Photo of a female purple finch

Tell apart finches at your feeder

October 31, 2018

Not all finches have “finch” as part of their name, so you might be surprised just how many finches you have at your feeder. Common redpoll, northern cardinal, rose-breasted grosbeak, scarlet tanager, indigo bunting — all of these are actually finches. (Nine fun facts about woodpeckers) However, most of these…

Graphic about recycling

Don’t forget to recycle during the holidays this year

October 29, 2018

Tis the season for celebrations. From Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas, we’re all in the holiday spirit — whatever your favorite holiday is. However, sometimes what comes with holidays is waste. There are Halloween candy wrappers, uneaten Thanksgiving leftovers, Christmas wrapping paper — so much of our holidays end up…

Pinki the tarantula molts

October 24, 2018

We came in to work to find Pinki the tarantula on her back in her desert aquarium. Like many people who see a tarantula in this position, our first thought was “Is she dead?” She wasn’t moving. Her legs were wide apart. She was on her back. She certainly appeared…

Photo of a coyote

Five differences between coyotes and wolves

October 22, 2018

I still remember the first time I heard a coyote pack howl as dusk began to settle on the Iowa Great Lakes area. On a walk at Kettleson Hogsback, the sun started to set above the calm shallow lakes, and a high-pitched howl began in the distance. Another answered it.…

Photo of nighttime scene with noodles

This noodle art is so fun it’s batty

October 15, 2018

Bats are a hot topic around Halloween. (We love bats — read about how they use echolocation here.) And we love crafts that are both nature-related and fit into the season, so today we tested out a new bat craft. It’s simple, great for all ages and utilizes things you…

Bats use echolocation to find prey

October 15, 2018

Bats can see about as well as humans. However, they are nocturnal — which means they are active at night — and think about how well you can see at night. (Read about nocturnal animals in Iowa.) Without a light, can you see a mosquito? You might feel it bite…

Graphic with photos of woodpeckers

Nine Fun Facts About Woodpeckers

October 10, 2018

There are birds at your nut feeder with black, white and red. What are they? The safe answer is, it’s a woodpecker. Adult males of six of the seven species of woodpeckers in Iowa have some combination of black, white and red, in fact. It might be a red-headed, red-bellied,…

Make your own glowing pool

October 8, 2018

We had more than 180 people attend the Family Glow Walk in October 2018, and one of the hits were our glowing sensory ponds. Light-up rubber duckies, neon fish and bright bobbers floating in luminescent water drew kids in like moths to a flame. Wonder how we did it? We’ll…

Graphic about muskies

Fish are fun!

October 8, 2018

Test your fish knowledge with our fun quiz here!

Photo of big bluestem

Collect prairie seed to start a natives garden

October 5, 2018

Big blue stem, compass plant, wild white indigo – these beautiful prairie plants could be a part of your landscape. You could get the seed for free by participating in Dickinson County Conservation’s seed collecting program 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the nature center in Okoboji. “We talk a…

Photo of swans being released

Trumpeter swans were once gone from Iowa

October 3, 2018

Trumpeter swans are a majestic sight. Their graceful long necks. Their brilliant white feathers. Their long, slender wings that help them hover above the earth. As strong as they may look, being the largest waterfowl native to North America, they are not invincible. In fact, they were once extirpated —…

Are you a naturalist?

October 1, 2018

How much do you know about the animal ambassadors at the Dickinson County Nature Center? Take this quiz to find out if you know as much as our naturalists!

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