Birds and birding in Des Moines, Iowa.

Photo by Reid Allen

Des Moines Audubon Society

Des Moines Audubon Society was organized in 1923 by a group of folks interested in the birds of the area. Although it is not a chapter of National Audubon, there is an affiliation and the Des Moines group actively participates in the statewide coalition Iowa Audubon.

Be sure to download the Makoke Trail birding guide for help in finding the best places to bird in central Iowa. Also check out our Birding By Month feature for more ideas of what species may be found at various times of the year. You may also find our site map of some value for specific directions.

Upcoming Des Moines Audubon Events

Photo by Reid Allen

Next Meeting


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Photo by Reid Allen

Next Field Trip

Hitchcock Hawk Watch - Big Bluestem Audubon and Des Moines Audubon are sponsoring a joint field trip to Hitchcock Nature Center near Council Bluffs on Saturday, October 4. Hitchcock is famous for its annual Hawk Watch, which we will be joining. Every year, from September through December, thousands of eagles, hawks, and other raptors migrate south through the area. The broad expanse of the adjacent Missouri River Valley, combined with prevailing westerly winds that move through the Loess Hills, creates the perfect conditions for migrating raptors as they soar on thermals and topographic induced upward wind deflections in their journey south. Early October is the prime time for Swainson’s Hawks, but many other raptor species will be moving through. We may even get to visit the banding station to observe the capture and banding of hawks. Depending on timing and conditions, we may also visit Desoto Bend NWR. It’s approximately a 2 ½ hour drive to the center. We will depart from the Cracker Barrel in Clive at 7:00 a.m. and will leave for Des Moines mid-afternoon. People are encouraged to bring their own lunch, although there is a convenience store in nearby Crescent, IA. Please RSVP to Denny Thompson by Wednesday, October 1st, if you plan to attend.   Please contact Denny Thompson at 254-0837 or cndthomps@acm.org for more information.
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