Projects Funded by the IOU

Supporting Conservation & Education

  • Iowa and Illinois Young Birder Day on the Mississippi River - Photo by Linda Rudolph
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  • Cerulean Warbler documentation in Effigy Mounds/Yellow River Forest BCA - Photo by Tamara Lewis
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  • Cerulean Warbler Occupancy Study - Paul Skrade leads Iowa Young Birders through appropriate habitat where they confirm nesting - Photo by Tyler Harms
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  • Northern Saw-whet Owl Migration Monitoring - Photo by Jean Martin
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  • Chimney Swift towers for an existing swift colony, Orange Elementary School, Waterloo - Photo by Tom Schilke
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  • Barn Owl Nest Boxes at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, Polk Co.
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  • Observation Platform at Pintail Wetlands, Hardin Co. - Photo by Candace Havely
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  • Raptor Banding at Hitchcock NA, Pottawattamie Co. Jerry Toll removes a Sharp-shinned Hawk from the net - Photo by Phil Swanson
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  • Purchase of Kaufman field guides by Springbrook Conservation Education Center, Iowa Department of Natural Resources . "The information included in these guides is a vital part of our teaching, and we very much appreciate your generosity!" Photos by AJay Winter
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Funding for natural history projects, be it research, habitat restoration, or land acquisition, is not always easy.  Although we are not a wealthy organization and money available each year is dependent on the number of IOU members, we are proud of some of our recent accomplishments of partnering with other funders to make a difference for Iowa's birds.  The table below shows the projects funded. If you would like to help fund some of these interesting projects, please 1) make sure you have joined the IOU or renewed your membership and 2) donate additional money to the Projects Fund.  

116 Projects Awarded Since 2007 - $77,947
2022 - Total: $2,996
Mitchell County - Chelsea Ewen Rowcliffe$579Funding for a feeder station Report
Western Illinois University - Gbenga S. Dairo$761A study to determine if food supplemented Prothonotary Warblers are more effective at preventing cowbird parasitism and nest takeover by House Wrens
Western Illinois University - Nicholas R. Vozza$472Continuation of Prothonotary Warbler parasitism study
Madison County Conservation Board - Tanner Donovan$200Provided partial funding for Barn Owl boxes Report
Western Illinois University - Matt Scerbicke$984An investigation of nest usurpation by House Wrens, the most significant source of nest failure in Prothonotary Warblers in southeast Iowa Report
2021 - Total: $5,000
Caswell - Heather Sander$1,125Derecho effects on breeding birds in Palisades-Kepler State Park Report
Paul Skrade$1,000ongoing Cerulean Warbler research Report
For the good ole birds$1,935Feeders for assisted living communities
Niccolas Vozza - Western Illinois University$940Cameras for monitoring Prothonotary Warbler nest boxes Report
2019 - Total: $4,999
Sac County Conservation Board$500Knee High Naturalist: All About Birds program
The Community Academy$535Summer Experience 2019 - Brookside Park Trail Restoration
Kyla Yuza-Pate, Iowa State University$400Iowa State University Bird-Window Collision Carcass Survey
Benton County Conservation$1,000Fen acquisition
Louisa County Conservation$450Owl Nesting Boxes & Owl Education
Melody Campbell, Iowa State University$528The Effects of Anthropogenic Noise on Stress in Urban Birds and their Nestlings
Patrick Page, Nicholas Vozza, and Brian D. Peer, Western Illinois University$336Why me? Assessing Factors that Determine Cowbird Parasitism of Prothonotary Warblers
Joe Frieden, Upper Iowa University$500Song Variation of Territorial Male Bobolinks in Intentionally-Grazed Pastures
Sioux County Conservation Foundation (SCCF)$250Sioux County Nature Center: Bird Watching Station
Paul Skrade, Upper Iowa University & Winneshiek County Conservation$500American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) Nest Box Placement & Monitoring Along Winneshiek County Secondary Roads
2018 - Total: $5,000
BioEco Research and Monitoring Center, Clinton County Conservation Board$340Building Even Better Birders Field Classes
Bird Friendly Iowa (BFI)$700Establishing Bird Friendly Iowa Communities Report
Jones County Conservation Board$900Purple Martin Complex Gourd & Interpretive Signage Addition
Louisa County Conservation$308Langwood Education Center Bird Blind Feeders Report
Monroe County Conservation Board$514Bird's Eye View Feeding and Viewing Station Report
Palo Alto County Conservation Foundation Board$345NatureWatch Bird Egg display Report
Ringgold County Conservation Board$500Dragoon Trace Nature Center – Outdoor Learning Environment Report
Elliot Stalter - University of Iowa$393Research, A Window of Opportunity: Measurement and Prevention of Migratory Bird- Window Collisions in Iowa City
EmiLee Novak, Upper Iowa University$500Research - Song Variation of Cerulean Warblers in Northeast Iowa Report
Brian D. Peer, Western Illinois University$500Decline of the Prothonotary Warbler: Are Front-line Defenses Effective in Reducing Cowbird Parasitism?
2017 - Total: $9,072
Buena Vista CCB$900Bird viewing station in Buena Vista County Park Report
Cerro Gordo CCB$289Nature’s Window: Bringing the Outdoors In. Microphone system to record and broadcast audio from the wildlife and waterscape just outside the visitors center. Report
Mills County CCB$230Bird feeders for Pony Creek Nature Center Report
Mitchell County Environmental Education Foundation$339Nesting camera and bird photo booth at the Milton R. Owen Nature Center to provide visitors with video of resident nesting and feeding birds Report
Allamakee CCB$500Permanently mounted viewing scopes for the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center (near Lansing, IA) Report
Sac CCB$400Junior Naturalist Bird Day Camp 2017: Scope and tripod for use through the year, and owl pellets and classroom guides for Summer Day camps Report
Clinton CCB$750Building better birders field classes: Salary, mileage, and marketing classes to provide bird ID and survey courses for new birders/surveyors in Clinton County. Report
Friends of Jones County Conservation and Nature Center$350Birding Explorer Pack: Explorer backpacks with binoculars, field guides, children’s books, sketchpads, and colored pencils included. To be checked out by family campers, families, youth groups, and school classrooms who visit the Fox Den Nature Center. Report
Jaime Coon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign$1,014Research - Grassland birds, an invasive grass, and arthropods: exploring food web relationships using a long term avian dataset.
Brian Peer, Western Illinois University$800Research - The Prothonotary Project: Field equipment and supplies for conducting research and creating nest boxes for Prothonotary Warblers on the Mississippi River near the Quad Cities. Report
Jesse Ellis and Garret Forgey, Coe College $400Research - Eurasian Tree Sparrow Dispersion in the Cedar River Valley, Mileage for volunteers conducting Eurasian Tree Sparrow and House Sparrow surveys. Report
Des Moines CCB$1,600Research - The Purchase of a SM3BAT Song Meter to Survey Species Diversity at Big Hollow Recreation Area Report
Jackson CCB$1,500Prairie Creek Recreation Area – Wetland Development: For creating 35 acres of new wetland and pollinator prairie habitat. Report
2016 - Total: $9,273
Grace Vaziri, Iowa State University$990Research Project: Gut Parasites of Iowa Song Sparrows
Jones County Conservation Board$500Binoculars and Field Guides for Birders
Stephanie Allers, Western Illinois University$485Research Project: Brown-headed Cowbird Affects on Host Species Report
Mills County Conservation Board$400Spotting Scope Report
Dallas County Conservation Board$240Field Guides for Owl Education Program Report
Hardin County Conservation Board$500Elevated Observation Tower @ Pintail Wetlands
Cherokee Conservation Board$731Outdoor Classroom-Bird Blind
Hawkeye Area Council-Boy Scouts of America$800Bird study @ Scout Camp-Education Materials, Supplies for Building Feeders, etc. Report
Western Illinois University-Nahant Marsh$984Habitat Restoration for Prothonotary Warblers at Nahant Marsh
Dallas County Conservation Board$2,440Purple Martin Houses for Four Different Locations in Dallas County (Special Memorial Funds in honor of Tom Lawson) Report
Johnson County Conservation Board$355Binoculars for Bird Programming Report
North Cedar Neighborhood Association, Cedar Falls$408Chimney Swift Tower for Habitat Maintained by Neighborhood Association and North Cedar Elementary School
Orange Elementary School$4402nd Chimney Swift Tower for Orange Elementary School - Additional Habitat for Existing Flock of 200 Swifts
2015 - Total: $5,187
Johnson County Conservation Board$350Field Guides for Programming Report
Orange Elementary School, Waterloo, IA$500Chimney Swift towers for an existing swift colony Report
Iowa Young Birders$250Field Guides for Iowa Young Birder Participants Report
Woodbury County Conservation Board$200Equipment for raptor education at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center Report
Hitchcock Nature Center$250Northern Saw-whet Owl Migration Monitoring Report
O’Brien, Clay, Emmet, Palo Alto, Dickinson CCBs & Union Slough$1,000Publication of a revised map and guide to "Birding: The Iowa Prairie Lakes Region" Report
Henry County Conservation Board$440Improvements to facilities for education raptors @ Oakland Mills. Report
MacBride Raptor Project$150Improvements to bird blind feeding station Report
Jackson County Conservation Board$216BioBlitz & breeding bird survey at Prairie Creek Recreation Area Report
Ewalu Camp & Retreat Center$250Birds & birding environmental education class Report
Hardin County Conservation Board$500Observation Platform at Pintail Wetlands Report
Mitchell County Conservation Board$331Avian audio experience Report
Dr. Paul Skrade$750Cerulean Warbler Occupancy Study Report
2014 - Total: $4,420
Jon Stravers - Driftless Area Bird Conservation$700Cerulean Warbler documentation in Effigy Mounds/Yellow River Forest BCA Report
North Cedar Neighborhood Association$200Bird and wildlife sanctuary in Cedar Falls Report
Iowa Young Birders$250Iowa and Illinois Young Birder Day on the Mississippi River
Pottawattamie County Conservation Board$500Hitchcock Hawk Watch and Raptor Banding Report
Mitchell County Conservation Board$250Education supplies for beginning birders Report
Polk County Conservation Board$200Barn Owl nest boxes at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt Report
Pat Schlarbaum - Iowa DNR$500Falcon River Trip
Allamakee County Conservation Board$250Optics for Conservation Environmental Education Program Report
Nahant Marsh Education Center$350Migratory bird obstacle course and education
Mahaska County Conservation Board$400Binoculars for beginning birders Report
Jackson County Conservation Board$600Breeding bird survey of newly acquired land prior to habitat restoration Report
Mines of Spain - Iowa DNR$220E.B. Lyons Center addition and development Report
2013 - Total: $5,000
Tyler Harms$1,000Grassland Bird Nesting study in Polk Co. Report
Jon Stravers$750NE IA Cerulean Warbler Monitoring Report
Pottawattamie County Cons. Bd.$750Hitchcock NC Raptor Banding Projects Report
Madison County Cons. BD.$600Pammel Park Bird Blind Report
Ringgold County Cons. Bd.$500Avian Education/Nature Center Report
Mitchell County Cons. BD.$500Binoculars for Beginning Birders Report
Allamakee CCB$400Peregrine Falcon Education Report
Mills County Cons. Bd.$350Pony Creek Park Bird Blind Report
Springbrook Conservation Ed. Ctr.$150Field Guide Purchases Report
2012 - Total: $8,000
Iowa Young Birders$1,500A new non-profit organization encouraging younger Iowans to consider birding and to enhance their appreciation of the outdoors. Report
Woodbury CCB$1,000Raptor enclosure at Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. Report
Hurstville Interp. Center$500Construction of a Chimney Swift tower. Report
Iowa Wildlife Center$500High Trestle Raptor Project Report
Iowa County Cons. Board$500Bird I.D. Teacher Pack at Lake Iowa Park. Report
Lee County Cons. Board$500Keokuk Bald Eagle Days celebration. Report
Courtney Duchardt$500Study of grassland bird nest site selection in Ringgold County. Report
Jon Stravers$2,000Cerulean Warbler monitoring project in NE Iowa. Report
Chad Graeve$1,000Hitchcock Hawkwatch raptor banding projects. Report
2011 - Total: $5,000
Timothy Lyons$1,360Study effects of a fire-grazing interaction on the nesting ecology of a grassland songbird Report
Ron Huelse$1,500Gladys Black eagle nest cam project Report
Jonathan Meerbeek$600Monitor and evaluate the ecological conditions of Iowa’s shallow lakes, pre- and post-renovation
Chad Graeve$1,540Hitchcock Hawkwatch raptor banding projects
2010 - Total: $3,000
Quad City Audubon Society$1,000Winter 2010-11 Milan Bottoms Bald Eagle Night Roost Monitoring
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation$600Story County Habitat Protection and Restoration
Iowa DNR$400Monitoring and Evaluating the Ecological Condition of Iowa’s Shallow Lakes Report
Hitchcock Nature Center$900Hitchcock Hawkwatch Raptor Banding Report
Anna MacDonald$100Avian community composition and habitat use within watersheds of contrasting annual-perennial vegetation configurations
2009 - Total: $3,000
Mitchell County Conservation Board$1,250Farm-land purchase
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation$1,000Purchase of a 168-acre parcel in Story County composed of remnant prairie and adjacent to other protected property
Pottawattamie County Conservation$750Hitchcock Hawk Watch Report
2008 - Total: $2,000
Friends of the Sherman Swift Tower$1,000Re-creation of the Sherman Swift Tower in Clayton County
Larry Stone & Jon Stravers$1,000Gladys Black book
2007 - Total: $6,000
Winnebago County Conservation Board$2,000Purchase of 105 acres of critical habitat along the Winnebago River Greenbelt
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation$1,500Purchase of 93 acres of critical habitat on the east side of Big Spirit Lake in Dickinson Co.
The Nature Conservancy of Iowa$1,750Habitat improvement and evaluation at the Broken Kettle Grasslands in Plymouth Co.
Pottawattamie Co. Conservation Board$750Raptor banding research at the Hitchcock Hawk Watch Report