Photo of an american robin

Robin migration: When it starts and why you might see robins during the winter

March 13, 2019

Each year, since I was a little kid, my mom and I take guesses about when we will see the first robins of the year. Now that I live in northwest Iowa and she lives in eastern Iowa, she usually sees them first, so I usually guess earlier than I…

Photo of a colored winter scene

Spring and winter coloring page

March 11, 2019

When you sit down to color a picture, it’s usually pretty obvious what you’re coloring. What’s fun about folding pictures is that you have to finish it before you can see exactly what you’ve done. As we transition from winter into spring, we thought it would be timely to create…

Graphic that says spring is when you feel like whistling, even with a shoe full of slush

What is spring?

March 11, 2019

The sunshine is more powerful and begins to melt the snowy walk, although the slush freezes again at night. The days lengthen, but Daylights Savings Time makes the more morning come later. Birds start their journeys north, but have to stop and wait for a few more days before they…

Photo of two kayaks in the water

Adult kayaking classes registration opens

March 8, 2019

If you can’t wait to get your kayak out of storage and onto soft water, you’re not alone. The Dickinson County Conservation Board is already planning for summer and is looking forward to helping kayakers improve their skills on the water. Register online now for beginners and advanced kayaking courses,…

Aerial photo of wetland

Anonymous donation leads to acquisition of Brooks National Golf Club

March 8, 2019

An anonymous donation has led to the acquisition of the former Brooks National Golf Club by the Dickinson County Conservation Board. A donation of $3 million was given to the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County — the non-profit fundraising arm for the Dickinson County Conservation Board — to purchase the…

Photo of a mallard flying

Waterfowl spring migration usually begins at the beginning of March

March 6, 2019

You might start seeing migrating birds even when it seems winter still has its grip on the world. Different species of birds decide to migrate based on different factors, such as day length, temperature, food availability and genetics predisposition. For waterfowl, it begins with daylight. Over the winter, waterfowl eat…

Photo of a least weasel

Mink, ermine or weasel? We can help you tell the difference

March 4, 2019

Although creatures in the weasel family are often just called weasels, they are actually split up into a variety of species. You might be seeing an ermine, otherwise known as a stoat or short-tailed weasel, (Mustela erminea), the least weasel (Mustela nivalis) or a mink (Mustela vison). If you see…

Photo of marbled paper

Marbled paper craft

March 4, 2019

The first session of No School Day Camp was so much fun, and we’re excited for our sold-out second session in a couple of weeks. During the 2019 No School Day Camp, kids were able to make marbled paper, which is a simple craft that you can do at home…

Photo of a girl holding a bunny

Summer camp registration is open!

March 1, 2019

If you’re looking forward to summer, start planning by registering your children for summer day camps at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. “I love our summer camps because of the diversity of activities we are able to offer to campers,” said Bryanna Kuhlman, environmental education coordinator. “We plan…

Photo of a red-breasted nuthatch

Iowa winter birds

February 27, 2019

Pine siskins, purple finches, dark-eyed juncos, American tree sparrows — these Iowa winter birds are really only just a few of the birds that make winter a bit more fun in this cold state. 1. Red-breasted nuthatch Red-breasted nuthatches live year-round in many parts of the western United States and…

Photo of completed template

Fabric paint window decal

February 27, 2019

Sometimes you go through the craft supplies and wonder how to use up the excess that you have. Let’s say you bought some puffy fabric paint to make a costume for Halloween, an ugly Christmas sweater or for a play one of your kids was putting on for school. (Have…

Photo of a snake swallowing a mouse

How a snake breathes while it eats

February 26, 2019

Just because they work for a conservation board doesn’t mean that naturalists know everything. Just last week, naturalist Ashley Hansen was feeding Rosie the corn snake when she noticed a hole open up in the snake’s mouth while it was eating a mouse — the Dickinson County Nature Center snakes…

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