About the Iowa Ornithologists' Union

The Iowa Ornithologists' Union was founded in 1923, bringing together a group of people interested in the study and enjoyment of wild birds.

WHO is an ornithologist? YOU are an ornithologist!

If you enjoy the wild birds of Iowa, then you are one of us! No degrees, no training, no experience required.

The IOU was formed in 1923 to:

  • encourage interest in the identification, study, and protection of birds
  • unite all those persons who have this interest in common
  • collect and preserve knowledge on the occurrence of birds in Iowa
  • publish a journal appropriate to its purposes
  • conduct meetings of its members
  • promote bird study in Iowa

Yes, the IOU does have professional ornithologists and other trained scientists among our membership, but the vast majority of our members are "ornithologists" in the broader sense only- amateur birders who are passionate about the wild birds of Iowa. We are teachers and plumbers, bus drivers and dentists, homemakers and accountants, insurance brokers and couriers. We are teenagers to octogenarians, photographers and recordists, world listers and backyard birders. If you are passionate about the wild birds of Iowa too, and would like to learn more about them, would like to develop the skills needed to see more of them or would like to hang out with some really great people who share your passion for birds, then you should give the IOU a try!