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Leave Wildlife Babies in the Wild

Leave Wildlife Babies in the Wild

  • 4/17/2015 8:05:00 AM
  • View Count 8363
If you find an animal baby that appears to be on its own, don’t worry. Generally, one of its parents is nearby, watching.
Finding Injured Wildlife: What to Do

Finding Injured Wildlife: What to Do

  • 4/3/2015 7:52:00 AM
  • View Count 5636
When Pete Vande Poppe spotted a great horned owl along Highway 60 near Alton about a month ago, he knew something wasn’t right. He swung by home to tell his wife, Gretchen. She grabbed the camera and off they went, finding the owl in the grass alongside the road.
Cool Things You Should Know About Prairie Chickens

Cool Things You Should Know About Prairie Chickens

  • 4/2/2015 10:22:00 AM
  • View Count 5950
Early in April, eerie, hollow booming reverberates over a field near Kellerton, the last remnant of greater prairie chicken habitat in Iowa. Go to the lek, or breeding ground, to hear the males begin their courtship rituals. Watch as they shrink and expand leathery orange sacs on each side of their necks to make the haunting sounds that hens love.
How Do Birds Know to Return in the Spring?

How Do Birds Know to Return in the Spring?

  • 3/27/2015 9:07:00 AM
  • View Count 5632
Common sense tells us birds fly south in the winter to escape the harsh conditions of the north, and return “home” in the spring when the weather improves. While that theory doesn’t fly in the face of truth, it isn’t altogether factual, given most birds are well-equipped to handle extreme temperatures.
Build a Bluebird House [Tutorial]

Build a Bluebird House [Tutorial]

  • 3/13/2015 5:49:00 AM
  • View Count 11160
Bluebirds should be arriving soon in Iowa, so now's a great time to clean out those bluebird boxes, or if you don't have one yet, to build your own!
Why Are Robins So Big in the Spring?

Why Are Robins So Big in the Spring?

  • 3/5/2015 11:24:00 AM
  • View Count 7286
Just like the first sighting of a robin marks spring for many people, so does the arrival of animal babies. But in this case, robins aren’t big in the spring because they’re ready to lay eggs. They’re not bigger at all – just really cold.
Wetlands Project Sinks Hole-in-one

Wetlands Project Sinks Hole-in-one

  • 3/5/2015 5:35:00 AM
  • View Count 1358
The cackle of pheasants has returned along the north and west sides of Okoboji View Golf Course in Spirit Lake after a major watershed improvement project created wetlands and native prairie on 350 acres.
Learn More About the Least Weasel

Learn More About the Least Weasel

  • 2/25/2015 5:10:00 AM
  • View Count 1648
While it can still be common in specific locales in northern Iowa, for the most part, the least weasel is now pretty rare in Iowa.
Jump Into Winter Wildlife Tracking

Jump Into Winter Wildlife Tracking

  • 2/25/2015 4:28:00 AM
  • View Count 3384
Kids (of all ages!) love discovery, and what better way to feed that need than by turning snowbound winter days into a fun family or couple’s outing. Better yet, set aside time for regular outdoor jaunts to create a memorable tradition.
Winter Camouflage and Coloration in Iowa's Wildlife

Winter Camouflage and Coloration in Iowa's Wildlife

  • 2/20/2015 5:18:00 AM
  • View Count 2782
For many Iowa animals, the stark landscape – bare trees and a bright white groundcover – makes them stand out more in the winter, which is good news for those who enjoy watching wildlife. But for a few Iowa critters, winter is a time for them to blend in with the scenery.
Rice Lake Returns

Rice Lake Returns

  • 2/13/2015 10:03:00 AM
  • View Count 2400
The topic was lake restoration, but in 2009, the small group of lake users living near Rice Lake wasn’t ready to discuss pulling the plug on the 1,000-acre shallow lake straddling the Worth-Winnebago county line.
Go Shed Antler Hunting

Go Shed Antler Hunting

  • 2/13/2015 9:54:00 AM
  • View Count 42587
Whitetail deer have about a two-month shedding period in Iowa, beginning mid-Jan. and ending mid-March. Around Feb. 20 is the best time to start looking for shed antlers.
The Mighty Mink: Cool Things You Should Know

The Mighty Mink: Cool Things You Should Know

  • 2/13/2015 8:12:00 AM
  • View Count 12962
Built much like its larger relative the otter, the mink has a long, sleek body about 2 feet long. It has short, stubby legs, a long neck, small ears and eyes and a long, thick tail. In fact, one third of the mink’s length is tail.
Go Calling Under the Owl Moon

Go Calling Under the Owl Moon

  • 2/3/2015 9:57:00 AM
  • View Count 13912
February’s full moon is nicknamed the owl moon, as the crisp night air is filled with the calls and hoots of mating owls. Trek into the woods with the young and young at heart to practice calling owls.
What's the Difference Between a Groundhog and a Woodchuck?

What's the Difference Between a Groundhog and a Woodchuck?

  • 1/29/2015 10:08:00 AM
  • View Count 6606
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? We’ll never know because the Marmota monax’s common name (woodchuck) is not representative of this mammal’s habits or habitat, but reflects the early English pronunciation of the Cree word for this creature—wuchak.
Tips for Better Winter Bird Feeding

Tips for Better Winter Bird Feeding

  • 1/15/2015 11:37:00 AM
  • View Count 7458
If winter cold and snow drive you indoors, open a colorful cold-weather window with hours of bird-watching entertainment. Iowans spend more than $300 million annually watching wildlife, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Much of that comes from feeding birds, especially through our cold weather months. Use these tips to attract the most birds.
Tips for Spotting Bald Eagles this Winter

Tips for Spotting Bald Eagles this Winter

  • 1/9/2015 11:18:00 AM
  • View Count 5052
Winter is the best time in Iowa to spot a majestic bald eagle soaring overhead or swooping down to the water to catch a fish.
What Do Snakes Do in the Winter?

What Do Snakes Do in the Winter?

  • 1/9/2015 6:43:00 AM
  • View Count 3931
Snakes, being cold-blooded, rely on their surroundings to regulate body temperature. Like other ectothermic animals, they bask in the sun to warm up, seek shade or water to cool down. So, when conditions are not conducive for temperature regulation, they brumate.
Cool Things You Should Know About Deer

Cool Things You Should Know About Deer

  • 1/9/2015 5:56:00 AM
  • View Count 12291
Even though the white-tailed deer is one of Iowa’s most well-known critters, here are some cool facts you may not know about deer.
Four Animals You Didn’t Know Lived In Iowa

Four Animals You Didn’t Know Lived In Iowa

  • 1/7/2015 5:04:00 AM
  • View Count 30897
Before Europeans began settling in Iowa, our landscape looked much different – not just the vista views of prairies and oak savannas, but the wildlife that called it home. You’d be hard pressed to find many elk, bison, black bear or lynx in the Iowa wild today, but not that long ago, they roamed our state.
Myth Busters: Do Cold-blooded Animals Get Cancer?

Myth Busters: Do Cold-blooded Animals Get Cancer?

  • 1/6/2015 11:29:00 AM
  • View Count 1601
Cold-blooded animals like snakes, fish and sharks do get cancer, likely from polluted waters and foreign substances. While many questions still surround this issue, scientists hope the unique ways these animals deal with cancer might give hope for cancer treatments and possible cures in humans.
New Year's Iowa Checklist: Where to Go, What to Do Month By Month

New Year's Iowa Checklist: Where to Go, What to Do Month By Month

  • 1/6/2015 8:42:00 AM
  • View Count 12747
It’s a New Year. I don’t do resolutions. So, call this a New Year's Outdoor Checklist; places or events across Iowa for each month. Most are return trips for me; worth a second or seventieth visit. A couple, I haven’t taken the time yet to check out. Maybe it will remind you of a few special outdoor ports of call, in the months ahead.
Why Don’t Fish Freeze in the Winter?

Why Don’t Fish Freeze in the Winter?

  • 12/5/2014 9:40:00 AM
  • View Count 16401
Stepping out into the deep freeze that is Iowa in the winter, it can be hard to believe that much can make it in the often below-zero temperatures. And with ice so thick that heavy-duty trucks can drive out on a lake, how can a fish possibly survive below?
Cool Things You Didn’t Know About Otters

Cool Things You Didn’t Know About Otters

  • 11/26/2014 7:42:00 AM
  • View Count 9467
They may look cute and cuddly, but don’t let the playfulness of Iowa’s river otters trick you. Otters are serious swimmers and fearless, voracious predators. Here are some cool facts you may not have known about Iowa’s swimming weasels.
Best Iowa State Parks for Fall and Winter Wildlife Viewing

Best Iowa State Parks for Fall and Winter Wildlife Viewing

  • 11/14/2014 10:18:00 AM
  • View Count 2263
Cooler temperatures in Iowa don’t have to mean hibernation – if you like watching Iowa’s wildlife, there are still sights to be seen in late fall and winter! Grab the binoculars and camera and get ready for a quiet drive or crisp hike to watch birds, waterfowl, deer and turkey.
Things You Should Know About Spiders

Things You Should Know About Spiders

  • 10/30/2014 9:05:00 AM
  • View Count 8264
Possibly the creepiest and crawliest of all Iowa’s critters, spiders are an often misunderstood and undervalued part of nature in Iowa.
Things You Should Know About Bats in Iowa

Things You Should Know About Bats in Iowa

  • 10/28/2014 10:39:00 AM
  • View Count 14527
Bats show up everywhere this time of year as people decorate for Halloween, but bats are nothing to be afraid of. Really, we just think they’re scary cool, and here’s why.
Cool Things You Should Know About Snakes

Cool Things You Should Know About Snakes

  • 10/28/2014 8:37:00 AM
  • View Count 12047
One of Iowa’s most misunderstood creatures, snakes are a vital part of our ecosystem. Undeserving of a reputation as one of Iowa’s scariest critters, snakes serve an important role in nature.
15 Ways to Enjoy Iowa’s Outdoors this Labor Day Weekend

15 Ways to Enjoy Iowa’s Outdoors this Labor Day Weekend

  • 8/26/2014 7:11:00 AM
  • View Count 2736
If you’re looking for a way to mark the unofficial end to summer or just want to try something new instead of the old barbecue routine, try one of these 15 great Iowa outdoor activities this coming Labor Day weekend.
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