Birds in the Raccoon River Valley, Iowa

1,110 views

Published on

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,110
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Birds in the Raccoon River Valley, Iowa

  1. 1. Birdwatching in the Raccoon River Watershed Belted Kingfisher (male), Waukee, IA Lee Searles, DMACC & Leeward Solutions, LLC All photos by Leland Searles unless otherwise credited
  2. 2. Identifying Birds <ul><li>One or more good field guides </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Geographic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5th edition available </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peterson </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Identifying Birds <ul><li>Guides to local/regional species </li></ul><ul><li>Books on bird behavior </li></ul>
  4. 4. Common Iowa Birds A BIRDWATCHING GROUP AT BRENTON ARBORETUM
  5. 5. Northern Cardinal, female
  6. 6. Northern Cardinal, male
  7. 7. House Finch, male
  8. 8. Mourning Dove
  9. 9. Canada Goose (“Chinstrap”)
  10. 10. Great Blue Heron
  11. 11. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (male)
  12. 12. White-Throated Sparrow
  13. 13. White-Breasted Nuthatch
  14. 14. Bald Eagle
  15. 15. Red-Winged Blackbird (male)
  16. 16. European Starling (winter plumage)
  17. 17. Eastern Bluebird (male)
  18. 18. Downy Woodpecker (female)
  19. 19. Common Grackle (male)
  20. 20. Cedar Waxwing
  21. 21. Black-Capped Chickadee
  22. 22. Blue Jay
  23. 23. Eastern Kingbird
  24. 24. Dark-Eyed Junco
  25. 25. American Crow
  26. 26. Ecosystems & Bird Life <ul><li>A good strategy for birdwatching, especially beginners: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore a single ecosystem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare a list of potential common birds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to CDs or tapes of bird calls & songs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare for two or more ecosystems at a specific location </li></ul></ul>Xavier Avenue, south of Granger, Iowa (Beaver Creek/Des Moines River watersheds)
  27. 27. Lakes & Shorelines <ul><li>Mallard </li></ul><ul><li>Canada Goose </li></ul><ul><li>Northern Pintail </li></ul><ul><li>American Wigeon </li></ul><ul><li>Gadwall </li></ul><ul><li>Northern Shoveler </li></ul><ul><li>Scaup (2 spp.) </li></ul><ul><li>Other ducks </li></ul><ul><li>Shorebirds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dowitchers (2 spp.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yellowlegs (2 spp.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Killdeer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spotted Sandpiper </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Red-Winged Blackbird </li></ul>
  28. 28. Riparian Woodlands <ul><li>Warbling Vireo </li></ul><ul><li>Carolina Wren </li></ul><ul><li>House Wren </li></ul><ul><li>Wood Duck </li></ul>
  29. 29. Riparian Waters & Banks <ul><li>Wilson’s Snipe </li></ul><ul><li>Osprey </li></ul><ul><li>Bald Eagle </li></ul><ul><li>Green Heron </li></ul><ul><li>Great Blue Heron </li></ul><ul><li>American Redstart </li></ul><ul><li>Other warblers </li></ul><ul><li>Vireos </li></ul>
  30. 30. Woodlands <ul><li>Ovenbird </li></ul><ul><li>Tufted Titmouse </li></ul><ul><li>Cooper’s Hawk </li></ul><ul><li>Sharp-Shinned Hawk </li></ul><ul><li>Blue-Headed Vireo </li></ul><ul><li>Red-Eyed Vireo </li></ul><ul><li>Wood Thrush </li></ul><ul><li>Barred Owl </li></ul><ul><li>Screech Owl </li></ul><ul><li>Great Horned (“Hoot”) Owl </li></ul><ul><li>Long-Eared Owl </li></ul><ul><li>Migrating warblers & vireos </li></ul>
  31. 31. Tallgrass Savannahs <ul><li>Lark Sparrow </li></ul><ul><li>American Kestrel </li></ul><ul><li>Red-Tailed Hawk </li></ul><ul><li>Meadowlarks (2 spp.) </li></ul><ul><li>Grasshopper Sparrow </li></ul><ul><li>Savannah Sparrow </li></ul><ul><li>Lincoln’s Sparrow </li></ul><ul><li>Song Sparrow </li></ul><ul><li>Eastern Bluebird </li></ul><ul><li>Gray Catbird </li></ul><ul><li>Brown Thrasher </li></ul><ul><li>Common Yellowthroat </li></ul><ul><li>Indigo Bunting </li></ul>
  32. 32. Wetlands & Potholes <ul><li>Shorebirds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dowitchers (2 spp.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yellowlegs (2 spp.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Killdeer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>American Bittern </li></ul><ul><li>Least Bittern </li></ul><ul><li>Red-Winged Blackbird </li></ul><ul><li>Great Egret </li></ul><ul><li>Yellow-Headed Blackbird </li></ul><ul><li>Sora </li></ul><ul><li>Virginia Rail </li></ul><ul><li>Marsh Wren </li></ul><ul><li>Sedge Wren </li></ul><ul><li>LeConte’s Sparrow </li></ul><ul><li>Henslow’s Sparrow </li></ul>
  33. 33. Pastures & Feedlots <ul><li>Introduced species </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ring-Necked Pheasant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>European House Sparrow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>European Starling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rock Dove (Pigeon) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Native species </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Savannah sparrow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bobolink </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eastern & Western Meadowlarks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mourning Dove </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lincoln’s Sparrow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dickcissel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eastern Bluebird </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short-Eared Owl </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Cropland, Fencerows, & Edges <ul><li>Horned Lark </li></ul><ul><li>Vesper Sparrow </li></ul><ul><li>American Crow </li></ul><ul><li>Ring-Necked Pheasant (exotic) </li></ul><ul><li>Meadowlark (2 spp.) </li></ul><ul><li>Northern Harrier </li></ul><ul><li>Red-Tailed Hawk </li></ul><ul><li>American Kestrel </li></ul><ul><li>Shrike (2 spp.) </li></ul><ul><li>Red-Winged Blackbird </li></ul>
  35. 35. Places to Go in the Watershed <ul><li>Swan Lake: marsh, lake, shoreline </li></ul><ul><li>Walnut Woods & Brown’s Woods: mature woodlands, woods openings </li></ul><ul><li>Xavier Avenue/Brenton Slough: marsh, lake, riparian, woods, farmland </li></ul><ul><li>Clive Greenbelt: urban riparian & woods, prairie restoration </li></ul><ul><li>Kuehn Conservation Area: upland prairie & savannah, riparian & upland woods </li></ul><ul><li>Big Bend: riparian, woods, prairie </li></ul>
  36. 36. Voas Nature Center Dallas County Conservation Board
  37. 37. Whiterock Conservancy <ul><li>Middle Raccoon River </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Border between the Wisconsin glacial surface (N & E) & older drift plains </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Local birding list based on several years’ observations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wide variety of ecosystems, including riparian, prairie, & savannah restoration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accommodations for overnight & longer visits </li></ul>
  38. 38. Des Moines Water Works Park Riverine woods Savannahs & edges Open fields Arboretum with pines & spruces Waterways & ponds
  39. 39. Squirrel Hollow Park Greene County Conservation Board Riverine woods Sandbars Major stream reach (riffle-run-pool) Bluff & upland woods Camping
  40. 40. Greenwood & Ashworth Parks, Des Moines Urban park land: some landscaping Tallgrass prairie restoration Bluff & “breaks” woodlands, mostly mixed oak Riparian woods at extreme south end
  41. 41. Gray’s Lake & Donald MacCrae Park, Des Moines
  42. 42. Brenton Arboretum Short- & tallgrass prairie restoration Mixed tree types Grasslands Waterways/riparian Pond & shoreline Wooded ravines
  43. 43. Feeding Birds <ul><li>Winter-only feeding </li></ul><ul><li>All-year feeding </li></ul>
  44. 44. Housing Birds <ul><li>Birdhouses should be appropriate for a local ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>Cleaning & other maintenance is best </li></ul>
  45. 45. Birding Activities <ul><li>Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) </li></ul><ul><li>Great Backyard Bird Count </li></ul><ul><li>Breeding Bird Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Individual & small-group bird hikes </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation of rare & unusual sightings </li></ul>
  46. 46. Ornithology Web Sites <ul><li>Iowa Ornithology Union </li></ul><ul><li>Whatbird.com </li></ul><ul><li>Audubon Society </li></ul>
  47. 47. For In-Depth Information <ul><li>Stokes guides to behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Arthur Cleveland Bent’s life histories </li></ul><ul><li>Kent & Dinsmore: seasonality, migration, reported counties, populations </li></ul><ul><li>Audubon CBC data </li></ul><ul><li>IOU web site: data, groups, activities, rare bird sightings, & more </li></ul>

×