Fall 2019 Iowa Ornithologists Union Meeting Summary
Maria Story – Author/Pip Fisher – Detail refinement
The Ornithologists Union members convened at Central College in Pella for the fall meeting. It was also move-in weekend for incoming freshmen.
Friday night members gathered to catch up, meet new friends, and watched some nature films.
Saturday members split to attend five field trips. Lake Red Rock was the main bird region for departing field trips, but some members also headed northwest to Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge for grassland species. Thanks to excellent coordination and planning, a special mudflats trip was coordinated using mud boats for up close viewing of shorebirds. Less species were seen than expected and this was thought secondary to a lull in migration.
On Saturday afternoon, three excellent talks were held at Central College. Tyler Harms from Iowa State University discussed a project involving banding trumpeter swans and monitoring their migration patterns. Todd Gosselink from the Iowa DNR talked about management of Lake Red Rock to balance flood mitigation with wildlife habitat. Rachel Vanausdall from Iowa State University discussed her research on Least Sandpipers and the duration of their stopovers on fall migration at Saylorville Lake.
Dinner was a buffet in the Graham Hall Conference center with us viewing “Battle on the Booming Grounds” by Tim Barksdale and heard his presentation on “Filming the End of Nature”.
Sunday morning offered more excellent birding. A total of at least 119 species were seen by 90 participants. There were 20 new attendees at this IOU meeting.
Throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, nature films were being shown at meeting headquarters at Central College, thanks to Tim Barksdale. Titles included: ale of the Tides, by Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone, Secret Life of Cats by Allison Argo, March of the Penguins, Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, Winged Migration, Adventures with Birdman, Episode Ecuador-Jocotoco Antpitta by Tim Barksdale and Battle on the Booming Grounds by Tim Barksdale.
On a personal note, this was my second IOU meeting. I am relatively new to birdwatching and its wonderful to have so many experienced and friendly people excited to share their knowledge and experience with beginners. I have sincerely enjoyed attending both meetings and am looking forward to next spring!