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30 Years of HawkWatch Celebration


This page includes details on a past event. For a current list of upcoming Pottawattamie Conservation events, please visit our calendar.
Sunday, October 17, 2021
1:00pm Add to Calendar

Hitchcock Nature Center - Loess Hills Lodge
27792 Ski Hill Loop
Honey Creek, IA 51542

All Ages

Free with park admission or annual pass

Since 1991, Hitchcock Nature Center’s HawkWatch volunteer group has been recording the migration of thousands of hawks, eagles, owls and other raptors, and it’s time to celebrate their important work!

Help celebrate their 30th anniversary on Sunday, October 17th between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and join us for several fun activities where you and your family can learn more about the fascinating world of raptors:

  • Meet live raptors from our friends at Fontenelle Forest
  • Attend a presentation from Ty Smedes, world-traveled wildlife photographer, as he shares his experiences capturing images of raptors
  • Climb up the observation tower and get to know our full-time Hawk Counter Caleb Strand who will share trends he’s seeing and other raptor facts
  • Swing by our refreshment table for some lemonade and cookies

Every year between September 1st and mid-December, HawkWatch volunteers climb the Hitchcock observation tower and brave heat, cold and wind as they record their findings. Their work contributes to vital research concerning raptor population and behavior, naming them one of the top 25 HawkWatch posts in the US.

This is a great family-friendly and educational event. Make a day out of it by fitting in a hike before or after and see if you can find any Hitchcock raptors soaring or perched above! This event is free with park admission or an annual pass. Free will donations are gratefully accepted and will support the HawkWatch program and raptor conservation efforts.

Read our blog post to learn more about HawkWatch and raptor conservation efforts.

Pictured below is our amazing HawkWatch 2021 volunteer team!

Meet our 2021 HawkWatch Volunteers!

About Ty Smedes: A lifelong interest in nature and wildlife led to the purchase of my first 35mm camera, in 1980. As a hunter, I loved being in the field, and the camera allowed me to be there, during all times of the year. In 1983, the Iowa DNR became interested in publishing my waterfowl photos, and from there my interest evolved to include more of Iowa's wildlife, our prairies, insects, and scenic vistas. Then, as frequent travels included other parts of the midwest and west, I began to include coverage from around the Midwest and western US. Eventually my curiosity and love of nature led me to 3 South American countries including Brazil, 8 different African Countries, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, the Antarctic Peninsula, and West Papua New Guinea. My ultimate goal is to help others enjoy, appreciate, and value our often fragile and threatened natural ecosystems and natural heritage. Perhaps my photos will cause others to make important choices which will save declining habitats, and improve our natural world.

2021 programming is sponsored by the Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation.

The Pottawattamie Conservation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or other legally protected status in its employment, programs or activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Human Resource Director 227 South 6th Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51501.

Map to 30 Years of HawkWatch Celebration

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