About Des Moines Audubon

The 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 Iowa Audubon.


Helping a family observe pelicansIn addition to monthly meetings with a variety of fascinating programs and monthly field trips, held the second Saturday of the month and ably led by Dennis Thompson to find birds in central Iowa, our members are active participants in various community outdoor activities.  Many volunteers from Des Moines Audubon help with community events sponsored by the Polk County Conservation Board or various city parks boards.  In the true tradition of "No Child Left Inside", the pure enjoyment of helping young people see a pelican through the scope or watching a reaction to a live hawk up close and personal is one of the personal birding highlights for many of our members. Check the upcoming events for how you can get involved.


Des Moines Audubon provides financial support and volunteers to keep feeder operations in place at the Saylorville Reservoir Visitor's Center and the bird blind at Walnut Woods State Park.  You dues help to keep this very public project going.


Engaging the next generation of birders - (c) Iowa Young BirdersRecently Des Moines Audubon has partnered with a new organization - Iowa Young Birders.  The inaugural young birders field trip was held in Johnston in July 2012 with our own field trip leader, Dennis Thompson, helping these young people enjoy the experience.


The Des Moines Christmas Bird Count is held during the national count period each year.  Members also participate in the Saylorville count as well as others around Central Iowa.  Watch the calendar for this year's dates and details.

Upcoming Des Moines Audubon Events

Photo by Reid Allen

Next Meeting

Owls of Iowa by Joel Van Roekel - When Des Moines Parks and Recreation decided to add Environmental Education staff to their program, Joel took the position and ever since then, has been working to make connections between the public and the wildlife that exists in our Des Moines City Parks. Programs and events take place throughout the year that provide education and recreation blended together to entice people get outside while they have some fun and hopefully learn something new. Snowshoeing under the Snow Moon in February or Stand Up Paddleboarding on Gray’s Lake in August to see the cliff swallow nests are just a couple of examples of events that he has presented. Joel graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with two seasonal internship experiences with Black Hawk County Conservation and then went to work for Warren County Conservation Board as the County Naturalist. From there he came to Des Moines Parks and Recreation as the Supervisor of Environmental Education.
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Photo by Reid Allen

Next Field Trip

  Please contact Denny Thompson at 254-0837 or cndthomps@gmail.com for more information.
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