings are held at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, Room A, 220 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City, generally at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month.

 

September 10, Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Pelican Festival at Hawkeye Wildlife Area, 2564 Amana Road NW, Swisher, with presentations on pelicans, falcons, bees, and the geology of the Coralville Reservoir; exhibits by more than a dozen organizations; food; and face painting.  We need volunteer assistance with setup, parking, and staffing spotting scopes – call Karen Disbrow at 319-430-0315 if you are available. 

 

September 17, Sunday, Cy-Hawk Big Day Challenge.  It’s Hawkeyes vs. Cyclones, Iowa City vs. Ames!  Gather a team and register for this fun birding event by 6 p.m. September 16.  See page 4 for more information. 

 

September 20, Wednesday, 8 a.m. Kent Park Bird Walk.  Meet at the Conservation Education Center.

 

September 21, Thursday, 7 p.m. Meeting.  Mark Madsen, former President of Bur Oak Land Trust, will present “Hidden Gems in Johnson County”.

 

September 30, Saturday, 7 a.m.  Grammer Grove Hawk Watch with Mark Proescholdt.  Target birds are Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Broad-winged Hawk, Sharp-Shinned Hawk, and other migrant raptors. Grammer Grove Wildlife Area is a lovely wooded area on the Iowa River near Marshalltown, 1 hr. 50 min. away. We’ll start by birding its woodland trails, then take a seat and enjoy the hawk watch. Bring a chair and bag lunch.  Meet at the Coralville Kohl’s parking lot across from McDonald’s.   Leader:  Elizabeth Aubrey, 319-430-4165.  

 

October 4, Wednesday, 8 a.m. Kent Park Bird Walk.  Meet at the Conservation Education Center.

 

October 8, Sunday, 8 a.m.  Tailwater Riverwalk Trail for fall migrants.  This ¼-mile paved, accessible trail below the Coralville Dam offers multiple habitats including river, woodland edge, and wet forest bottomland.  Option for those wanting additional hiking is Woodpecker Trail, wrapping up before noon.  Meet at the south end of the parking row at the Devonian Fossil Gorge.  Leader: Linda Rudolph, 319-325-8393.

 

October 14, Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Hawk Watch at Stainbrook Preserve, located along Mehaffey Bridge Road just north of Sugar Bottom Recreation Area.  Join us on the hill to watch for migrating raptors.  At nearby Macbride Nature-Rec. Area, there will be hawk watching at Bluestem Shelter with the Iowa Raptor Project staff, and live raptor presentations at the Raptor Center at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  Chris Edwards, 319-430-4732.

 

October 18, Wednesday, 8 a.m. Kent Park Bird Walk.  Meet at the Conservation Education Center.

 

October 19, Thursday, 7 p.m. Meeting.  Marlene Ehresman, Executive Director of Iowa Wildlife Center in Ames, will present “Bats of Iowa”.

  Continued on next page g

  Schedule (continued)

 

October 22, Sunday, 7:30 a.m. River Valley Wetland and Althea Sherman Swift Tower.  We’ll visit River Valley Wetland for late fall migrants such as Orange-crowned Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Purple Finch, and Rusty Blackbird.  Then we’ll head to Bickett-Rate Preserve for a 10:30 guided tour of Althea Sherman’s Chimney Swift Tower with Barbara & Mike Boyle.  Meet at 7:30 at the North Dodge Hy-Vee parking lot by the gas pumps, or join us at Bickett-Rate Preserve at 10:30.  Leader: Jason Paulios, 319-331-6115.

 

November 1, Wednesday, 8 a.m. Kent Park Bird Walk.  Meet at the Conservation Education Center.

 

November 15, Wednesday, 8 a.m. Kent Park Bird Walk.  Meet at the Conservation Education Center.

 

November 16, Thursday, 7 p.m. Meeting.  Jim Walters of The Songbird Project will present on Purple Martins. 

 

November Field Trip – To Be Announced.  Check our website in October for details. 

 

Other Dates of Note

 

November 10-12, Friday-Sunday, Iowa Ornithologists’ Union Fall Meeting in Dubuque.  For more information visit www.iowabirds.org.

 

October 15, Sunday.  Iowa Young Birders Field Trip to Terry Trueblood Recreation Area in Iowa City.  For more information and to register visit www.iowayoungbirders.org.

 

 


From the Editor’s Desk

Chris Edwards

 

Hello everyone!  As is often the case, the summer season seemed to fly by quickly, and fall migration is well underway.  I hope you took time to enjoy some summer birding and other outdoor activities this year.

 

I have some exciting bird club news to share.  At the May meeting, two new club officers were elected:  Larry Mahoney is our new Treasurer, replacing Bruce Gardner, and Terri Macey is filling the new position of Secretary.  I hope you will extend a warm welcome to both Larry and Terri.  In addition, Karen Disbrow has transitioned from President to the new position of Events Coordinator. 

 

We are still searching for a new President.  By establishing the positions of Secretary and Events Coordinator, we have lightened the load of our next President considerably.  If you think you might be interested in this role, either now or sometime in the future, please contact me or another club officer to talk about the job duties.  For now, although the office is vacant, the duties are being performed by other club members.  This column replaces the former President’s column in the newsletter.  Terri Macey will facilitate our club meetings by making announcements and introducing the speakers.  Karen Disbrow will continue to arrange meeting speakers.  And Rick Hollis will be the primary public contact person for the club. 

 

Although we have discussed potentially changing our meeting location to the new Unitarian-Universalist Church in Coralville, or possibly another site, we will not be making a change before the end of this year.  All our meetings through November will be held in Room A at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center in Iowa City. 

 

Another exciting change we’re hoping to implement in the near future is offering online payment of club dues through PayPal.  Watch our website for updates on this project.

 

We’ve got a full slate of club activities lined up this fall – please join us!


2017 Johnson County Spring Count

Chris Caster

 

The Spring Count was held on May 13, 2017.  Due to our tradition of holding it on the day before Mother’s Day, it was the latest date in May that it could be held.  It was a beautiful day with temperatures between 50 and 83 degrees and clear skies.  There was some wind in the afternoon out of the west/southwest at 10-15 mph.  Although we were missing a number of our stalwarts, 31 individuals participated in some manner.  About a dozen of us got together for lunch in North Liberty.

 

We managed a species count of 156.  We had six waterfowl species including a lone Lesser Scaup.  Thirteen shorebirds were decent and 28 warblers were terrific.  Some of our best birds were warblers.  Still considered a warbler at the time was the Yellow-breasted Chat James Huntington heard and located along Amana Road.  Chris Edwards managed a Louisiana Waterthrush as a yard bird.  Daryl Ropp reported a Hooded Warbler from Hickory Hill Park.  Mark Brown found a Cape May Warbler at Ryerson’s Woods.  Cerulean Warblers were at Hanging Rock Woods and Squire Point.  In other highlights, a Bell’s Vireo was singing south of the Gun Club Ponds and two White-eyed Vireos were at Kent Park.  A Henslow’s Sparrow sang non-stop in a field along Grabin Road near the Iowa County line.  An American Woodcock flew out of the ditch at Williams Prairie, and two Sandhill Cranes were in that vicinity as well.  A Black Tern and Marsh Wrens were at Sycamore Bottoms. Three Great-tailed Grackles were along James Avenue at Hawkeye Wildlife Area.   

 

Great Egret, both American and Least Bitterns, Loggerhead Shrike, and Prothonotary Warbler were missed this year, and unfortunately no one reported any Merlins in Iowa City. 

 

Participants: Elizabeth Aubrey, Kyle and Dena Belcher, Mark Brown, Chris Caster, Brandon Caswell, Chad Davis, Jerry Denning, Karen Disbrow, Chris Edwards, Linda Fisher, Jim Fuller, James Huntington, Trenton Lampe, Andy and Katie Long, Terri Macey, Mark Madsen, Jason McCurdy, Dan McRoberts, Mary Noble, Jason Paulios, Linda Quinn, Mark and Deb Rolfes, Daryl Ropp, Jim Scheib, Sharon Somers, Chris and Jody Troyer, and Donna Warner.  Thanks to everyone for a great day.       

 

SPECIES LIST


Canada Goose                        202

Wood Duck                            24

Mallard                                  28

Blue-winged Teal                      8

Northern Shoveler                      4

Lesser Scaup                             1

Northern Bobwhite                     3     

Ring-necked Pheasant               11

Wild Turkey                             6

Pied-billed Grebe                       3

Rock Pigeon                           16

Eurasian Collared-Dove               3

Mourning Dove                       75

Common Nighthawk                  2

Chimney Swift                       110

Ruby-throated Hummingbird       2

Sora                                        1

American Coot                        12

Sandhill Crane                          2

Semipalmated Plover                  9

Killdeer                                  29

Dunlin                                     1

Least Sandpiper                      135

White-rumped Sandpiper             8

Pectoral Sandpiper                     3

Semipalmated Sandpiper             4

Short-billed Dowitcher              17

American Woodcock                  1

Spotted Sandpiper                    18

Solitary Sandpiper                     3

Lesser Yellowlegs                    34

Wilson’s Phalarope                    1

Ring-billed Gull                        3

Caspian Tern                            9

Black Tern                               1

Forster’s Tern                           9

Double-crested Cormorant           5

American White Pelican          405

Great Blue Heron                     17

Green Heron                              2

Turkey Vulture                        69 

Osprey                                     1

Bald Eagle                              15

Northern Harrier                         1

Cooper’s Hawk                         3

Broad-winged Hawk                   1

Red-tailed Hawk                      16

Eastern Screech-Owl                   1

Great Horned Owl                      1

Barred Owl                               2

Belted Kingfisher                       5

Red-headed Woodpecker            25

Red-bellied Woodpecker            39

Downy Woodpecker                 29

Hairy Woodpecker                    11

Northern Flicker                       12

Pileated Woodpecker                  2

American Kestrel                       2

Eastern Wood-Pewee                26

Alder Flycatcher                        1

Willow Flycatcher                     7

Least Flycatcher                         3

Eastern Phoebe                        29

Great Crested Flycatcher            45

Eastern Kingbird                      39

White-eyed Vireo                       3

Bell’s Vireo                              1

Yellow-throated Vireo               24

Blue-headed Vireo                      5

Warbling Vireo                        46

Red-eyed Vireo                        69

Blue Jay                               114

American Crow                        36

Horned Lark                              1

Purple Martin                          71

Tree Swallow                          62

Northern Rough-winged Swallow 3

Cliff Swallow                          64

Barn Swallow                          56

Black-capped Chickadee            43

Tufted Titmouse                      20

White-breasted Nuthatch            20

House Wren                            92

Sedge Wren                              3

Marsh Wren                              2

Carolina Wren                           6

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher               30

Eastern Bluebird                      16

Gray-cheeked Thrush                  6

Swainson’s Thrush                  25

Wood Thrush                          10

American Robin                     178

Gray Catbird                          115

Brown Thrasher                       10

Northern Mockingbird                2

European Starling                     92

Cedar Waxwing                       33

House Sparrow                        56

Eurasian Tree Sparrow              18

House Finch                            15

American Goldfinch                123

Ovenbird                                21

Louisiana Waterthrush                1

Northern Waterthrush                13

Golden-winged Warbler              5

Blue-winged Warbler                  6

Black-and-white Warbler             8

Tennessee Warbler                   38

Orange-crowned Warbler             1

Nashville Warbler                    19

Mourning Warbler                     3

Common Yellowthroat            136

Hooded Warbler                        1

American Redstart                  121

Cape May Warbler                     1

Cerulean Warbler                       3

Northern Parula                        10

Magnolia Warbler                      7

Bay-breasted Warbler                  2

Blackburnian Warbler                 3

Yellow Warbler                       26

Chestnut-sided Warbler             28

Blackpoll Warbler                      7

Palm Warbler                          10

Yellow-rumped Warbler            29

Yellow-throated Warbler             5

Black-throated Green Warbler       6

Canada Warbler                         1

Yellow-breasted Chat                  1

Eastern Towhee                       23

Chipping Sparrow                    29

Field Sparrow                          24

Vesper Sparrow                         3

Lark Sparrow                            3

Savannah Sparrow                      5

Grasshopper Sparrow                  7

Henslow’s Sparrow                    1

Song Sparrow                          53

Lincoln’s Sparrow                     3

Swamp Sparrow                        2

White-throated Sparrow             24

White-crowned Sparrow            26

Scarlet Tanager                        32

Northern Cardinal                   111

Rose-breasted Grosbeak             42

Indigo Bunting                        61

Dickcissel                                 8

Bobolink                                  3

Red-winged Blackbird             414

Eastern Meadowlark                  29

Western Meadowlark                  1

Common Grackle                     58

Great-tailed Grackle                    3

Brown-headed Cowbird             50

Orchard Oriole                         18

Baltimore Oriole                      82

 

TOTAL SPECIES                 156


 

 


Cy-Hawk Big Day Sept. 17

 

The fourth annual Cy-Hawk Big Day Challenge is Sunday, September 17.  Join us for this friendly, spirited competition as teams from the Iowa City Bird Club (and Hawkeye friends across the state) compete against teams from Big Bluestem Audubon Society of Ames (and Cyclone friends across the state) to find the most bird species in one day. 

 

To participate, form a team of two or more birders and register your team with Karen Disbrow by 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 16 – by email at k_disbrow@yahoo.com, or by text or phone at 319-430-0315.  On September 17, your team may bird for as much or as little as you like between midnight and midnight, anywhere in the state.  At least two members of the team must positively identify each bird, whether seen or heard.  The complete rules are posted on our website.

 

This year we are asking each participant for a minimum $5 donation for Iowa Audubon.  Please send your donation to Karen Disbrow, 1917 I Street, Iowa City, IA  52240.

 

After the competition, email your bird list to Chris Edwards at credwards@aol.com by Wednesday, September 20.  The results from all our teams will be compiled into one list for the club.  The club with the most species wins bragging rights and the coveted Kent-Dinsmore traveling trophy.  The Iowa City Bird Club won the first three annual competitions, so let’s try to keep the trophy in Iowa City for another year!


The Mobile Phone eBird App

Linda Rudolph

 

I am not a sophisticated user of technology.  I was aware that eBird had a mobile phone app for many years and was not interested in using it.  Instead, I kept my daily sightings in a notebook and then transcribed them to my laptop at home.  Each month eBird has a challenge.  You can view the monthly challenge by going to the eBird page and looking under the Home tab.  Participating in the monthly challenge can make you look at your data differently, help you enter data more correctly and broaden your knowledge base.  One month last year, the monthly challenge was to enter 15 complete lists of bird sightings using the mobile phone app.  OK, I thought to myself, I can do this.  I went to the eBird internet page and pressed the Help tab.  I found a bullet – eBird Mobile Apps Overview.  It shows you where to obtain these free apps, either for an iPhone or an Android device.  I found the first couple of lists I entered to be a cumbersome and bothersome process.  I was determined, though, and by the third list I was more knowledgeable and found it easier.  By the end of the month, I was converted to being an eBird mobile app user and that is what I use today.

 

A brief overview of using the mobile eBird app:

Ø  Tap on the eBird icon on your phone.

Ø  Press Start New Checklist.  A screen pops up that gives you choices for selecting your location.  I generally try to pick Choose a Nearby Hotspot if that’s where I am. 

Ø  After you make a location choice a screen pops up with the date and time.  At the bottom is a green bar, Start Checklist.  Press this.

Ø  A list of the most likely species in the area pops up.   Let’s say you see an American Robin.  Press the box species name/code and start typing “Amer”.  Right away a list pops up and you can see American Robin is your second choice.  Tap on it and you can enter the number you observe, breeding codes, and make observations.    When you are finished with your entry, press done in the upper right-hand corner.

Ø  When you are finished with your observations and ready to submit your list, press the Review and Submit green bar at the bottom of the screen.  If you have the typing entry screen displayed, just slide it down and the Review and Submit bar will appear.

Ø  Fill in the information:   Are you submitting a complete checklist…, Observation Type, and Checklist Comments.  Then press the green Submit bar at the bottom.

 

You can find a much more detailed explanation of how to use the eBird Mobile App on the eBird website.  Just go to the Help tab and then look for eBird Mobile FAQs.

 

What are the advantages of the Mobile Phone eBird app?  First, it saves time.  Instead of writing down your observations in a notebook and then transcribing them at home, you just enter your observations once.  I find it very helpful that when you are entering your observations it alerts you right away if you are seeing a rare bird or an unusual number of birds.  This prompts me to make a more careful observation, write field notes, and try to get photo or audio documentation if possible.  Also, I find the mobile app much easier to use in locations that I am not familiar with.  When this occurs, I can choose a Location from Map.  This makes documentation of species in unknown locations very easy.

 

I find eBird to be an amazing tool.  I learned new features and functions just while I was writing this and I bet there are many more that I am not aware of.   I hope you consider giving it a try and by doing this you will contribute to citizen science.

Hickory Hill Park Warbler Walks – April 27-May 26, 2017

Day of Week

 

Th

F

M

T

W

Th

F

M

T

W

Th

F

M

T

W

Th

F

M

T

W

Th

F

Species / Date

Days

27

28

1

2

3

4

5

8

9

10

11

12

15

16

17

18

19

22

23

24

25

26

Ovenbird

8

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

X

X

X

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Worm-eating Warbler

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louisiana Waterthrush

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Waterthrush

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

Golden-winged Warbler

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Blue-winged Warbler

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-and-white Warbler

8

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

Tennessee Warbler

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

 

Orange-crowned Warbler

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

A

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nashville Warbler

12

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

Connecticut Warbler

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Mourning Warbler

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

X

Kentucky Warbler

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Yellowthroat

17

 

X

 

 

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

Hooded Warbler

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Redstart

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

Cape May Warbler

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cerulean Warbler

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Parula

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnolia Warbler

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

X

 

X

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

X

X

 

Bay-breasted Warbler

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackburnian Warbler

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

X

 

Yellow Warbler

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

X

X

 

Blackpoll Warbler

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

X

X

X

 

 

Palm Warbler

3

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler

10

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow-throated Warbler

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-throated Green Warbler

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Canada Warbler

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

Wilson's Warbler

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

A

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

X

 

X = Found on Warbler Walk   A = Found but not on Warbler Walk

Others:  Black-billed Cuckoo 5/19; Alder Flycatcher 5/17, 5/18, 5/23; Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 5/22, 5/25, 5/26;

Philadelphia Vireo 5/22; Summer Tanager 5/9, 5/12, 5/18; Orchard Oriole 5/9, 5/10.

Note: the 5/19 walk was rained out.


In Memoriam: 

Linda Scarth

 

Linda Loos Scarth died July 3, 2017, at Hospice of Mercy in Hiawatha of mesothelioma. Daughter of Clinton George Loos and Helen Vaitonis Loos of Colby, Wisconsin, she was born April 19, 1941. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Robert Douglas Scarth, daughter Jennifer Short, grandchildren Ethan Short, Benjamin Short, and Eliana Short, and sister Jane Ellen Loos.

 

Linda received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (home economics) and master’s degrees from Pennsylvania State University (child development and family relations), the University of Georgia (Ed.D.-Doctorate early childhood education), and the University of Iowa (M.A.-Masters library and information science). Her unusually wide range of careers speaks to her equally wide range of interests: assistant professor of education, Brenau College, Gainesville, Georgia; assistant professor of family and child development, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama; child development specialist, educational consultant, and assistant professor of pediatrics, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri; school counselor, New England Girls School, Armidale, New South Wales; and most recently reference librarian, Mount Mercy College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

 

A strong commitment to conservation and an abiding appreciation of beauty led Linda and Robert to photography as a means of highlighting and preserving the natural world. They traveled widely, photographing in Australia, Africa, the Falkland Islands, and South America, focusing most closely on nature’s smallest inhabitants in exquisite detail. They also photographed animals, birds, landforms, and other lovely and interesting subjects. In 2009, they published the book Deep Nature: Photographs from Iowa, a celebration of the flora and fauna of their Iowa community; its epigraph, Walt Whitman’s “every leaf is a miracle,” captures the essence of Linda’s outlook on life. She generously shared her love of nature by giving many presentations on ecology and photography across the Midwest. From January through May 2018, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art will host an exhibition of Robert and Linda’s photographs.

 

Linda had skill, grace, and dedication in abundance and the energy and persistence to transform these qualities into tangible contributions; she brought a thoughtful passion to everything she said and did. Donations in her honor may be made to the groups that she was most active in: the Iowa Native Plant Society, Cedar Rapids Audubon Society, Iowa City Bird Club, Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swifts’ Tower Project, and Prairie States Mushroom Club.

 

A memorial gathering was held on August 12 at Wickiup Hill Learning Center.  Linda will be missed greatly by all who knew her.

 

Field Trip and Meeting Reports

 

March 25, Cone Marsh.  Nine foolish people showed up in miserable weather for our trip to Cone Marsh.  Bruce Gardner was one of them, and he wisely departed after dropping off the club spotting scope and radios and realizing I could handle the trip without him.  It was misty or rainy the whole morning, and windy with temperatures in the 40s.

 

We stopped at the Great Horned Owl nest in Lone Tree, then looped around Cone Marsh in a clockwise direction.  (That seemed “off” to me as I always go in the other direction.)  We stopped at the owl nest in Lone Tree again, then went to Pechman Delta.  We then stopped at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area before returning to our meeting spot.  I detoured to Sycamore Bottoms to show a new person how to get there.  

 

The Sandhill Cranes at Cone Marsh are always a treat.  But the big treat for me was when we stopped at the gas station in Lone Tree.  The pleasant young woman who was working there asked if we were bird watching and if we were looking for the owls.  I think that may be the first time someone asked if we were birding. It turned out she lives on the owl street.

 

Jerry gets the bird-finding award  for pulling a couple of sleeping Ruddy Ducks out of hundreds of American Coots.  He also spotted the Horned Grebe at our last stop.  We ended up with 37 species.  We surely would have had more had the light been better and had not the windows and optics been covered by rain on one side of the car. 

 

Participants:  Jerry Denning, Bruce Gardner, Therese Guedon, Hetty Hall, Peter Hansen, Rick Hollis (leader), Terri Macey.

 

Birds (37 species):  Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Mourning Dove, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Wilson’s Snipe, Herring Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Great Horned Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, American Robin, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle.

                                                         – Rick Hollis

 

April 2, Kent Park.  Although it was spitting rain as we started, it stopped fairly quickly.  It’s always a treat to see the first Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Eastern Phoebes, and butterbutts of the season. We were also thrilled to listen to rare Stereophonic Field Sparrows.

 

After birding Kent Park, we stopped at Goose Lake in North Liberty, where we added a number of waterfowl and other birds to our species list. 

 

Participants:  Paul and Janet Abbas, Jerry Denning, Karen Disbrow, Dennis Domsic, Hetty Hall, Peter Hansen, Judie Hermsen, Rick Hollis (leader), Larry Mahoney, Connie Peterson.

 

Birds: (34 species):  Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Wild Turkey, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Mourning Dove, American Coot, Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull, American White Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, European Starling, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Field Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle.

                                                         – Rick Hollis

 

April 8, Hawkeye Wildlife Area.  It was a pleasant, sunny morning. It started out cool but temperatures warmed into the mid-60s by late morning.  We visited Swan Lake, the woods and pond north of Swan Lake, Gun Club Ponds, Greencastle causeway, Round Pond, and the trail south of Round Pond.

 

Participants:  Jerry Denning, Karen Disbrow, Dennis Domsic, Peter Hansen, Judie Hermsen, Rick Hollis (leader), Terri Macey, Ramona McGurk, Ben Rowold, Peter Trueblood, Bill and Donna Warner.

 

Birds (42 species):  Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser,  Pied-billed Grebe, Mourning Dove, American Coot, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird.

                                                         – Rick Hollis

 

April 15, Otter Creek Marsh.  Five participants carpooled to the wildlife area in Tama County.  At the viewing platform we met our trip leader, Eric Ollie from Big Bluestem Audubon Society in Ames, and three of their members, making a party size of nine.  It was a cloudy, cool day, and the forecasted rain didn’t happen.  The wind picked up quite a bit by the time we ended about 1 p.m.

 

Eric led us to viewing areas and walks around the marsh, including one gravel drive that was new to all of us.  Our newest club member, Hetty, spotted the very best bird, a Green Heron, just as we were departing.  She remembered a birding tip from class (don’t shout) and by the time Jerry saw this bird was something special, well the others had gone.  That’s the way it goes sometimes!

 

Participants:  Jerry Denning, Therese Guedon, Hetty Hall, Linda Quinn (assistant trip leader), Sharon Somers.

 

Birds (59 species): Canada Goose, Trumpeter Swan, Wood Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Ring-necked Pheasant, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Sora, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Ring-billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, House Wren, Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Brown Thrasher, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird.

                                                       – Linda Quinn

 

April 20, Meeting.  Robert and Linda Scarth presented “Restore It and They Will Come: The Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swift Tower” – stories  and photographs of the three Chimney Swift families that occupied the tower in 2014, 2015, and 2016.  It was a marvelous program and including amazing video and sound recordings. 

 

Attendees:  Paul and Janet Abbas, Janet Ashman, Drew Dillman, Karen Disbrow, Dennis Domsic, Vic and Nola Edwards, Linda Fisher, Bruce Gardner, Judie Hermsen, Rick Hollis, Pat Kieffer, Jane Knoedel, Mary Noble, Linda Quinn, Jan Reiter, Tom and Carol Rosenberger, Ben Rowold, Katie Sarsfield, Marcia Shaffer, Bill and Donna Warner.

                                                  – Karen Disbrow

 

April 22, Waterworks Prairie Park.  It was a pretty day, but the birding itself was disappointing.  We skipped Terry Trueblood Recreation Area because of a public event being held there.

 

Participants:  Karen Disbrow (leader), Dennis Domsic, Peter Hansen, Julie Hermsen, Pat Kieffer, Donna Warner.

 

Birds (4 species):  Canada Goose, Ring-billed Gull, Tree Swallow, American Goldfinch. 

                                                  – Karen Disbrow

 

April 30, Hickory Hill Park.  The weather was bad and a pre-trip walk through the park by Mark Madsen failed to produce anything noteworthy, so the trip was cancelled.

                                                  – Karen Disbrow

 

May 18, Meeting.  During this meeting attendees approved a donation, elected new officers, and enjoyed a presentation by Dick Sayles on “Birding Panama’s Darien Lowlands”.

 

Members attending the meeting approved a $200 donation to John Stravers to continue his work on Cerulean Warblers in the McGregor/Lansing area. This area is identified as a Globally Important Bird Area.  Stravers’ research has focused on the importance of walnut trees for nesting Ceruleans.

 

Karen Disbrow reminded the group of a potential new location for club meetings.  At some point in the next year, meetings may be held at the new Universalist-Unitarian Church in Coralville.  Details about the move are not yet available, but we will keep you posted.

 

The group thanked outgoing officers, President Karen Disbrow and Treasurer Bruce Gardner, for their many years of service to the ICBC. Nominations were then held for new officers.  Larry Mahoney was elected as the new Treasurer. Terri Macey was elected the new Secretary. The position of President remains open.  Contact Karen Disbrow if you are interested in stepping forward to fill this office.

 

Dick Sayles, past President of Quad Cities Audubon, described his trip to Panama in October 2016.  The following summary was provided by Dick.

 

My 2016 birding trip to Panama was with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours.  Barry Zimmer and Carlos Bethancourt served as the guides at Canopy Camp and Barry Zimmer and Danilo Rodriguez served as the guides at Canopy Lodge in Darien, Panama.

 

I left my home in Buffalo, Iowa on September 29, traveled to Panama and spent the week of October 1-8 birding at the Canopy Camp in eastern Panama. I spent the next week, October 9-15, birding at Canopy Lodge in western Panama.

 

Birding with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours has always been extraordinary in my experience. During this excursion, I personally tallied 337 Panamanian birds, including 138 life birds, with four life birds at the Tocumen-Hotel Riande Aeropureto, our motel in Panama City.

 

Personally the highlight of Panama was the adventure experience of the trek for the Harpy Eagle. The Panamanian guides Carlos and Danilo are second to none. From the Red-billed Scythebill, Rufous-crested Coquette, Purple-Crowned Fairy, Veraguan Mango, and Spectacled Owl, to the mammals and butterflies – they provided highlights and memories to last a lifetime.

 

In the last year I have birded with Barry Zimmer from Yaviza Wetlands of the Darien Lowlands to Point Barrow, Alaska, and I can’t wait for the next adventure. These trips always include excellent accommodations and food. I’ve had excellent birding companions on all these trips.

 

Attendees:  Jerry Denning, Karen Disbrow, Chris Edwards, Linda Fisher, Bruce Gardner, Peter Hansen, Lois Hughes, Merle Ihne, Terri Macey, Larry Mahoney, Linda Quinn, Bob and Linda Scarth, Donna Warner.

                                                       Terri Macey

 

May 20, Wildcat Den State Park.  Our trip to Wildcat Den near Muscatine was cancelled due to impending heavy rain.  But since three of us were dedicated (or crazy) enough to show up at the meeting place at 6:30 a.m. in a light rain anyway, we decided to don our rain gear and walk through Hickory Hill Park.  Not surprisingly we had the park mostly to ourselves.  We failed to find our primary target bird, Connecticut Warbler, but we did hear or see some other nice birds including Veery, Swainson’s Thrush, Canada Warbler, Mourning Warbler, and Scarlet Tanager.  Eventually the light rain progressed to moderate rain, and after an enjoyable 90-minute walk through the north and south canyons, we called it a morning.

 

Participants:  Jerry Denning, Chris Edwards (leader), Jamie McCoy.

 

Birds (20 species):  Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, House Wren, Veery, Swainson’s Thrush, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Tennessee Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Canada Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole.

                                                   Chris Edwards

 

June 3, Terry Trueblood Recreation Area and Sycamore Bottoms Marsh.  I’ve been on many Iowa City Bird Club trips, but this one was special because it was my first time leading one. Many thanks to those who came out to support me, especially since it was a three-hour open sun hike in 90-degree weather. I was skeptical as to how good of a day it would be, thinking that migration was over, but it ended up being a pretty good trip!

 

Twelve of us started out at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area at 8 a.m.  Immediately from the parking lot we saw an Eastern Kingbird and a Yellow Warbler.  Off to a great start!  We heard a Willow Flycatcher calling and were surprised to see four female Hooded Mergansers in the water. An even bigger surprise was three of our party had brief flight looks and glimpses through the willows at what they believed to be an American Bittern. As the rest of our group tried to hurry down the path to get looks, the bird was spooked and flew off deeper into the reeds. So a positive identification was unable to be confirmed.

 

Next we headed over to Sycamore Bottoms. As soon as we got out of the car, a Western Meadowlark was calling which we were able to locate at the top of a large bush. The excitement was soon interrupted by a Yellow-Billed Cuckoo that flew in, and we were able to obtain very nice looks. We started down the trail to see and hear many Dickcissels calling. Upon reaching the water we saw a family of Wood Ducks – three females, two males, and at least 18 babies – followed by a Sandhill Crane flyover.  The most impressive sight was probably the 20+ Great Blue Herons hanging out in the branches of distant dead trees!

 

We then made our way over to the Saddlebrook Wetland Trail which began with the sighting of first-summer male and female Orchard Orioles, and a female Baltimore Oriole going in and out of her nest. We were then lucky enough to hear a Least Bittern calling many times. We probably spent 20 minutes patiently waiting, hoping to catch a glimpse, but no reward. Our efforts ended with an amazing up-close look at a calling Sedge Wren. By 11 a.m. we were all ready for some AC and called it day!

 

Participants: Chad and Colleen Davis, Jerry Denning, Dennis and Judy Domsic, Wendelin Guentner, Kt Long (leader), Jamie McCoy, Jason McCurdy, Linda McHand, Linda Quinn, Ben Rowold.

 

Birds (44 species):  Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Pheasant, Mourning Dove, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swift, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Northern Flicker, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Warbling Vireo, Tree Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sedge Wren, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, House Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Dickcissel, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole.

                                                              Kt Long

 

June 17, Turkey Vulture Festival.  About 35 people attended this year’s festival, jointly hosted by the Iowa City Bird Club and Army Corps of Engineers at the Coralville Dam East Overlook.

 

A featured highlight was Gonzo the Turkey Vulture, a live bird shown by two handlers from Raptology.  Exhibits about vulture biology and habitat were also presented.  About 35 Turkey Vultures roosting on the side of the dam lifted off between 9:30 – 10:00 a.m.

 

Exhibitors included Shawn Hawks, Iowa Raptor Project; Dave Irwin, East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association; Jim Walters, The Songbird Project; Iowa City Bird Club; Iowa Ornithologists’ Union; and Iowa Audubon.  Kids’ face painting was provided by Funny Face by Lori.  Thanks to Karla Sparks, Pat Witinok,  and Dean Hillman of the Army Corps of Engineers who had lots of great games and  information on the Coralville Dam. Also thanks to Adriane Moline and Terry Escher for helping. 

                                                  Karen Disbrow

 

June 24, Indiangrass Hills.  We met at the Kohl’s in Coralville at 6:30 a.m.  and headed west to Iowa County.  We got off I-80 just west of Williamsburg, and the Kum & Go there was in the process of being rebuilt so there was no pit stop. 

 

Just west of the J Avenue and 250th Street “T” intersection, on the north side of the road were Bobolinks, Grasshopper Sparrows, a Northern Mockingbird, a Loggerhead Shrike, and more.  At the curve to the south we had a singing Henslow’s Sparrow.

 

When we arrived at Indiangrass Hills, we could hear Grasshopper and Henslow’s Sparrows from the parking lot, as well as see and hear Bobolinks.  We hiked less than 100 yards into the prairie and had good looks at Henslow’s and Grasshopper Sparrows.  Katie and Andy Long brought their nice, new scope and everyone in the group got awesome looks at all the target birds, including the mockingbird and shrike. 

 

Down in the basin area we saw and heard a Sedge Wren, both expected orioles, several Eastern Towhees, and several species of woodpeckers, including Red-headed.  At this point I had to leave so I announced that we had done exceptionally well and the only somewhat expected target we were missing was Bell’s Vireo (aside from the possible Northern Bobwhite, Upland Sandpiper, or Western Meadowlark).  Everyone decided to head back at this point.  We saw the shrike again on our way out.  It was a great time!  Excellent temps, a tad windy, but it didn't affect the birding at all.

 

Participants:  Elizabeth Aubrey, Brandon Caswell (leader), Jerry Denning, Therese Guedon, Dean Hester, Bruce Hoehsteffer, Lois Hughes, Merle Ihne, Andy and Katie Long, Sarah Losso, Linda Quinn, Ben Rowold.

 

Birds (51 species):  Ring-necked Pheasant, Wild Turkey, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Killdeer, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Warbling Vireo, Blue Jay, Tree Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, House Wren, Sedge Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, American Goldfinch, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow’s Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Dickcissel, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole.

 

eBird checklist with photographs:

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37772077

                                               Brandon Caswell

 

July 15, Iowa City Butterfly Count.  Five people participated in the 19th annual Iowa City Butterfly Count as part of the North American Butterfly Association’s 4th of July Butterfly Count program.  We visited Kent Park, Hawkeye Wildlife Area, Macbride Nature-Recreation Area, Lake Macbride State Park, and Turkey Creek Preserve, and also counted along area roadsides. 

 

After below-average counts earlier in the summer at Shimek State Forest and Yellow River State Forest, I wasn’t optimistic about good numbers on this count, but the results were better than expected.  The long-term average for this count is 33 species and 1111 individuals.  This year in 9.5 party-hours we found 36 species and 1103 individuals.  Many species totals were very close to their long-term averages. 

 

Species seen in significantly above-average numbers were Cabbage White, Summer Azure, Meadow Fritillary (record high count), Pearl Crescent (ties record high count), Common Buckeye, and Black Dash (record high count).

 

Species seen in significantly below-average numbers were Clouded Sulphur, Orange Sulphur, and Dun Skipper (missed).

 

The most exciting find was a Regal Fritillary at Hawkeye Wildlife Area – only the second one ever found on the count.  This large, spectacular prairie butterfly has declined in many areas and is rare in eastern Iowa.

 

Participants:  Mark Brown, Shelley Cromer, Chris Edwards (leader), Frank Olsen, Linda Rudolph.

 

Butterflies:  Black Swallowtail 8, Giant Swallowtail 1, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 9, Cabbage White 324, Clouded Sulphur 149, Orange Sulphur 51, Cloudless Sulphur 3, Little Yellow 29, Dainty Sulphur 1, Bronze Copper 2, Eastern Tailed-Blue 48, Summer Azure 140, American Snout 1, Variegated Fritillary 1, Great Spangled Fritillary 36, Regal Fritillary 1, Meadow Fritillary 70, Pearl Crescent 39, Question Mark 1, Eastern Comma 3, Gray Comma 1, American Lady 3, Painted Lady 4, Red Admiral 16, Common Buckeye 47, Red-spotted Purple 3, Viceroy 12, Hackberry Emperor 1, Common Wood-Nymph 19, Monarch 32, Silver-spotted Skipper 12, Common Sootywing 4, Least Skipper 20, Fiery Skipper 5, Peck’s Skipper 2, Black Dash 5.

                                                   Chris Edwards

August 20, Hawkeye Wildlife Area.  We met at the newly created Sand Point parking lot and proceeded down the gravel headed for Sand Point.  As soon as we emerged from the trees we heard a Blue Grosbeak and stopped to look for it.  It eluded most of us.  But rain was threatening and we saw that the radar indicated strong cells coming our way.  A few of us did not have rain gear and none of us thought it prudent to be in an unprotected location like Sand Point during a storm.  So we headed back to our cars.  But it wasn’t really raining yet so we hung out at the parking lot for a while.

 

Being somewhat higher, the parking lot really gave a good vantage for viewing Swan Lake.  There were a few kingfishers which perched for good looks.  A couple of Pied-billed Grebes were seen and a Great Blue Heron.  Most interesting was an Osprey that made numerous dives into the lake surface.  Unfortunately we never did witness a catch.  In the trees around the parking lot we also spotted a redstart and a Chestnut-sided Warbler.

 

Still not wishing to chance the weather for a run to Sand Point we decided to carpool over to see what we might find along James Avenue.  Mark knew where Sedge Wrens could be found and we managed to call one out quickly.  He sat up for looks while we listened to him sing.  Nearby we also found Dicksissels.  We continued to the end of James Avenue. where we were surprised to hear a Bell’s Vireo.  From there we could scope a large number of pelicans in the shallow waters to the west.  Many Ring-billed Gulls were present as well as a few Franklin’s Gulls and a Caspian Tern.  Blue-winged Teal were also present in eclipse plumage.

 

Soon however it began to rain and the sky was getting dark, so we got back into the cars to return to the vehicles we left at the Sand Point lot.  Ironically when we got there the sky was clearing, so we decided to finally walk out to Sand Point.  On the gravel we had some looks at Vesper Sparrows.  The walk continued to be interesting.  Those towards the back spied a Red-shouldered Hawk in the trees to the east, but this bird moved out of sight and wasn’t seen by everyone.  However a Yellow-billed Cuckoo was visible as we searched for the hawk, as were some young male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.  Continuing on we heard Eastern Bluebirds, came upon Song Sparrows, more Dickcissels, a Common Yellowthroat and a Clay-colored Sparrow.  The Clay-colored was tough to spot, but I believe everyone got to see it.

  

At the base of Sand Point we found some birds close by to the east.  We had some good looks at Pectoral and Least Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, and a Short-billed Dowitcher.  It was getting close to eleven by this time and those getting ready for the club picnic chose to leave.  Those that stayed continued to study the shorebirds a bit further out.  Wilson’s Snipe, Semipalmated Plovers and Sandpipers, and Baird’s Sandpipers were all in small numbers.  A small number of Bobolinks could be heard as they moved around on the point.  A Yellow Warbler was in the willows.  In the water off the west side were a number of Stilt Sandpipers and a Spotted Sandpiper was added.

 

Thanks to everyone who showed up and made the best of the overcast weather.  Thanks to Brandon for forwarding his e-bird list.

 

Participants:  Elizabeth Aubrey, Chris Brochu, Mark Brown, Chris Caster (leader), Brandon Caswell, Terri Macey, Linda Quinn, Sharon Somers.

 

Species (77):  Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Stilt Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Wilson’s Snipe, Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Franklin’s Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Caspian Tern, Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Bell’s Vireo, Warbling Vireo,  Blue Jay, American Crow, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren, Sedge Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, House Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Clay-colored Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Dickcissel, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle.

                                                      Chris Caster

 

Bird Notes

Rick Hollis

 

Female Colors

Female birds are typically not as brightly colored as males.  But their coloration can convey the same kinds of information that male coloration does.  In one study in Ohio it was found that the brighter a female Northern Cardinal’s facial pattern, the more aggressive she was in nest defense.  But this was not found to be true in all parts of the species’ range, as a study in Mississippi showed no relationship between female facial color and nest defense.   This kind of makes sense if you know that cardinal breeding territories are larger in Mississippi and there is little con-specific nest parasitism.  In Ohio the territories are smaller and females are more likely to lay an egg in a  neighbor’s nest.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161123143901.htm

 

Diving Birds and Neck Injuries

Scientists were interested in how birds that plunge-feed, like gannets and boobies, manage to avoid injuring their necks despite hitting the water at speeds of up to 50 mph.  So they looked at the skulls and necks of the birds and the forces involved.  3D-printed models of the skulls were used to measure force.  A 3D-printed cone was mounted on a flexible rubber neck, and dives were simulated by plunging this model into a water basin at various speeds and angles to see when the neck would buckle.  They found that the birds’ narrow pointed beaks and neck length keeps the drag force in a safe range.  The birds also contract their necks before impact, which further protects the neck from injury.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161005160101.htm


 

 

IOWA CITY BIRD CLUB MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL FORM

 

Please send this form with your annual membership dues to Larry Mahoney, 2223 Cae Drive, Iowa City, IA  52246.  Annual membership dues per household are $15 for a print subscription, $10 for an email subscription, and $10 for students for a print subscription.  Make checks payable to “Eastern Iowa Birdwatch”.  Members receive a 10% discount on birdseed and suet at Ace Hardware at 600 N. Dodge Street, Iowa City, and Forever Green Garden Center at 125 Forevergreen Rd., Coralville.

 

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Iowa City Bird Club

 

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Annual membership dues per household are $15 for a print subscription, $10 for an email subscription, and $10 for students for a print subscription, payable by January 1 for the coming year.  Check your mailing label for the year you have paid through.  Make checks payable to Eastern Iowa Birdwatch and mail to Larry Mahoney, 2223 Cae Drive, Iowa City, IA  52246.  You may contact Larry at ltjmahoney@aol.com.

 

For general club information, contact Rick Hollis at 319-665-3141 or xiboia@earthlink.net.

 

To lead or suggest a field trip, contact Field Trip Coordinator Linda Quinn at 319-330-3328 or quinnhenry@msn.com.

 

Visit our web site at www.icbirds.org.  You may contact Webmaster Jim Scheib at 319-337-5206 or jim@tenlongview.net. Also visit Iowa City Bird Club on Facebook.

 

Eastern Iowa Birdwatch is published three times per year, in April, September, and December. Send submissions and comments to Editor Chris Edwards at credwards@aol.com.  You may also contact Chris at 319-430-4732.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Iowa Birdwatch

Chris Edwards, Editor

4490 Daniels Cir. NE

Solon, IA  52333