Iowa & Missouri: Winter 2018-2019

December 1, 2018–February 28, 2019

Francis L. Moore

Recommended citation:

Moore, F. Winter 2018-2019: Iowa & Missouri. <> North American Birds.

The unseasonable warmth observed in December in Iowa continued into the new year, with January trending warmer than average for much of Iowa until a destabilization in the Polar Vortex led to frigid, unseasonable coldness over the last few days of January and into February. A substantial snowpack across much of the state also helped hold down temperatures. Statewide average snowfall was 22.6 inches, making February the snowiest on record. Iowa temperatures for the three winter months of December, January and February averaged 20.8 degrees F or 1.2 degrees F below normal while precipitation totaled 5.63 inches, 2.32 inches more than normal.

In what the University of Missouri Climate Center called “whiplash weather”, January brought a memorable snowstorm January 11-13, leaving 20 inches of snow in parts of Central Missouri. Traffic delays piled up, with some travelers spending 15 hours or more in their automobiles on I-44, and 1/3 of the trees on the campus at the University of Missouri in Columbia damaged. A Polar Vortex dipped low into the Midwest during the last few days of January and continued its impact into early February. Although February ended 2 degrees below the long-term average, the three-month period came in 1 degree above the long-term average, and it was the wettest winter in 35 years.

In Missouri, the cold, early start to winter impacted diversity in the northern parts of the state, pushing waterfowl south to look for open water. There was a Summer Tanager at a feeder on both the far east and the far west of the state at the same time. Chaseable rarities included a Mountain Bluebird that came in late Nov and stayed for the winter, and a Black-and-white Warbler testing his cold temperature resolve for a few days during mid-December.

In Iowa most waterfowl numbers, both in reports and in highest numbers, were well below what was reported last year. Highest numbers of waterfowl were reported from December and late February, with fewer found in January. Overall duck numbers were well below average during the period, with most reports and higher numbers occurring in December and after 15 February. Most gallinaceous birds were higher compared to last year, with almost all showing above average and numbers increasing from last year. This seemed to be the season where rare and unusual species were almost non-existent, with records committee accepting only two records of casual, accidental, or out of season species this winter: Varied Thrush and House Wren.

Contributors (state editors in boldface)

IOWA: Danny Akers (DAk), Jan Behrens (JBe), John Bissell (JB), Aaron Brees (AB), Stephen Brinner (SB), Anne Brown (ABr), Bruce Burroughs (BB), Brandon Caswell (BC), Giacomo Catalina (GC), Adam Ciha (AC), Raymond Lake Cummins (RLC), Therese Cummiskey (TC), Valerie Davenport (VD), James Demastes (JD), Stephen J Dinsmore (SJD), Tom Dougherty (TD), Seth Dudley (SD), Olivia DuRugna (OD), James Forde (JF), Steven Freed (SF), Jim Lake Fuller (JLF), Jay Gilliam (JG), Tyler Harms (TH), Douglas C Harr (DCH), Kaydnn Hatfield (KH), Candace Havely (CH), Kyle Hawley (KHa), Riley Henry (RH), Paul Hertzel (PH), Dean Hester (DH), Mary Hodak (MH), Jay Johnson (JJ), Joel Jorgensen (JJo), Joe Jungers (JJu), Carson Kephart (CKe), Jeremy Klatt (JK), Craig Kruse (CK), Connor Langan (CL), Peter Lowther (PL), James McCoy (JM), Kelly J McKay (KJM), Tony Moline (TM), Francis L Moore (FLM), Eric Ollie (EO), Mellisa Panella (MPa), Mark Proescholdt (MP), Kris & Craig Rash (KCR), Billy Reiter-Marolf (BRM), Justin Rink (JR), Linda G Rudolf (LGR), Ken Saunders (KS), Richard Sayles (RSa), Tom Schilke (TS), Lee A Schoenewe (LAS), Tom Stone (TLS), Ross Silcock (RS), Jessica Steins (JS), RJ Thompson (RJT), Wendy Van DeWalle (WV), Kendall Van Zanten (KVZ), Gerald L Von Ehwegen (GLV), Ben West (BWe), Matt Wetrich (MW), Bobby Wilcox (BW), Clayton Will (CW), Charles Young (CY). MISSOURI: Cornelius Alwood (CA), Patricia Ayers (PA), Chris Barrigar (CB), David Becher (DB), David Blevins (DBl), John Bollin (JB), Diane Bricmont (DBr), BO Brown (BoB), David Catlin (DC), Karen Davis (KD), Bill Eddleman (BE), Shannon Ehlers (SE), Kent Freeman (KF), David Haas (DaH), Mark Haas (MH), David Haenni (DHa), Austin Hess (AH), Chris Hobbs (CH), Doug Hommert (DH), Peg Houston (JH), Janet Hoyne (JH), Brad Jacobs (BJ), Tim Jones (TJ), Tim Kaven (TK), Peter Kondrashov (PK), Kyran Leeker (KLe), Kendell Loyd (KL), Pat Lueders (PL), Debbie Martin (DM), Steve Martin (SM), Chrissy McClarren (CMc), Paul McKenzie (PMc), Mitch McQueen (MM), Pete Monacell (PM), Brenda Morris (BM), Joseph Mosley (JMo), Josh Mosteller (JM), Tom Nagel (TN), Mary Namecek (MN), Eric Ost (EO), Dick Palmer (DP), Bryan Prather (BP), Stacey Jo Pryor (SJP), Michelle Randecker (MRa), Andy Reago (AR), Natalie Rekittke (NR), Nicholas Renz (NRe), Lane Richter (LR), Mark Robbins (MR), Bill Rowe (BR), Mike Rowe (MRo), Jethro Runco (JRu), Matt Schamberger (MS), Brent Schindewolf (BSc), Bruce Schuette (BS), Laura Schweitzer (LS), Joe Sueme (JS), Becky Swearingen (BSw), Greg Swick (GSw), Michael Taylor (MT), Tim Taysen (TT), Peggy Voltz (PV), Merle Wenger (MW), Paige Witek (PW).

Abbreviations: BS (Bird Sanctuary); CA (Conservation Area); CBC (Christmas Bird Count); L&D (Lock & Dam); NF (National Forest); NWR (National Wildlife Refuge); R (River); RA (Recreation Area); Res. (Reservoir); SP (State Park); WA (Wildlife Area); WMA (Wildlife Management Area); m.ob. (many observers); * (documentation accepted); ph (photograph).


A seasonal high count for Snow Goose was 5000 on 30 Dec at Percival Fremont, IA (JJo, MPa). Ross’s Goose numbers included a high of 40 on 4 Dec at Greenfield Adair, IA (DAk). The highest number for Greater White-fronted Goose was 4500 on 2 Feb at Riverlands Migratory BS St. Charles, MO (LR). Cackling Goose reports included a high of 235 on 4 Dec at Green Valley SP Union, IA (DAk); the highest number reported in Missouri was 25 on 10 Jan at Riverlands Migratory BS St. Charles (SJP). The highest concentrations for Canada Goose in Iowa were 10,300 on 14 Dec at Bays Branch WMA Guthrie (TD) and 10,000 on 13 Feb Woodbury (GLV). The previous Missouri state high-count for Trumpeter Swan was almost doubled with 2332 on 1 Feb at Riverlands Migratory BS St. Charles (BJ, PMc, PM). In Iowa there was 92-262 on 13-27 Dec at Dale Maffitt Res. Dallas (JG, AB, RLC, JJ, RJT) and 85-250 on 5-13 Jan at Amana Lilly Pond Iowa (JM, LGR). High count for Tundra Swan was 20 on 18 Dec Clayton, IA (KJM) with a high in Missouri of 60 on 5 Feb at Riverlands Migratory BS St. Charles (PL).

Wood Ducks spent another winter at Forest Park, St. Louis City St. Louis, MO, with numbers peaking at 60 on 10 Dec (MS). The limited open water from frigid temperatures around Missouri kept many waterfowl numbers low and within their expected range. Two Blue-winged Teal were at Otter Slough CA on 28 Dec Stoddard, MO (MH). In Iowa Gadwall was reported throughout the period with high counts of 35 on 8 Dec at Trumpeter Marsh Lee (BW, CH) and 35 on 15 Dec at Saylorville Res. Polk (AB). Highest count for Northern Pintail was 20 on 25 Dec at DeSoto NWR Harrison, IA (JR). There was a high of 20 Green-winged Teal on 25 Dec at DeSoto NWR Harrison, IA (JR). The highest count of Canvasbacks in Iowa was 3500 on 8 Dec at Montrose Lee (BW). High count for Ring-necked Duck was 50 on 8 Dec at Montrose Lee, IA (BW). The highest number of Greater Scaup was 1-9 on 11-16 Dec at Red Rock Res. Marion, IA (JG, KS, AB) and the highest number of Lesser Scaup was 61 on 18 Dec at Mississippi R Clinton, IA (KJM).

A single juvenile Surf Scoter was at Red Rock Res. Marion, IA on 8-15 Dec (AB, SJD, MP, BWe). There was one juvenile White-winged Scoter found on 8 Dec-6 Jan at Red Rock Res. Marion, IA (BWe, JG, KS, MP, AB, SJD). One Black Scoter was observed on 3 Dec at Keokuk Lee, IA (JLF) with an additional single adult male found on 8 Dec at Duck Creek Scott, IA (DH, BC) and one adult male on 16-23 Feb at Red Rock Res. Marion, IA (AB, SJD). Seven counties in Missouri, Cedar, Dade, Henry, Jackson, St. Charles, Scott and Stoddard, had a single Long-tailed Duck from one to several days with the exception of one that lingered at Brenda Kay Sand Pit, Scott from 22 Dec (MT, TK) through the end of the period (MH, m.ob.). There were 5 reports of this species in Iowa, mostly on Army Corps impoundments and along the Mississippi R. Highest number of Bufflehead was 200 on 24 Jan at Pat & Jack Bush Overlook Scott, IA (SF). High counts for the season for Common Goldeneye were 710 on 4 Dec at Saylorville Res. Polk, IA (AB) and 800 on 8 Dec at Montrose Lee, IA (BW). Highest count for Hooded Mergansers numbered 30 on 13 Dec at Dale Maffitt Res. Dallas, IA (JG). A high count of 8400 Common Merganser occurred on 30 Dec at Red Rock Res. Marion, IA (JG, AB). In Missouri Clear Lake Reynolds, hosted new all-time high counts of Red-breasted Mergansers with 48 on 7 Dec (JRu).

Quail Through Shorebirds

There were twelve reports of Northern Bobwhite in Iowa with highs of 14 on 18 Dec at Prescott Adams (DAk) and 7 on 3 Jan at Wildcat Den SP Muscatine (RSa). This year there were 22 reports of Gray Partridge from Iowa with 15 on 2 Dec near Nevada Story (EO) and 8 on 23 Feb near Mason City Cerro Gordo (JK, MH). Ring-necked Pheasant was reported from 169 locations with a high of 120 on 26 Dec near Nevada Story, IA (EO) and 159 on 28 Feb Boone, IA (DCH). A lone juvenile Red-necked Grebe was observed on 8 Dec at Brushy Creek SRA Webster, IA (SJD-ph). A single Horned Grebe, casual in northern Missouri, made a one day stop on 21 Dec at Loess Bluffs NWR Holt (*PMc) with another at Smithville Lake Clay on 25 Jan (CB, BM); another stayed longer 21 Dec-1 Jan at Longview Lake Jackson, MO (KD, m.ob.). The only Eared Grebe was one on 11 Dec at Table Rock Lake Stone, MO (DM, SM, BJ, PMc, AH, GSw). A Western Grebe spent 1-11 Dec at Table Rock Dam Stone, MO (SM, DM, BJ, AH, BSw, GSw, m.ob.). A Western/Clark’s Grebe was at Fellows Lake Greene, MO on 15 Dec (*DC, *BoB, GSw, m.ob.). A White-winged Dove was at a private residence in Kennett Dunklin, MO on 5-22 Dec with 2 present on 18 Feb (*KF).

There were 10 reports of Sandhill Cranes in Iowa this year with high counts of 82 on 18 Dec Clinton (KJM) and 22-36 on 22-24 Dec at Sunrise Court Allamakee (BRM). In Missouri they were reported in four counties, including these observations; one on 16-21 Jan at Eagle Bluffs CA Boone (JM), 6 on 10 Dec at Loess Bluffs NWR Holt (TT), 10 on 6 Jan at Stockton Lake Polk (PA) and 5-16 on 27 Jan through the end of the period at Grand Pass CA Saline (CB, BM, m.ob.). Rare in winter, Least Sandpipers were reported in four counties in Missouri during the period: 8-27 on 13 Dec-15 Feb Dunklin (TJ), 1-5 on 1-30 Dec Polk (JB, CH, MR), one on 9 Dec at Riverlands Migratory BS St. Charles (BP) and one on 17 Dec at Horton-Four Rivers CA Vernon (JB, MR). A Spotted Sandpiper was at Montrose CA on 1 Dec Henry, MO (JB, CH, MR) and at Mark Twain NF on 19 Dec Stone, MO (*SM, *DM-ph). There was also one Spotted Sandpiper reported in Iowa on 23 Dec at Swan Slough, Camanche Clinton (*JS). Wilson’s Snipe observations came from 13 counties around St. Louis and in the south in Missouri with a notable number of 105 on 10 Jan at Otter Slough CA Stoddard (KF); there were two Wilson’s Snipe reports from Iowa, one on 23 Dec Buchanan (KJM) and one on 2 Feb at Green Island WMA Jackson (TM). Five Lesser Yellowlegs showed up early on 27 Feb Pemiscot, MO (TK). The sole Greater Yellowlegs report of 55 birds came from Hornersville Swamp CA on 11 Jan Dunklin, MO (TJ).

Gulls through Owls

A first cycle Black-legged Kittiwake spent a few hours on the morning of 8 Dec at Riverlands Migratory BS St. Charles, MO (MRo, DB). A lone Franklin’s Gull was in Benton, MO on 25 Feb (EO, PW). There were also three single Franklin’s Gulls found in Iowa with one continuing 1st cycle on 1-2 Dec at Saylorville Res. Polk (AB), one on 3 Jan at Ottumwa Park Wapello (JG) and one adult alternate on 4 Jan at Sabula Jackson (JF). Two reports of California Gull in Missouri were of individuals at Smithville Lake Clay on 1-2 Jan (ph, *MN, *DM, *SM) and at Longview Lake Jackson on 13 Feb (*KD, ph). There were a total of 30 reports of Iceland Gull in Iowa this period with six counties in Missouri having single kumlieni, and single thayeri reported in four locations. There were four reports of Lesser Black-backed Gull in Missouri, with an additional seven reports from Iowa. For Glaucous Gull there were seven reports from Missouri and two from Iowa. An adult Great Black-backed Gull was an early morning treat on 3 Feb at Longview Lake Jackson, MO (*KD), Bill Rowe noted it was not a good winter for unusual gulls at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary even with the cold fronts and arctic periods. Stockton Lake Cedar, MO hosted a Red-throated Loon on 30 Dec (*KL), 5 Jan (MW) and 6 Jan (KL, PA). It was also the location of a Pacific Loon on 27 Jan (*GSw) and 2 Feb (*KL). There were only six reports of Double-crested Cormorant in Iowa all of single birds. In Iowa there were 78 reports of American White Pelican throughout the period, most below the dams at Saylorville Res. Polk and Red Rock Res Marion. High counts were 210 on 15 Dec at Saylorville Res. Polk, IA (AB) and 214 on 16 Feb at Red Rock Res. Marion, IA (AB).

A record late fall migrant American Bittern was at the entrance to Cordova Marion, IA on 19 Dec (ABr, GC). A pair of Great Egrets, a rare winter visitor, were at Dresser Island St. Charles, MO on 10 Dec (BR) and a lone bird was reported in three additional locations; Riverlands Migratory BS St. Charles, MO on 4 Dec (BSc) and 7 Dec (CA); On 18 Dec at Edward Jones Confluence SP St. Charles, MO (DH) and on 5 Dec-18 Feb at Forest Park St. Louis City St. Louis, MO (NRe, m.ob.). Black-crowned Night-Herons continued another year of overwintering in Missouri with 1-7 birds throughout the period at Forest Park-St. Louis Zoo, St Louis City St. Louis (m.ob.). There was one report of a Turkey Vulture in Iowa this year on 22 Dec Johnson (AC) while a single bird ventured north in Missouri on 15 Dec to Sunbridge CA Buchanan (*PV). There were 12 reports of Golden Eagle scattered across Iowa this year. There were also six reports of Golden Eagles in Missouri, all of single birds. This year there was one report of Northern Goshawk in Iowa with one juvenile on 8 Dec at Brushy Creed SRA Webster (SJD). In Iowa high counts of Bald Eagle included 314 on 27 Jan at Red Rock Res. Marion (AB) and 291 on 16 Feb at Red Rock Res. Marion (AB). It was another great winter for Rough-legged Hawks in Iowa with 233 reports totaling 276 individuals during the season, with 15 dark morph individuals reported. A Snowy Owl was photographed on 24 Dec at Smithville Lake Clay, MO (MM). In Iowa there were five reports of Snowy Owl found throughout the state. There were 7 reports of Northern Saw-whet Owl in Iowa during the season which were scattered throughout the state with a high of 3 on 4 Jan Clayton (KJM).

Falcons through Siskin

There was a total of 53 Merlin reported from 24 counties in Iowa with a high of 2 on 15 Dec at Sioux City Woodbury (GLV). These reports included 8 of the columbarius race and 5 of the richardsonii race. In Missouri Merlin were reported in 28 counties all being single birds. There were six reports of Peregrine Falcon in Iowa during the period. There were three sightings of Prairie Falcon in the central and northern part of Iowa, and five records in two counties in Missouri. Eastern Phoebe was found in 28 counties in Missouri, primarily in the south where it is now commonly found in the winter; the most northerly report came of 1 on 20 Dec at BK Leach CA Lincoln, MO (DHa). There was one reported in Iowa on 5 Jan at Fairfield Jefferson (TC). A lone Say’s Phoebe was in Greene, MO on 13-22 Feb (KL, m.ob.). There were 50 reports of 51 individuals of Northern Shrikes this winter in Iowa, scattered mostly over of the northern two-thirds of the state except one 27 Jan along Hwy 2 Van Buren (KHa). Single Northern Shrikes were present in eight counties in Missouri with the furthest south at Shawnee Trail CA Barton on 12-15 Dec (MR, JB, m.ob.). Accidental in winter, a lone Blue-headed Vireo was reported on 6 Jan at Lester’s Landing Dunklin, MO (*TJ). Fish Crows returned to areas in southern Missouri in late Feb except for one outlier on 18 Jan at Tywappity Community Lake Scott (MH). Noteworthy reports of Tree Swallows were 3 at Clearance Cannon NWR Pike, MO on 9-22 Dec (*AR, CMc, KLe) and 9 on 14 Dec at BK Leach CA Lincoln, MO (*BS). Early spring arrivals were 5 on 24 Feb at Duck Creek CA Stoddard, MO (JS, MRa).

In Iowa there were an unbelievable 476 reports of Red-breasted Nuthatch from throughout the state with a high of 24 on 4 Jan at Seed Savers Exchange Winneshiek (RH, CL). The high number of reports from throughout the state indicate this winter was an invasion year for this species for Iowa. In Missouri reports came from a whopping 58 counties and spanned the period, including a bird that spent the entire period at Sugar Creek Subdivision Adair (PK-ph) and five more at Gen. Watkins CA Scott (MH). Lester R Davis SF Barton, MO (had the high for the year with 8 on 16 Jan (DBl). One House Wren was documented as an out of season record in Iowa on 15 Dec at Red Rock Res. Marion (*TH). Single House Wrens, rare in the south in Missouri, were found at four sites across the bootheel: One on 1 Dec at Dunklin (KF), one on 17 Dec at Ten Mile Pond Mississippi (BE), one on 28 Jan at Donaldson Point CA New Madrid (KF) and one on 6 Jan at Hayti Pits Pemiscot (TJ). There were 28 reports of Winter Wren in Iowa from throughout the period with a high of 8 on 14 Dec Jackson (KJM). Rare in the north in Missouri they were once again counted in late Dec at Loess Bluffs NWR Holt with 1-3 birds on 21 Dec (MR, MM, JM). Sedge Wrens in Missouri had a report of a single bird north of the Missouri R. on 10 Dec at BK Leach CA Lincoln (BJ, PMc) and two birds present on 1 Jan at Cora Island, Big Muddy NWR St. Charles (*JH, PL, *DP). Marsh Wrens spent part of the winter in seven counties in Missouri with a seasonal high of seven on 21 Dec at Loess Bluffs NWR Holt (MR, JMo).

There was one report of one Ruby-crowned Kinglet in Iowa on 15 Dec at Red Rock Res. Marion (SJD-ph). In Missouri a male Mountain Bluebird was first reported at the end of Nov, continued through the winter period St. Clair (*PW, EO, *PMc, *KL, m.ob.). There were 18 reports of Hermit Thrush this year in Iowa with highest number of six on 17 Dec Clinton (KJM). There was one report one juvenile male Varied Thrush in Iowa on 18-28 Feb at Waterloo Black Hawk (TS-ph, TLS, *TM, BC, KCR, *JD-ph, *WV, SD). Gray Catbird in Iowa was found at three locations with one on 10-14 Dec Jackson (*KJM), one on 15 Dec Linn (*KJM) and one on 23 Dec at Buffalo Creek area Buchanan (DAk). There was one Brown Thrasher in Iowa on 17 Dec Clinton (KJM). Bohemian Waxwing was recorded in Iowa with one on 2-3 Feb at Waterman Creek O’Brien (LAS, JJu) with good details. Eurasian Tree Sparrow were widely reported in Iowa along the Mississippi R where high counts included 100 on 14 Dec at Burlington Des Moines (PL) and 143 on 26 Dec Muscatine (KJM). In Missouri, American Pipits were in 12 counties, primarily in the south, with a high of 32 on 15 Feb in the Palmetto Area Greene (GSw). More than half of the counties in Missouri experienced Purple Finches with the greatest number of 104 on 24 Feb once again being at Sugar Creek Subdivision Adair (PK). In Iowa there were 23 reports this year after 57 reports of Common Redpoll last year: Highest number was 13 on 23 Dec Buchanan (KJM). In Iowa there were 354 reports of Pine Siskin this year after 97 last year with a high count of 190 on 31 Dec at Mason City Cerro Gordo (PH) and 80 on 28 Jan at Greene Butler (BB) making this an invasion year for this species in Iowa.

Longspurs through Finches

Highest numbers for Lapland Longspurs in Iowa were 350 on 14 Jan near Cresco Union (DAk) and 600 on 21 Feb near Manning Carroll (DAk). There were 61 reports of Snow Buntings this season in Iowa with the highest number of 200 on 23 Feb Sioux (KVZ). The only Snow Bunting in Missouri was one bird vocalizing before being flushed from the shores of Mozingo Lake CA on 2 Dec Nodaway (KL). There were two reports of Spotted Towhee in Iowa, one on 25 Jan at Ames Story (DAk, good details) and one on 2 Feb at Saylorville Res. Polk (AB, JB-ph). There were two reports of Chipping Sparrow in Iowa with one on 29 Dec at Otley Marion (AB, good details) and one on 27 Jan at Polk City Polk (AB-ph). Chipping Sparrows showed up in Missouri with 1-3 birds in 13 counties. The only report of Vesper Sparrow in Iowa was one on 28 Dec near Prescott Adams (DAk, good details). There were three reports of Savannah Sparrow in Iowa this season with two on 14 Jan near Prescott Adams (DAk), one on 27 Jan along NW 30th St Polk (CW) and one on 23 Feb at Ada Hayden Heritage Park Story (CL). One Fox Sparrow, rare in northern Missouri, was at Loess Bluffs NWR Holt on 21 Dec (MR, JMo). There were 26 reports of Fox Sparrow in Iowa with a high of two on 16 Dec at Quad Cities Scott (KJM), two on 10 Feb at Fairmont Cemetery Scott (JM) and two on 27 Feb at Dubuque (CK). There was two reports for Lincoln’s Sparrow in Iowa with one on 14 Dec at Credit Island WA Jackson (*KJM) and one on 17 Dec near Calamus Clinton (KJM). There were 20 Oregon race Dark-eyed Junco individuals reported in Iowa this season. In Missouri BR noted Dark-eyed “Oregon” Juncos were reported around in some numbers as at least ten reports came from around the St. Louis St. Louis area, almost all with photographs. An apparent Oregon x Pink-sided Dark Eyed Junco was photographed by DH in his St. Louis, MO yard on 21 Jan (fide Tony Leukering and Steve Mlodinow).

An unexpected Yellow-headed Blackbird was in a mixed flock in Missouri on 26 Jan Buchanan (TN) with another adult male found in Iowa on 8 Feb at Big Creek WA Polk (RLC, good details). There was one report of Eastern Meadowlark from Iowa this winter with vocalizations. There was also 8 reports of Western Meadowlark this winter from Iowa noting vocalizations. The Highest counts of Red-winged Blackbird in Iowa was 70,000+ on 22 Dec at Water Works Park Polk (LGR) and 700+ on 5 Jan Johnson (CKe). There were a total of seven reports of Rusty Blackbird of 25 individuals from five counties in Iowa, with a high count of 8 on 3 Dec Pottawattamie (KH) and 6 on 22 Jan at Coon Rapids Greene (MW). There were two reports of Brewer’s Blackbird in Iowa, one on 24 Dec at Huxley Story (VD) and 2 on 15 Feb at Knoxville Marion (JBe). Iowa had nine reports of Great-tailed Grackle this winter period with high counts of 85 on 7 Dec at Wabonsie Access Fremont (RS), 6-64 on 19 Dec-3 Jan at Water Works Park, Polk (JG, RJT, CY, LGR) and 10 on 4 Jan at Percival Fremont  (OD, SB). In Missouri a Great-tailed Grackle was photographed on at a feedlot on Church and Seeburger Rds., St. Louis (BR) had 7 on 10 Dec. BR comments this is now the only reliable site in the St. Louis area where from 1-8 were seen throughout the season (m.ob.).

A female Black-and-white Warbler was photographed on 13-15 Dec at Carondelet PARK, St. Louis St. Louis, MO (*CMc, AR). Single Orange-crowned Warblers were found in two counties in Missouri on several different days: one on 10 Dec at Creve Coeur Lake and County Park St. Louis (BP), one on 28 Dec at Otter Slough CA Stoddard (MH, DaH), reported again on 10 Jan (KF) and on 4 Feb (KF) and one on 31 Dec St. Louis (AR, CMc) and again on 11 Feb (LS). A 1st year male Orange-crowned Warbler was also located on 16 Dec at Camp Dodge Polk, IA (JG-ph). A lone Nashville Warbler was a one day wonder on 15 Dec Greene, MO (*NR). In Missouri there was a report of one Palm Warbler on 14 Dec Carter (JRu, SE) and another on 27 Feb at Little River CA Pemiscot (TK). In Iowa there was one report of a first year male Common Yellowthroat with vocalization on 16 Dec at Brenton Slough Dallas (JB). There were 15 reports of Yellow-rumped Warbler in Iowa with the highest number reported of 14 on 14 Dec Jackson (KJM) and 9-10 on 18-22 Dec at Sycamore Access Polk (TD, RJT); all other reports were of single individuals from the central and eastern parts of the state. A surprise Summer Tanager was feeding at a private residence on the east side of Missouri on 13 Jan St. Louis (*DBr, PH), while a male continued from November at Karen Smith’s (ph) residence in Peculiar Cass through 18 Jan. In Missouri an Indigo Bunting made a one-day visit on 14 Dec at Ozark National Scenic Riverways Carter (JRu, SE).

Report processed by Byron Swift, 30 Oct 2020.