Contact us if you have any questions about or interest in participating in any of our projects.

Ongoing Projects

Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird
© Marty Corfman

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, and in 2024, Tom Davis joined the team.

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.

Bluebird House Monitoring Results

Grassland Bird Signs at Technology Park

With permission from the city of Dubuque, we created and installed educational signage at Technology Park in Dubuque for the purpose of the community’s enjoyment and information regarding the migrating grassland birds that nest in those fields.  The signs also attempt to encourage people to not walk or run their dogs through the tall grasses, as that would disturb these nesting birds.  Species such as Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Dickcissel are among the birds that nest there regularly beginning in late April and through August. 

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.

We would like to thank Iowa Audubon and the LaVonne and Dale Foote Memorial Fund for awarding us a grant to cover the cost of the signs.

"Look for these Birds" sign

Bird Survey at Whitewater Canyon

Curoe Rd, Bernard, IA

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.

Financial Contributions

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

Completed Projects


Basin Cleanup

Cleanup #2 at 16th Street Retention Basin

On Sunday, April 21, 2024, 13 members of the Dubuque Audubon Society and volunteers from the public worked for over two hours to remove 28 bags of garbage from the 16th Street Retention Basin, but a large amount of garbage remains.  

This area is a valuable resource for local and migrating waterfowl.  A large amount of garbage accumulates there, as littering along the Bee Branch Area gets into the waterway.  The DAS appeals to the community to do better to secure garbage in trash cans provided all along the Bee Branch.  Let’s do better together!

Basin Cleanup
Basin Cleanup
Basin Cleanup

Tree Planting at Mines of Spain SRA

On Sunday, April 14, 2024, Dubuque Audubon volunteers planted 16 Eastern White Pines and 20 Chokecherry trees at Mines of Spain State Recreation Area.  These trees were purchased from the Iowa DNR State Forest Nursery through Audubon member donations.  These native trees will provide important nesting locations and food sources for a variety of birds and other wildlife once they mature!

Eastern White Pine
Eastern White Pine
Chokecherry Trees (in tubes)
Chokecherry Trees (in tubes)
Basin Cleanup

Cleanup #1 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!