Red-Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) is in full bloom everywhere! This gorgeous native shrub is an important plant for pollinators and is especially loved by our hummingbirds: both our resident Anna's and our spring migrant Rufous (I saw my first rufous hummer last week!). Good news for all my friends in the Des Moines Birders...I am leading a birding by ear (plus just general bird watching) outing at Saltwater State Park on Saturday the 10th starting at 8:30 am. That same night I will be leading an Owl Prowl in Seward Park starting at 7:30 pm. Please join me by sending an email to register. Happy April to all!
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Meet the Pileated Woodpecker Join me as I share some of the science behind the our largest woodpecker, the amazing Pileated! I'll show you tips for identification, share this bird's specialized feeding habits, and peek at a nest cavity to view Pileated youngsters! I will share details regarding the unique anatomical adaptations that allows this woodpecker to excavate deep holes into trees without suffering a concussion (or needing a hefty dose of headache relief!). Pileated woodpeckers can be found throughout our area and I hope that by providing you with some keys to look and listen for, you can find them on your outings; whether in the forest or in your neighborhood. Get outdoors, and stay curious!!! Ed
A happy follow-up to my previous post: both of the Seward Park barred owls are alive and well! The dead owl that I reported to you earlier was obviously a vagrant, probably juvenile, that was looking to find its own territory. What caused its demise is unclear...it may have even been attacked and killed by our resident barred owls! In any case both barred and barn owls are very active in Seward Park so please join me on Thursday, October 21st and we'll go out prowling for these incredible birds. As always, email me to register. Additionally, October is mushroom time and I am offering several Mushroom Walks through Seward Park Audubon Center. The da tes are listed on our website: sewardpark.audubon.org under "events". Hope to see you soon! Ed Seward Park barred owl p hoto courtesy of Molly Cvetovac
Our Barn owl family has been very vocal in Seward Park: three hungry juveniles and busy parents trying to keep their offspring fed and satisfied. Join me at 8:00 pm this Thursday in Seward Park by the restroom adjacent to the Audubon center and we will watch the excitement! Please email me to register at email@example.com $25.00 per person please. On a sad note, last week I found one of our barn owls dead on the lake trail just north of the pottery studio. She had puncture wounds to the neck and face and right beside her was a fresh pile of dog poop (no hair, ruling out coyote). She and her mate were strongly pair-bonded and my owl prowl participants have viewed them for months sitting side-by-side on tree branches, grooming one another, and acting, well, like lovebirds! Sunday morning on a Bird Outing I led with our Audubon Center, we saw the male (the smaller of the two) on a branch just above us. We enjoyed a nice long viewing as he winked, scratched his head, had a good p