Soil and water

Watch the birds migrate during this year’s High Trestle Hawk Watch


Bird watchers of all ages and skill levels are invited to the Deck View of the High Trestle Trail to experience migrating birds as they fly over – or under – the 13-story bridge.

The High Trestle Hawk 2021 watch will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 3 on the High Trestle Bridge cycle path between Woodward and Madrid. Observation will be from the west side, the Woodward side of the bridge. The parking lot is on the east side, off QF Lane in County Boone, which requires a half-mile walk on level ground.

Discover the wonders of migrating raptors in a dynamic setting that spans the Des Moines River valley. Experienced bird watchers will be on hand to watch raptors and other migratory birds moving south along the river, and they will help new and experienced bird watchers identify birds as they pass. Binoculars and spotting scopes will be available, but participants may want to bring their own, along with a bird guide.

The aim of the annual event is to teach people about migration, how to identify migratory birds and how to count the different species of migratory raptors, including hawks, buteos, eagles and accipiters, as well as turkey vultures and songbirds. Finding birds with the naked eye is the first lesson, followed by teaching people how to identify birds using their silhouettes, behavior and markings in the field.

The numbers and species that are counted with each falcon sighting always depend on the weather in the days preceding the event and on the day itself. In 2018, on a cold, rainy and cloudy day, more than 200 turkey vultures were spotted as they made their way south, but not much else. In other years, peregrine falcons, broad-winged falcon pots, pelicans, and bald eagles of various ages have been abundant.

Celebration of the river town

A community event next weekend in Ames, “Where Conservation Gets Inspired,” will feature a series of special events highlighting water quality and natural resources. Special guest presentations, a film festival, stream clean-ups and other activities will be part of the Ames “River City of the Year” celebration from Thursday September 30 through Saturday October 2. The festivities will begin at 7:00 p.m. Thursday with a free lecture by conservationist Chad Pregracke at the Ames City Auditorium Ames City Auditorium, 520 Sixth St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and there will be a book signing for the presentation at 8:00 p.m.

Pregracke is the author of “From the Bottom Up: One Man’s Crusade to Clean America’s Rivers” and is the founder and president of Living Lands and Water. The organization, which is based in East Moline, Ill., Has been responsible for more than 1,100 community cleanups in 24 rivers in 21 states.

Spending up to nine months a year living and traveling on the houseboat, the Living Lands and Waters team conducts’ river cleanups, watershed conservation initiatives, workshops, tree plantations and other key conservation efforts ”.

For his work, Pregracke received the Jefferson Award for Public Service (the US version of the Nobel Prize) in 2002, and CNN named Pregracke his Hero of the Year 2013.

To learn more about his work, visit

The city auditorium will host the “Wild and Picturesque Film Festival” from 6.30 pm to 10 pm Friday. The event will feature a collection of documentary-style films and special guest presentations.

On Saturday, Prairie Rivers of Iowa and the Town of Ames will host a 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. river cleanup in Ames. Participation is limited to 40 people and registration is mandatory to ensure sufficient material for all volunteers.

For film festival tickets, to register for the river clean-up, and for more general information, visit

Seed harvesting needs volunteers

If you’re looking for a fun reason to get outside to enjoy the fall weather and even catch a bit of the fall butterfly migration, Story County Conservation might need your help.

Conservation staff will be collecting seeds at Doolittle Prairie from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, September 30, and may call for volunteers. Experience is not necessary, and staff will show volunteers where, how, and what species of prairie flowers to collect seeds from. Doolittle Prairie is located at 14249 560th Ave., south of Story City.

Registration is required by calling 515-232-2516 or visiting

Bird feeder cleaning October 9

Gilbert Boy Scouts Troop 157 will have their annual bird feeder clean-up fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 9, at the Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop, 213 Duff Ave., in Ames. The cost is $ 5 per feeder and all proceeds go to the troop. Additional donations will be gladly accepted.

Feeders can be dropped off at the store during normal business hours from Wednesday October 6 to Saturday October 9 at noon. Cleaned feeders can be picked up late on Saturday afternoon or between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 10.

For special drop-off and / or pick-up arrangements, call the UMA at 515-956-3145.

Nominees wanted for the Smedal Prize

The Story County Conservation Board and the Ames Chapter of the Izaak Walton League are seeking nominees for the 2021 Olav Smedal Conservation Award. The award was launched in 1988 by The Tribune in honor of Olav Smedal, who has spent 22 years as an outdoor writer and 17 years as editor of the newspaper.

The award aims to honor those who, through their actions or communications, have done the most to accurately present to the public the excellence of the Iowa Center in natural resource conservation (i.e. air, water, woods, wildlife and soil) and outdoor activities. representing the highest standards of ethics and sportsmanship.

Preference will be given to applicants who, as volunteers, demonstrate excellence in public information, leadership and / or participation. Applicants should send a letter indicating: the applicant’s background; a description of a successful program, project or event for which the candidate was responsible; describe the measurable results obtained; and describe the impact of the program or activity on the general public in central Iowa.

The deadline for nominations is Friday October 15. To submit a nomination, send it to the Olav Smedal Conservation Award Committee, c / o Mike Meetz 20267 580th Ave., Nevada, IA, 50201, or Story County Conservation, 56461 180th St., Ames, AI, 50010.

Todd Burras can be contacted at [email protected]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.