What kind of duck is it?

February 24, 2020
Photo of the wingspan exhibit

New exhibits on display at the nature center

February 21, 2020

The Dickinson County Nature Center has two new exhibits on display. “We always say we’re growing and changing at the Dickinson County Nature Center, and it’s true,” said community relations coordinator Kiley Roth. “We never want people to say, ‘Been there, done that.’ We always want people to come back…

Photo of flying short-eared owl

Owls of Iowa

February 19, 2020

Iowa is home to nine different owl species. You might not have seen all of them before, however, as two are state endangered — the short-eared owl and the barn owl — and one is state threatened — the long-eared owl. Let’s take a look at some of the most…

Photo of a snowy owl pinecone

Snowy owl pinecone craft

February 18, 2020

Iowa is home to nine species of owls. The snowy owl seems like the Holy Grail of owls, sometimes, since it is so elusive and seen so sporadically in the wintertime. It makes for a fun excursion to try to track down, and it also makes for a fun wintertime…

Photo of swan chicks

Types of feathers

February 15, 2020

Feathers come in a variety of colors and forms, but they are all composed of the protein beta-keratin, just like snake scales. Feathers’ barbs and barbules — smaller hooked pieces that come off of the barbs — make up different feather structures that serve different functions. Wing Wing feathers are…

Photo of families outside looking at a telescope

Friday night is family night!

February 14, 2020

Spend Friday evenings as a family at the Dickinson County Nature Center’s monthly Family Nature Night. Environmental educators have plenty of fun planned for the next two Family Nature Nights 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 and March 27. The February program’s theme is Leap Into Nature — in honor of…

Photo of a short-eared owl on the ground

Owls of Iowa: Short-eared Owl

February 12, 2020

You may not have even heard of the short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), because it is not common in Iowa. Although it is widely distributed throughout North America and is one of the world’s most distributed owls, it is endangered in the state of Iowa. Their “ears” are hard to see.…

Photo of Great Plains toad

What we love about our animal ambassadors

February 10, 2020

We love the animal ambassadors at the Dickinson County Nature Center! Here are some reasons why: 1. Pinki’s irridescent hair Pink is the perfect color for Valentine’s Day, so Pinki the tarantula fits right in. She has irridescent pink hairs that were the reason her species was named Chilean rose-haired…

2020 seasonal positions open

February 5, 2020

Nature Center Assistant Hourly wage negotiable, 40 hours/week Qualifications Be able to start in early April. Must possess valid driver’s license at the time of hire and maintain it throughout the course of employment. To apply E-mail cover letter, resume and county application to Lee Sorenson at lsorenson@co.dickinson.ia.us Essential functions:…

Photo of a long-eared owl in a tree

Owls of Iowa: Long-eared owl

February 5, 2020

They might be called the long-eared owl (Asio otus), but you actually can’t see their ears. Instead, this state-threatened owl has feathered tufts on top of its head that look like it has long, pointy ears. They have a loud call. Like the great-horned owl, the long-eared owl has a…

Photo of white-tail buck with antlers

Five antler facts

February 3, 2020

Big white-tail deer bucks with big antlers. They are a statement, that’s for sure. But how much do we actually know about antlers? 1. Antlers differ from horns. The words antlers and horns are not interchangeable; they are completely different body parts for a variety of reasons. First, antlers are…

Photo of child petting a bunny

No School Day camp registration opens Feb. 1

January 31, 2020

Learning doesn’t have to stop just because there is no school. No School Day Camp will be held two days in March at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji — 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday, March 9, for Okoboji Elementary School and Monday, March 16, for Spirit Lake Elementary. Elementary-aged…

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