Geographical Index > United States > Iowa > Johnson County > Report # 35883|
Submitted by witness on Saturday, June 23, 2012.
Possible encounter while volunteering at Macbride Raptor Project outside North Liberty
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COUNTY: Johnson County
NEAREST TOWN: North Liberty
NEAREST ROAD: IA County Rd. F28
OBSERVED: Me and my friend were feeding the owls at Lake Macbride about midnight. We were near the cage that have the turkey vulture in when he keep hearing something big move in the woods. We tried to figure out what it was but we couldn't.
OTHER WITNESSES: 1
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Steve Moon:
I spoke with witness on the phone. He returned my call. He was obviously very excited about his encounter, even though it had taken place two years ago.
Two friends were volunteering at the raptor center. They were feeding birds at around 1 am. It was jacket weather, cold and calm. The reason for their late visit was that one of them worked until midnight. The birds needed to be fed, and that was the only time that they could get out there. There was moonlight shining through a slight overcast. They had noticed that it was freakishly quiet just before hearing something large moving around in the woods on the other side of the bird cages from their position. It sounded like something really big was taking heavy footsteps. They began to pursue it, staying on a walkway as it moved through the woods. They could hear twigs snapping. They would hear heavy footsteps and then quiet. The two pursued it for what seemed like about 30 minutes. It headed south toward an inlet of the Coralville Reservoir, zigzagging as it went. The animal sounded as though it was taking long strides. Both of them saw two large red eyes, first two and then one.
Photo looking toward the raptor sanctuary cages from the walkway to the inlet:
The walkway the two volunteers followed as they were in pursuit toward the inlet of the reservoir:
Macbride Nature Recreation Area contains about 480 acres located on a forested peninsula in the Coralville Reservoir, adjacent to Lake Macbride State Park.
The Raptor Center is a center for the rehabilitation of injured raptors, but also maintains a bird watching blind that is stocked with bird food which attracts deer and other animals as well as birds, particularly during winter months. This incident occurred in early spring.
Macbride Nature Recreation Area is composed of old clearings and woodlands with a gently rounded upland that is deeply cut by ravines. There is approximately three miles of Coralville Reservoir shoreline in the nature area.
About BFRO Investigator Steve Moon:
A native of southeast Iowa, Steve has long been a cave explorer, and general outdoor adventurer. He is currently working as a professional research librarian.
Steve attended Michigan Upper Peninsula public and private expeditions 2008, 2009 and 2012. He has organized ten private expeditions in NE Iowa, in 2008 through 2012. He attended two private expeditions in Illinois, and one public expedition in Minnesota in 2010, and public and private expeditions in Illinois and Wisconsin in 2011 and 2012. Steve organized the BFRO IOWA Hill Country Expedition in 2011 and 2012 .
Steve is currently preparing to organize the BFRO IOWA Big River Expedition 2013.