Earth Day trivia graphic

Earth Day trivia quiz

April 24, 2018


Photo of a ring-billed gull

Okoboji seagulls aren’t sea gulls at all

April 23, 2018

There is no such thing as a seagull. All gulls have proper names, none of which is sea. We posted this Noon Nature Fact on our Facebook page last week and had several comments on it. I knew that there were lots of species of gulls, but honestly didn’t realize…

Go on a Spring Scavenger Hunt

April 23, 2018

I don’t really want to sit at my desk today. I want to go outside! This weekend was really the first weekend I felt the warm sun on my skin, and the winds that flew were cool instead of frigid. It felt wonderful, and it finally feels like spring is…

People looking through binoculars

Birding on the Green is perfect for all ages of bird lovers

April 20, 2018

Even with recent snowstorms, birder Ed Thelen isn’t worried about there being birds in the area during the first Birding on the Green event 7 a.m. Monday, May 7. “I think birds migrate on the photo period, so I think it will be the same as usual,” he said. “We…

Will these winter storms affect birds that have come north?

April 18, 2018

We had a call yesterday that someone found a dead robin. Talking to a local birder, a friend of his found a group of eastern phoebes that had all died. The birds that stay in Iowa through the winter are adapted at finding food, but those that migrate and come…

Photo of sweat bee

Honeybees are not native bees, surprised?

April 12, 2018

“I think a lot of people will be surprised to hear honeybees are not native to North or South America; we brought them here for honey production and to pollinate some of our plant species.” (Six ways honeybees differ from native bees) Bryanna Kuhlman, environmental education coordinator for the Dickinson…

Osprey Diaries: Home sweet new home

April 11, 2018

“On the road again. I can’t wait to get on the road again.” The song kept rolling through my head as I sat in beautiful South America, watching the waves roll on the Atlantic Ocean. My wings were just itching to start flying the 4,000 miles that would take me…

Photo of a tundra swan

4 ways to tell apart swans and snow geese

April 9, 2018

It’s a big, white bird paddling on that body of water. But what exactly is it? Most likely, it’s a trumpeter swan if you’re in Iowa. The trumpeter swans is native to the state and is the biggest waterfowl native to the U.S., its wingspan reaching up to 8 feet…

Photo of pipe cleaner animals

Easy and inexpensive pipe cleaner animals

April 9, 2018

I was flipping through Pinterest last night when I saw some photos of amazing miniature animal creations and realized that they were all made out of pipe cleaners. That’s something we have a lot of in the craft supply area at the nature center, so I figured it would be…

Photo of a poster for Earth Day

Earth Day Celebration Trivia Night is family friendly

April 6, 2018

Do you know what the monarch butterfly’s host plant is? What about the 10 essentials for hiking? Put your outdoor knowledge to the test during the Earth Day Celebration Trivia Night 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. “Through the years, we’ve celebrated Earth…

Photo of a white-lined sphinx moth

Common moths in Iowa

April 4, 2018

Moth balls. Moths flying out of old trunks in the attic. Moths escaping from bags of bird seed. Dusty, brown, uninteresting moths. The stereotypes about moths aren’t really true, because there are many moths in the world, and in Iowa, that are actually quite neat. Learn about a few that…

Photo of a bamboo bee home

Make your own bee hotel

April 2, 2018

You can help native bees by providing them a secure place to nest. What many call bee hotels or bee homes range from simple to deluxe designs. (Mason bees are amazing pollinators.) One way is to drill various-sized holes into a wooden block or tree cookie and hang it in…

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