IOU Special Events

opportunities to join others for birding adventures

Past Special Events and Trips

  • 01/21/2017 to NW Iowa (Ida and O'Brien) - Leader(s): Eric Ollie, Don Poggensee, Paul Roisen
    NW Iowa Field Trip: The next IOU field trip will be held in January, with the focus on wintering species in NW Iowa. First, Northern Saw-whet Owls, with an outside chance of Long-eared Owls, at Moorhead Pioneer Park in Ida County. Don Poggensee has guided many hundreds of birders to see these marvelous owls. Next is O’Brien County to check the Waterman area and Sheldon Cemetery. Last 2 years: Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Red and White-winged Crossbill, Bohemian Waxwing, Pine Grosbeak, Pine Siskin and more. . Extension: Depending on time, weather and interest we will go to Owego Wetlands Complex for Short-eared Owls. Date: Saturday, January 21, 2016 Start Time: 10:00AM Meeting Place: Ida County Conservation Center in Moorhead Pioneer Park, west of Ida Grove, IA. Guides: Don Poggensee, Eric Ollie, Paul Roisen …. Cost: $5.00 for IOU members, $10.00 for non-members. Register for this trip by 1/17/17 at: http://www.iowabirds.org/Connections/SpecialEvents.aspx Fees are due by 1/20/17 to be eligible to participate and are non-refundable. Make checks out to "The IOU" Mail trip fees (and trip fees only) to: Eric Ollie 1512 Ridgewood Ave Ames, IA 50010 IOU Membership can pay for itself quickly if you do a couple of Special events trips JOIN here: http://www.iowabirds.org/IOU/Membership.aspx O’Brien County—ASAP after Moorhead Pioneer Park *Carpooling: Highly encouraged due to the distance and to be more “green". Please contact Paul Roisen at roisenp1950@gmail.com or 712-301-2817 if you would like more information or help with car-pooling. We would certainly entertain car-pooling from other areas as well. Hotels are available in Ida Grove and surrounds.

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  • 10/08/2016 to Sedan Bottoms WMA - Leader(s): Tom Johnson, Ray Cummins
    Fall migration sparrows of Appanoose County - On Saturday, October 8th, IOU birders Tom Johnson and Ray Cummins, who are very experienced and know the area well, will guide a field trip through Sedan Bottoms Wildlife Management Area (just southeast of Centerville, near the Missouri border) in search of migrating sparrows. Nelson's and LeConte's Sparrows will be our top goals on this trip, but there will be many other species of sparrows and other birds to see. Meet the group at the Centerville, IA Hy-Vee parking lot at 609 N 18th St.(Highway 5) by 7:45AM. Register on the IOU website and have your non-refundable registration fee in the mail by the end of the day on Sunday, October 2nd. Interested parties MUST be pre-registered and have their fee pre-paid to participate in this field trip. SPECIAL NOTE: Waterproof boots are HIGHLY recommended for this event. It will also be hunting season, so having something blaze orange to wear is also advised. The official field trip will last until around noon or so, but there may be additional birding opportunities in the afternoon for those who are interested. Mail your non-refundable registration fee ($5.00 for IOU members, $10 for non-members - checks preferred) to: Eric Ollie 1512 Ridgewood Ave., Ames, IA 50010.

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  • 06/18/2016 to Yellow River State Forest - Leader(s): Mark Proescholdt, Paul Roisen, Eric Ollie
    Field trip to Yellow River State Forest in Northeast Iowa (Allamakee County), which was officially designated as a Globally Important Bird Area, primarily for its prime nesting habitat for the threatened Cerulean Warbler. This is also a great place to find Blue-winged Warblers, Acadian Flycatchers, Veery and much, much more! We will meet at the Little Paint Creek campground in Yellow River SF by 6:45AM. The field trip will leave the meeting site at 7:00AM sharp, rain or shine. The field trip is scheduled to last until 12:00PM, with an option for an extension in the afternoon to bird Effigy Mounds National Monument for those who are willing. Pre-registration is REQUIRED and the fee is non-refundable.

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  • 04/30/2016 to Shimek State Forest, Lee Co. - Leader(s): Paul Roisen/Eric Ollie
    We will spend the morning searching for early migrants and particularly some of the southeast Iowa specialties like Bewick's Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat, White-eyed Vireo, and Worm-eating Warbler. Two sessions are scheduled - one at 6:00 am and the other at 9:00 am. Please register so we will know how many leaders are needed for each time slot. The trips will commence from Casey's in Donnellson and for those interested in an afternoon extension we may proceed on to some excellent birding locations in Van Buren County.

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  • 10/17/2015 to Grammer Grove Hawk Watch, Marshall Co. - Leader(s): Mark Proescholdt/Eric Ollie
    October is a prime raptor watching time and Grammer Grove, strategically positioned along the Iowa River, is a prime raptor watching area. Join experienced IOU birders and the Grammer Grove hawk watchers as we watch the southerly raptor migration and teach about raptors and raptor identification. The trails of Grammer Grove are also a great place to view other resident and migration passerines! 7:45-8:45AM Sunrise passerine birding 8:45-9:30AM Raptor identification program 9:30-2:00PM Raptor watching Be sure to dress warmly in layers, bring your binoculars and a portable chair to sit on

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  • 10/03/2009 - 10/13/2009 to Central California - Leader(s): Ann Johnson/Jim Bangma
    This trip will concentrate on specialties of the Central California area. Early October is prime time for a wide variety of seabirds and we will maximize our opportunities for these with two charter trips into the Pacific. Our group will be the only people on board so the chances of everyone seeing seabirds and marine mammals is very good. Most of our days will be spent in the Monterey area with ample opportunity for photographers. 10 participants are a minimum at this price.

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  • 06/06/2008 - 06/14/2008 to North Dakota - Leader(s): Linda Donelson
    This trip searches for prairie breeding species such as Baird's Sparrow and Chestnut-collared Longspur. We will bird our way north to the Prairies & Potholes Festival before moving further west. Our return trip will be through the Black Hills where we hope to find the unusual White-winged Junco.

  • 03/04/2008 - 03/12/2008 to Southern California - Leader(s): Jim Fuller/Bill Scheible
    San Diego and Imperial Counties will be visited, with habitats ranging from the Pacific Ocean to the Salton Sea, and mountains and deserts in between. Target birds will range from Brandt's Cormrorant and Surfbird to Le Conte's Thrasher and Yellow-footed Gull, Calif. Gnatcatcher and Nuttall's Woodpecker to Wrentit and Tricolored Blackbird. The weather should be fantastic for Iowans tiring of winter.

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  • 06/16/2007 to Blackmun Prairie - Leader(s): Marlene Ehresman
    Join Marlene Ehresman to help inventory one of the newest public properties, originally protected by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Besides birds, participants can expect to see unique prairie plants and who knows what other discoveries might be in store.

  • 04/27/2007 - 05/06/2007 to Rio Grande Valley - Leader(s): Ann Johnson/Jim Bangma
    After looking for South Texas coastal specialties like Roseate Spoonbill and Wilson's Plover, we head south to the magical land of Altamira Oriole, Plain Chachalaca, and Great Kiskadee. Parrot roosts are sure to entertain and you never know what rarities may be lurking around the corner. As we move up river, we will look for more Mexican species such as Brown Jay, Audubon's Oriole, and White-collared Seedeater as well as enjoy the numerous Scissor-tailed and Vermilion Flycatchers.

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  • 08/04/2006 - 08/13/2006 to Southeast Arizona - Leader(s): Ann Johnson/Jim Bangma
    We will explore the Sky Islands of Southeast Arizona during the post-breeding and monsoon season. Targets will be Mexican specialties which just reach the US in this part of the world. August is a great time for unusual hummingbirds as well as breeding grassland sparrows. Weather can be very hot to pleasantly cool in the mountains. This trip will commence in Phoenix on Friday and end on Sunday morning for flights home. Lodging is included in the trip price.

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  • 05/28/2006 to Southwest Iowa/Fremont County - Leader(s): Ross Silcock
    The strategy for the trip is to focus on sw Iowa specialties (Chuck-will's-widow, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak, Western Kingbird, etc.) and take requests from participants (in advance, hopefully) for personal target birds. This would determine the route taken. Plan to start before dawn at Waubonsie for Chucks, and continue as determined by target birds requested.

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  • 04/29/2006 - 04/30/2006 to Crex Meadows - Leader(s): James Scheib/Jim Fuller
    Crex Meadows near Granstburg, Wisconsin to see the mating display of Sharp-tailed Grouse along with other northern nesting species such as Trumpeter Swan, Common Loon, Bald Eagles, and a variety of egrets, ducks and grebes and migrants. On the way home we visit Necedah NWR to view Whooping Cranes and tour the National Crane Foundation in Baraboo.

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  • 04/01/2005 - 04/09/2005 to Colorado - Leader(s): Ric Zarwell/Doug Faulkner
    After enjoying the cranes in Nebraska en route, and perhaps finding a Whooping Crane, we will enjoy several days birding from the eastern plains to the higher mountain elevations of Colorado. April is grouse season and our local guide Doug Faulkner, a top birder in Colorado, will attempt to find us many specialties such as Lesser Prairie-Chicken and White-tailed Ptarmigan. Be prepared for a variety of habitats and no doubt a variety of weather conditions as well. Spring in Colorado can be exciting!

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