It's a Lark! It's a Crane! It's the Big Day of Birding

Posted on April 28, 2016 in Blog

big day of birding

Explore southern Iowa’s Lucas County on Saturday, May 21, during the Big Day of Birding! This first-time event marries bird enthusiasts and conservationists as we count as many bird species as possible in 24 hours.

Lucas County is a popular spot for our feathered friends. The area boasts critical nesting habitat for rare species such as American woodcock, whip-poor-will and wood thrush. Plus, Stephen’s State Forest is home to a large number of woodland birds, including the vibrant warbler. 238 bird species have already been identified, and we hope to grow that number on the Big Day of Birding.

All experience levels are welcome, but to participate on a field count team you must register by May 7.

Bird watchers will meet one mile south of Chariton at Pin Oak Lodge. There will be limited binoculars and field guides available for use, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. Please pack a notebook and snacks, and dress for the weather.

Big Day of Birding kicks off at 6 a.m. on Saturday, but bird watchers are not required to stay the entire day. There will also be activities, including an introduction to birding presentation, in and around Pin Oak Lodge throughout the day for those that don’t wish to attend the field count. INHF President Joe McGovern and board member Mike DeCook, who lives in nearby Lovila, will be attending the event.

Enthusiasts are welcome to attend an informational meeting and a screening of “Opposable Chums: Guts and Glory at the World Series of Birding” on Friday, May 20, at Pin Oak Lodge. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. with the film to follow. Results from the Big Day will be announced on Sunday, May 22 at 10 a.m.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is a sponsor of the event.

For more information and to register, please contact Tourism Lucas County at 641.774.4059 or visit

We hope to see you there!

  • There are opportunities to volunteer at the Bid Day of Birding.
  • Learn more about the Stephens Forest Bird Conservation Area here.