The featured wildlife species in DNR's 2011 Nongame Support Certificate is a Northern Cardinal, photographed by Stan Buman of Fenceline Photos in Carroll, Iowa. Stan is an all around nature lover and his photography has been featured in many regional and national publications. He is also part-owner of a consulting firm focused on agriculture and the environment. Check out more of his photography at http://www.fencelinephotos.com/ .
Northern cardinals are one of the most striking and ubiquitous birds in Iowa. They are a member of a family that includes dickcissels, buntings and most of the grosbeaks. They have a large body and a bulky bill, perfect for cracking open seeds. Male cardinals, as in the certificate image, have a prominent crest and bright red plumage that contrasts strikingly with Iowa's snow-covered winter landscape. Females are not as brightly colored but are still a beautiful mixture of olive and tan with some reddish- orange highlights.
Cardinals are found in all counties in Iowa though they are sparser in Northwest counties. They are one of the relatively few species that are year round residents. During the nesting season, cardinals prefer low dense vegetation for their nests though these patches of habitat can be found in residential areas to forest edges and old fields. During the winter they are one of the most common and welcome feeder birds. On a winter feeder survey conducted in 1994, cardinals were observed at 81% of feeders. Overall they are an adaptable species that has expanded its range during the last 50 years. The northern cardinal has also in the past topped the list of people's favorite birds.
It is with mixed feelings we announce that 2011 marks the last year that the non-game certificate will be produced. This fact made the Northern Cardinal an especially symbolic pick as a male cardinal also graced our very first support certificate in 1979. It is a fitting image to help usher out this important program that raises money to conserve all songbirds as well as other non-game wildlife. Thank you for your support of Iowa's Wildlife!
Phone orders: Call (515) 281-5918. Credit cards accepted. Cost = $5.00
Mail order to:
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Attn: Non-game Support Certificate
Wallace State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319-0034
Make checks payable to the "Iowa Department of Natural Resources", Cost = $5.00
Iowa DNR 2011 Non-Game Support Certificate Order Form