Our primary programs are field trips and other special events for young birders ages 8-18.  Unless specified, there is no cost to attend but advance registration is required.   Parents/grandparents are encouraged to participate (required for young birders under age 12.)  All of our programs are conducted according to the Iowa Young Birders Code of Conduct.  If you have any questions about our programs, please contact us.


    • June 01, 2021
    • 8:00 AM (CDT)
    • August 30, 2021
    • 5:00 PM (CDT)
    • Iowa

    Back by popular demand is our Summer Birding Program! This exciting and unique summer-long program encourages participation in birding and bird-related activities from June 1 - August 30, 2021.  Kids under the age of 18 can participate by signing up using the below link.  Then, all you need to do is log the hours you spend outside observing birds or participating in any of the bird-related activities listed here.  Earn a prize at the end of summer if you can log a total of 25 hours and 5 activities OR 15 hours and 10 activities and be entered into a drawing to win a brand new pair of binoculars!

    And one more thing - the first 50 young birders to sign up will receive a free copy of the "Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America" thanks to a grant from The Wilson B. Reynolds and Juanita E. Reynolds Fund, and Iowa Audubon!

    Need to log hours or activities? Click here for the online form.

    • August 21, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (CDT)
    • Des Moines

    Each year, Ashworth/Greenwood Park is one of only two locations where one can see nesting Mississippi Kites in Iowa. These slender raptors are phenomenal aerialists, having the ability to catch insects in mid-air! Join us for a morning search for this neat bird and other late-nesting birds at this fantastic greenspace in the middle of Des Moines. Families are welcome to attend and no birding experience is required. Binoculars will be available for use but you're welcome to bring your own. This field trip is free but advanced registration is required.

    • August 28, 2021
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (CDT)
    • Ames

    Swifts, swallows, and martins all belong to a group of birds called "aerial insectivores" because the feed primarily by catching insects in mid-air. How cool is that? Unfortunately, populations of many of these species are in steep decline across much of North America. This includes the Chimney Swift, one of the most aerial of all birds in North America and one that we see frequently across Iowa in urban and rural areas alike. Join us for an evening program to learn about Chimney Swifts and other aerial insectivores in partnership with Wild Birds Unlimited in Ames. We'll start with a short presentation with some fun facts about these birds and what we can do to help them and finish with a sunset walk through downtown Ames to watch the swifts come to roost in chimneys. If you haven't seen a Chimney Swift dive into a chimney, you won't want to miss this fun, family-friendly event! This event is free but advanced registration is required. There will also be a virtual option for attending this event. If you plan to attend virtually, please indicate so in the comments on the registration form. We welcome bird friends of all ages!

    Photo credit: Peter Finley, Macaulay Library

    • September 11, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM (CDT)
    • Ames

    September is an exciting month for birding in Iowa! Birds that spent the summer with us are preparing for their migratory journey south by eating lots of food, while resident birds that will spend the winter with us are storing food for the cold months. And to top it off, many species that spent the summer months to our north are traveling through Iowa. There's no better time to be in the woods in the fall! Join us for a morning of birding at Emma McCarthy Park in Ames. Our target birds will be Pileated Woodpecker, Broad-winged Hawks, and migrating warblers and other songbirds. This family-friendly trip is free and open to the public. No prior birding experience is necessary. A limited number of binoculars will be available for use but you're welcome to bring your own. Advanced registration is required to receive more details about the trip. We hope you can join us!

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