Bluebird Monitoring at Mines of Spain
In 2021, Ken Kiss took over the responsibility of monitoring bluebird houses at the Mines of Spain. He added some houses in 2022, using funds from Dubuque Audubon. He now maintains 25 houses and has experimented with adding cages to see if that helps keep predators out. In 2023, Lynn Schroeder volunteered to help with the monitoring.
Helping Eastern Bluebirds is the goal, but Tree Swallows and House Wrens are two other cavity nesters that use the houses. In 2021, Ken counted some Black-capped Chickadees. He does not track the House Wrens.
In 2023, the Eastern Bluebird results were 85 eggs, 55 nestlings, and 43 successful fledglings. Additional results are below.
Grassland Bird Signs at Technology Park
In 2023, when two species of grassland birds on Iowa’s list of species of high conservation priority (Bobolink and Grasshopper Sparrow) were found at Technology Park in Dubuque, Dubuque Audubon began advocating for these birds.
The final result of that effort is that beginning in the spring of 2024 and unless/until the area is developed, we will seasonally post signs in the area to promote awareness of these birds. City officials will ensure that the current city mowing practices will continue, so undeveloped areas will not be mown during nesting season. Furthermore, if future development does occur, either it will be done outside of nesting season, or the grass will be mown immediately ahead of nesting season such that birds will not nest there.
Bird Survey at Whitewater Canyon
In 2022, Dubuque Audubon started a 3-year study at Whitewater Canyon Wildlife Management Area, focusing on grassland bird populations.
6 sites in the grassland areas are surveyed from mid-May through late June. Each site is monitored for approximately 10 minutes with special emphasis on identifying nesting grassland species of birds. Special attention is given to locating Henslow’s Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows, Bobolinks, and Sedge Wrens.
Bird Survey at New Melleray Abbey
In 2023, Dubuque Audubon agreed to a request to do a 5 year bird study at New Melleray Abbey.
Dubuque Audubon often makes donations to the organizations of our speakers.
In addition, we support local organizations including:
- donations to Swiss Valley Nature Center for bird seed
Cleanup at 16th Street Retention Basin
On Sunday, November 19, 2023, Dubuque Audubon organized a cleanup at the 16th Street Retention Basin. Over 20 volunteers worked for two hours to pull excessive amounts of garbage. The city provided gloves, bags, vests and grabbers. We love our river!