Photo of female osprey with eggs

Spring is coming, and that means that we starting looking for the Okoboji osprey to return to the nest in Kenue Park. They are amazing creatures that follow a strict schedule, and you can almost set your watch by them. Here is a quick timeline of the typical osprey year: April 2: After overwintering in…

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Osprey are unique raptors that are built to eat fish, in fact, it’s 99 percent of their diet. Click on the image below for a free printable osprey maze activity that you can challenge yourself with at home. Read more about osprey at these links: WATCH: Osprey lifespan Seven differences between osprey and bald eagles…

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Photo of an osprey eating a koi fish

I know that we’re not the only ones who leave the Iowa Great Lakes area for the winter. There are ducks, geese, songbirds, swans and even people that take off when the weather gets colder for areas that are warmer and where food is easy to come by. Last year was a weird year. My…

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1. Prairie voles Prairie voles are almost the epitome of a happy, healthy animal relationship. The creatures, about the size of a hamster, only live one-two years, but they are monogamous during that time. Once they meet a member of the opposite sex, pheromones help them to ready for mating. After mating, they show love…

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Photo of a black-tailed prairie dog

After European settlement, osprey were extirpated in Iowa. Many of the wetlands were drained and water quality lowered as the landscape changed, and these fishing birds of prey sought homes in other areas. However, in the early 2000s, after years of concentrated efforts to improve water quality in the Iowa Great Lakes area, osprey returned…

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From migrating north to reproduction and caring for chicks to migration south, the osprey lifespan is fascinating! Don’t forget to download the Okoboji Osprey Activity Book complete with word search, dot-to-dot and Migration Mad Libs. Click here to access the free activity book. Types of bird nests People live in different types of houses —…

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Graphic of the activity book cover

Click on the image to download our special Okoboji Osprey activity book for free and then click here to watch the osprey live April-September on the nest cam.   Osprey breeding season timeline Spring is coming, and that means that we starting looking for the Okoboji osprey to return to the nest in Kenue Park. They…

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Photo of osprey on the nest

The ice is finally gone! We’ve been quite annoyed that after we arrived back our favorite fishing holes were all covered in ice, and then as soon as we began building our nest it snowed. And I mean snowed. And then a couple of days later it snowed some more. I heard someone in the…

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“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 back to my beloved breeding…

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When people see the large nest inside the Dickinson County Nature Center and the big raptors on the outdoor nest during the summer, they often think they are bald eagles. Many people don’t realize that after being extirpated in Iowa, osprey populations have started to make a comeback in the 2000s. Each summer, osprey come…

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