The latest on birding in Iowa...
8 Jan 2017     ISSUE 4
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The Board of Directors recently approved IOU's partnership with a number of statewide conservation groups in founding a new organization called Bird Friendly Iowa. The goal is to help cities become more friendly to birds through enhancing native habitat, mitigating threats, and encouraging citizens to become more involved in making our planet a better place to live. The Bird Friendly Iowa website should be active in a couple of months so watch it for more details. In the meantime, check out Bird City Wisconsin to learn more about this exciting collaboration.
THANK YOU to those who have renewed for 2017!
Hi <<First Name>>!

Welcome to 70 New Members in 2016!

We know that birding is one of the fastest growing hobbies out there and interest in the IOU and what we do is showing that. 2016 set a modern-day record for new members and our membership has now topped 430 for the first time in several years.Your continued support allows us to participate in many activities that make Iowa a great place for birds and those who enjoy them. The graph below of new members is impressive. Talk with your friends, give a gift membership, and let's all work together to make 2017 even better. The year is already off to a great start.
New IOU Members

The Listing Game

Snowy Owl - Reid AllenWhy do so many birders keep lists of what they see? There are probably almost as many reasons as there are birders who keep lists, but bird lists take up much less space in the house than baseball card or salt & pepper shaker collections. Lists can be saved in an application such as eBird to contribute to citizen science projects. Interesting sightings can be pulled from lists and entered into seasonal field reports to be used in writing a snapshot of a season for Iowa Bird Life and North American Birds. But in addition to altruistic reasons, listing is just plain fun.

Although there is understandably a certain amount of competition among top listers (re-watch The Big Year for a refresher course), for most of us our lists are simply ways to reminisce about certain birding adventures and mechanisms to help plan for future trips. You may only track birds seen in your yard, but reviewing that list and speculating about what the next species might be is fun on a cold winter day. I often wonder what Jim Fuller or Curt Nelson, the only Iowans with 200+ species recorded in their yard, are anticipating next. What species might Tom Stone, who sits atop the list of Iowa life birds with 394, find in the coming year? County listing can add to your birding skills. Go birding in a county unfamiliar to you and test your skills in exploring different habitats in an unknown area to find that magical number of 100 species. It's harder than you think but a heck of a lot of fun.

Have the listing bug yet? Take a look at the IOU Listing Report to see some of the goals to shoot for. Click on the button to login and add your 2016 totals. Did you do a Big Day in 2016. Report it as well. All reports will be reviewed by Paul Hertzel, the listing compiler, to be published to the website soon. If you aren't already a lister, now is a great time to start and add another fun dimension to your birding. Compete against yourself from year to year to enhance your enjoyment.
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