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    1. Tina on August 17, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      Thank you, I am a newbie to the whole butterfly watching hobby. I noticed lots of butterflies around my homestead this year. I watched a pair of Black Swallowtail Butterflies playing around my bee balm and noticed the caterpillars on my parsley and dill. I brought one in and I have her in jar keeping her in fresh parsley, she is doing wonderful, I am hoping to watch the whole transformation into the beautiful butterfly.

    2. alex on March 9, 2020 at 7:24 am

      Very Cool!

    3. John F. Smeltzer on March 7, 2020 at 7:52 am

      Have you done any training in the management of Mason bees ???? If not …. do you know of any group that does ??

    4. Maeve on March 6, 2020 at 8:52 am

      Just saw my first robin in Kitchener, ON Canada on March 5th 2020.
      Then woke up to six inches of snow.

    5. Ari on March 3, 2020 at 6:21 pm

      it was interesting to see what the bear scat looks like and why it has the weird white tubes in it.

    6. ruby on March 3, 2020 at 6:17 pm

      this is sooo gross

    7. JAMES WEBSTER IV on March 3, 2020 at 8:43 am

      This was a good paragraph it really helped me with my homework

    8. Richard on February 29, 2020 at 8:00 am

      Has trails mowing position been filled yet?

      • kiley on March 2, 2020 at 12:18 pm

        It is still open as of March 2.

    9. Amanda Veit on February 26, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      I have an almost 3 year old that may be interested. I see the program starts at 7, and you let me know how long the program goes til?

      • kiley on February 27, 2020 at 12:03 pm

        Family Nature Night usually lasts about an hour

    10. Steve on February 22, 2020 at 8:25 am

      This mornings walk was accompanied by a chorus of Robins on the ground around the pines and azaleas here in Charleston SC. 37 degrees and clear, glorious way to start the day!

    11. Marchetta White on February 21, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      I am so glad to see that you are showing Abbie Gardner’s collection . She should always be remembered all year long not just during the summer. I remember my grandmother often talking about her.

    12. Ava on February 20, 2020 at 2:26 pm

      Saw my first Robin of 2020 in Indianola, Iowa 2-20-2020. Hoping for an early Spring!

      • Elizabeth on February 22, 2020 at 7:49 am

        Seeing them in Waukee too. The sounds of spring are back!

        • Nancy Rubscha Palmer on March 6, 2020 at 4:39 pm

          Recently moved to central Florida & just saw my 1st Robin here! So exciting! When I lived in northern NY we could hardly wait to see them while waiting for spring!! And their music (song) is beautiful too ❤

        • Chloe E Gray on March 9, 2020 at 7:08 am

          Saw my first Robbin yesterday 03/08/2020 in upstate New York.

      • Maryann Ranahan on February 23, 2020 at 8:33 am

        The joys of bird watching. It is February 23, 2020 New England, 30 minutes outside of Boston to the south and I just witnessed a flock of Robins enjoying the holly berries outside my front window. I also witnessed some of these cuties eating the berries from a privet hedge. I’ve never seen Robins eat privet berries but they must’ve liked them as the bush in now bare of berries. Looking forward to more birdwatching as the days get warmer.

      • Bill Pillsbury on February 23, 2020 at 1:03 pm

        Sherman Hill in Des Moines 2-23-20 at high noon. 1 last blizzard assured!

      • Harold Giddley on March 7, 2020 at 5:41 pm

        Heard one on Thursday but could not locate…..have yet to spot near Green Bay

    13. Nancy Decker on February 20, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      The big robin visit is on here in Columbia SC, with large flocks streaming in and populating shrubs, tall pine tree branches, trees and the ground. This is an annual mid-February event in this location for the past 8 years! I’m awaiting the other February bird event from the blujebirds; I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve counted up to 160 in my front yard, mostly on the ground and bunches in the dogwoods, like a moving, blue carpet! I’ve had about 30 in the backyard around the feeders and getting assorted goodies including mealworms since late January.

    14. Donald Huschle on February 19, 2020 at 8:27 pm

      WOW, I didn’t think cats could kill weasels. I grew up on a farm and weasels killed our chickens and our cats didn’t get them. Maybe easier prey. We never feed our cats. Belief was if you fed cats they wouldn’t mouse. Here in Dallas we have coyotes now and they eat cars. Didn’t think they could catch or would eat cats but they are resourceful.

    15. Isabella on February 19, 2020 at 11:06 am

      I’m just outside of Ottawa, ON and I’ve got about five robins perched up on my fence. It mid-February so I’m very surprised to see them. Usually, robins don’t appear until March in these regions.

      • Rob on March 1, 2020 at 2:53 pm

        Saw my first Robin in Eldora Iowa on 1 March 2020

    16. Patty on February 18, 2020 at 8:22 am

      Just found an ermine in the snow on our walkway- cat probably brought home
      Sodus NY
      A first since living here (1983- now)

    17. William R Dawson on February 16, 2020 at 11:38 am

      Had a large group of robins in our yard this morning in Mount Dora, Florida. Love to see them, it reminds me that Spring is on the way!

      • Chip on February 20, 2020 at 1:39 pm

        We live in The Villages,FL. Earlier today (8am till noon) we had hundreds and hundreds of robins pass through. They were in trees, roofs of home lawns and large flicks overhead. We had never seen this before. When they moved they took off in a northwesterly direction. Awesome site. For us, a once in a lifetime moment.

    18. ron on February 15, 2020 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you,

    19. J Hardwicke on February 15, 2020 at 9:09 am

      Love seeing pictures of this beauty of nature! If I saw one in real life, I’d probably faint!

    20. Nancy Buffalini on February 13, 2020 at 4:20 pm

      I had a flock of robins here late afternoon eating berries from palm tree. Rarely see them here in southwest Florida.

    21. Helena wann on February 5, 2020 at 2:20 pm

      February 5th 2020, Saint Thomas Mo woke this morning to a sight I’ve never seen before thousands of robins on front lawn i will never forget it was just amazing im truly blessed.

      • Shannon on February 7, 2020 at 8:56 pm

        February 7th saw a Robin coming and checking the nesting tree today out side my office window in north western part of Ohio. Always a sign if seeing Robin’s around, spring is coming soon..boost my spirts.

      • Linda J. Crist on February 18, 2020 at 6:57 am

        Huge flock of singing robins here on Jan. 13, 2020, eating berries in my cedar forest. Happens in Branson West MO (my location) in mid. Feb. every year.

    22. Eleanor Ann Struthers on February 4, 2020 at 11:07 am

      What is the largest turtle in Iowa?
      What is the largest turtle in Spirit Lake?

      • kiley on February 4, 2020 at 1:15 pm

        The snapping turtle

    23. Margaret Manthey on February 3, 2020 at 7:30 pm

      May I use this maze for our lake association’s annual newsletter (kids’ page)?
      Thank you,
      Margie Manthey
      Wolfe Lake Association
      mmanthey@twcny.rr.comcreate new email

      • kiley on February 4, 2020 at 1:15 pm

        Sure 🙂

    24. Terri on January 29, 2020 at 11:52 pm

      I see from the comments there are a lotof people concerned about snakes.
      Clearly, I am not alone.
      Right now I live in western Washington where there are no venomous snakes. Don’t think we can afford to retire here. I’m scared to go anywhere with venomous snakes. 😉

    25. Barb Higson on January 29, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      Your article is most interesting. We have a lovely nest box which the house sparrows haven’t used. However they’re loving their feeds of wild bird seed & the water bowl.
      Lately I’ve seen a bird the same size & look as a sparrow but it has a slight yellow tinge. It isn’t a finch or bright in colour. Could it be a cross breed? It seems to have the same features as the house sparrows.
      We live in NZ & are enjoying seeing the little ones feed.

    26. Christie Todd on January 28, 2020 at 10:35 pm

      I walked out my door this morning here in Portland Oregon, and was greeted by so much robin song it blew me away. In a good way of course – I love them! I could see them flying around my neighborhood from tree to tree. I thought January 28th was very early for them to be this far north, but it has been a mild season, and very rainy the last few days. Good for worms I suppose. I just hope we don’t get a late cold snap. I want them to stick around for awhile!

    27. Greg Smith on January 28, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      A flock in the yard today (Jan 28) here in Maryland. This is the earliest I’ve ever seen Robins in the yard.For many years, my Mother recorded the first robin in the yard and it was almost always late Feb or early Mar. It’s been a mild Winter but we usually get our snow in Feb.

    28. JUDY on January 25, 2020 at 10:49 am

      I just commented yesterday that in a short while the Robins would be here. Today they are here January 25, 2020 in Ocala, Florida. Soon there will be over 100 of them in my backyard. Perhaps more. Love seeing them.

      • Shirley on January 31, 2020 at 7:11 am

        Is this common I’m kind of new to Florida and I’ve been here about 7 years and I believe this is the 1st year that I have seen so many robins in my yard I live in port Saint Lucie

    29. Susan on January 25, 2020 at 9:18 am

      Large group of Robins in my fields . Greenville SC Area- it’s been mild and rainy this winter. Jan 25,2020 I’m surprised to see them!

      • Mark on January 31, 2020 at 8:32 am

        I’m in se Iowa it’s Jan 31 heard Robin’s singing this morning at about 8:00 am

    30. Isaac Bryant on January 24, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      I’m at work now and looking at a large amount of robins from my window it’s January 24, 2020 at 1:45 pm I’m in Birmingham Farms Mich. Shouldn’t they be will south of here?

      Isaac Bryant

      • Lee on January 26, 2020 at 7:08 pm

        I’m in Northern California Ukiah it’s the 26 of January 1000’s overhead going north!

      • Gail Ann on February 19, 2020 at 5:27 pm

        Large flocks of robins appeared here in the Antelope Valley ( Palmdale) in California a few days ago. I’ve only been seeing them here for a few years, so I don’t know if this is their usual route. A beautiful sight to see!

    31. lori rumbaugh on January 23, 2020 at 10:44 am

      They are all in my yard today. Avonmore pa

    32. Joan Stanton on January 23, 2020 at 9:49 am

      Yes today I saw a whole mess of robins in my back yard. January 23, 2020

    33. Rex Wangler on January 20, 2020 at 11:26 am

      What would be a reasonable minimum-sized area in which a spot of native prairie tall grass could be established and could be sustained in periods of standing water, similar to road ditches?

      • kiley on January 20, 2020 at 1:03 pm

        Even small rain gardens can be established well and make a huge difference. Most likely, it will reduce any standing water because the prairie plants will greatly help with drainage.

    34. Virginia Ruth on January 19, 2020 at 5:03 pm

      I am currently have a large group of american Robin’s flying north over my property. Numbers in the thousands!!!!! South central missouri. Just north of Bull Shoals lake dam.

      • Susan on January 20, 2020 at 7:15 pm

        Today I saw hundreds of robins in the trees around my house in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania! I was surprised to see them here this time of year!

        • Melissa on February 6, 2020 at 1:15 pm

          I just counted over 70 of them in a field in the north suburbs of Pittsburgh. 2/6/2020

      • KT on January 29, 2020 at 6:05 pm

        Yes I’m in Kansas City Missouri. I have seen hundreds of Robin’s singing in my trees every morning since Jan 25 2020. Current temps 45- 25 degrees. I put out some water in a raised cookie sheet outside near glass door they came to it in minutes.

    35. Ryan Anthony on January 19, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      Why are the black squirrels smaller?

      • kiley on January 20, 2020 at 8:34 am

        I’m not sure that they consistently are. They are still an eastern fox squirrel, just a color morph.

    36. Eric on January 16, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      People often seem to say Canadian geese while the term is Canada geese which is actually named after a man named Canada

      • kiley on January 17, 2020 at 8:35 am

        True, it is Canada geese 🙂

        • Lydia vargas on January 24, 2020 at 1:01 pm

          Nope what I saw wasn’t a swan or snow geese

      • Nic Kuvshinoff on February 9, 2020 at 5:28 pm

        I hear “Canadian” Geese all the time instead of Canada Geese. I have also heard the story about a man named “John Canada”. I am a bit skeptical about that part; I wasn’t able to readily find any information confirming that point. I believe that may be apocryphal.

    37. Sue Grove on January 16, 2020 at 4:17 am

      Please .ca you help. Found a leg white bird looking just like an egret but has webbed feet.

    38. Toni R Greim on January 9, 2020 at 5:31 pm

      Kansas City, Missouri Jan 9th 2020. Two males are sparring it’s 5:30 pm, sun almost completely gone. They have been at it for a while this evening. It was 68 degrees today.

    39. Prabir kumar samanta on January 9, 2020 at 2:48 am

      I have heard that fishes, if subjected to near -273 degree slowly then they become hard and sounds metallic.This can be kept for years after which they are brought slowly to the normal temperature then they become alive again. How does this happen?

    40. eggstrapolating eggvidence on January 4, 2020 at 5:18 pm

      Would the bird from the untitled goose game be a swan or a goose? I believe it to be a mute swan, who happens to make a goose call. Can anyone help?

      • Eric on January 16, 2020 at 7:48 pm

        If swans only have white feathers then what color is a black swans feathers?.

        • kiley on January 17, 2020 at 8:35 am

          Native U.S. swans all have white feathers

    41. dario on January 1, 2020 at 9:43 am

      painted turtles are adorable i have one at home that is 1 and a half years old. 😉

    42. Katie Anderson on December 28, 2019 at 10:18 pm

      I live in Whatcom County, WA, and on two occasions about two weeks apart, I’ve seen trumpeter swans in fields NW and N of Lynden, WA.

      The first was a flock of ~50 individuals, feeding in stubble. The second time was on 12/27, and only 3 individuals. They, too, were feeding in stubble.

      We have many bird species here, lots of Canada, snow geese, etc, but these were a surprise!

      • Julie Richter on February 7, 2020 at 11:10 am

        I live in Lewis County WA and just last week I saw a flock of around 20 trumpeter swans swimming and feeding in a lowland waterlogged corn field, it too was a surprise! I feel that here it’s part of an annual migration pattern as I seem to remember seeing them near the same field every year around this time.

    43. Gary Thompson on December 19, 2019 at 9:19 am

      Is a nuthatch a woodpecker?

      • kiley on December 19, 2019 at 9:30 am

        Nuthatches and woodpeckers are different 🙂

    44. Virginia Harrison on December 18, 2019 at 9:21 pm

      Just found an ermine….white with black tail….in my laundry room that the cat killed. How it got into the house is a mystery. I live west of Helena, MT in a area surrounded by forest lands, ranches and a nice size reservoir. This is the first time I seen one of these.

      • Carrie Lawrence on December 22, 2019 at 1:08 pm

        Me too! There is an active one in my kitchen right now. Way smarter than mice, so my cats are figuring out what to do about it. Currently, it seems to be hiding behind the dish washer. We have seen field weasels here in Troy, ID before, but I have never seen a white ermine. They have a super musky smell I am not happy about!

    45. Bad Beast on December 18, 2019 at 6:16 pm

      Picking mine up Friday

    46. Chester on December 17, 2019 at 2:47 am

      Toe field Alberta, Canada, one hour east of Edmonton, annually has Snow Geese gatherings to which they invite bus loads of tourist with bird interests. As the birds are migrating they stop in their journey at this quiet out of the way community to feed and rest.
      To the untrained eye,swans, trumpeters and mute swans are dispersed in the flocks.
      The event is TOEFIELD’S claim to fame, worth seeing to obtain a personal moment of contentment, a moment of ALL IS WELL WITH YOUR WORLD.

    47. Deb on December 15, 2019 at 9:21 am

      This past week on a very cold day in the heart of Minneapolis, but close to the Mississippi River, l looked into the sky and saw 7-9 pristine white, very large oval bodied birds in a tight formation flying overhead. There was too much street noise to ‘hear’ them but lm thinking Swans, but which? My car had just been hit by a red light runner so l took this sign as a good omen! BTW, a graphic of the undersides from below might be helpful.

    48. Jan Swale on December 15, 2019 at 8:55 am

      Does that half and half squirrel live in Iowa? Most of my life was spent in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area and south of there near Traer, and I never saw a single black squirrel there. However, I’ve visited the Quad Cities for many years and now live in Bettendorf and they’re common here. Several black squirrels live in my back yard and one has a rusty-red tail. They seem slightly smaller than the fox and gray squirrels.

      • kiley on December 16, 2019 at 11:01 am

        Black squirrels are a fox squirrel, just a color morph. The half-and-half squirrel was spotted near Solon, IA.

    49. Natalie Augustus on December 9, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      I had A mountain Lion in my backyard before

    50. Holyn on December 7, 2019 at 9:17 pm

      Very interesting. Would u happen to know why we have NO snow birds yet. They are shiney gray/blue with white on their chests. And the size of a nuthatch

    51. Maureen on November 26, 2019 at 6:44 am

      EXCELLENT IDEAS! ALSO visit Nature Centers n learn. We are blessed in NW IOWA!

    52. Wilson on November 25, 2019 at 11:58 pm

      That’s awesome! I have two and one is only a few weeks

    53. Laura Callahan on November 24, 2019 at 4:57 pm

      I loved this class and have the flight of butterflies hanging over a furnace vent. They fly regularly in my livingroom. Thank you, Barbara

    54. Susan Ford on November 22, 2019 at 10:29 am

      For several weeks we have had dozens of robins at our birdbath and water dishes. We are in the northern Sacramento Valley near Red Bluff, CA. They drink water almost constantly but ignore the feeders. While ten or so are on the ground sipping from bowls or bath another dozen are in the trees. We have never had so many robins in our 30 years of observing backyard birds. Perhaps this water drinking frenzy is due to our drought and unusually high temperatures for late fall.

      • Deborah on January 2, 2020 at 1:56 pm

        Just saw a flock of Robins 30-40 in my back yard I guess they are flying south from Easley SC. They are beautiful. Jan 2,2020.

        • Donna on January 9, 2020 at 7:39 am

          We live in Sevierville, TN… by Douglas Lake…. we are witnessing thousands…. I mean thousands of robins… never in my life have I seen such a site! They seem to roost to the east mountains and at dawn fly west to the lake area….. birdbath drinking is non stop! It is quite a site to see…. blessed to witness this!,,,

          • Linda Bergenstein on February 7, 2020 at 7:38 am

            Yesturday, we had thousands of Robin’s in the yard. I am 59 yrs old and have never before seen more than 5 or 6 in yard at a time.
            What a beautiful site.
            Feb. 6th 2020
            Warrenville, SC

      • Lu-Ann on January 31, 2020 at 8:13 am

        My yearly robin visits have begun . Jensen Beach, Florida . They love my backyard . I have two huge mango trees they like to rest in and they love my bird baths . My first arrivals came on January 30,2020 . Today there were even more !! I wish I could post my pictures and videos here .

    55. Leo on November 18, 2019 at 6:07 am

      thnx, I learned about snowflakes, well it helped me with my homework. But again THNXXX a lot.

    56. Kathy Angileri on November 15, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      I had a black squirrel in my back yard…St. Cloud Florida the other day…They are So Cool!❤⭐

    57. Maureen Reeves Horsley on November 15, 2019 at 10:14 am

      Great to know! Thanks!

    58. Dawna Banks on November 13, 2019 at 11:55 am

      This is really a great site. I have used some of my students so that they know more about Turkeys!
      Thank you!

    59. Descendent on November 11, 2019 at 11:47 pm

      Wow someone really needs to fact check before writing on someone that played a huge part for the descendants of those that my great great grandpa John Other Day.
      He was supposed to be paid $10,000 but the government screwed him over by paying him $2,500. He didn’t do it for money though, he saved all these ppl because it was wrong to kill those settlers.
      I’m sure he chose to forgive for the treatment of so many by other settlers. He went against the leaders by helping those to reach safety of their own ppl. In the end that money was a loss for the harsh treatment of our own ppl. So in the end he paid dearly. As for the pic of him you’re way off!!! And not his name listed neither. Anpetu-Topeka aka John Other Day. How not great that our ancestors were forced to change their given names.

      • kiley on November 12, 2019 at 9:59 am

        We do the best to check our facts, and the picture is the one provided by the State Historical Society of Iowa. If you have other resources, please let us know. These were brave men and very generous to help settlers in so many ways.

    60. Alison on November 11, 2019 at 7:44 am

      I was just wondering when they’d appear here in central FL. All winter they flock over our house at sunrise then again at sunset to roost in the nearby woods. It’s an amazing sight!

      • Donna on November 18, 2019 at 8:16 am

        Hi Alison – I’m in the Boston area and just saw a whole tree of robins. It look like they were packing up to leave for warmer weather— I will be curious to see if they’re around the rest of the week.— HAPPY Robin watching – Donna

        • Ted Lane on December 27, 2019 at 11:06 am

          Hundreds of Robins feeding in a Gum Tree in Starke, FL on 12/2019. They flock to the Gum Tree or Pear Tree about this time every year.

      • Monica on December 6, 2019 at 8:25 am

        December 6 2019
        Good morning Alison. Awoke here in Venice FL to the sounds of MANY Robins and raucous Common Grackles in the trees in the preservation land behind us. Reminded me of spring migration on Cape Cod! Nice to see it all in reverse here and … no snow!!

        • Mary OBrien on January 3, 2020 at 11:28 am

          Backyard full of Robin’s today!

    61. Jerry on November 6, 2019 at 9:42 pm

      November 06 2020- about 16:00 hours (4 pm). Just finished seeing hundreds of robins in wave after wave flying about back yard, roosting in trees, flying away, only to be replaced by more and more and more,repeating the pattern for about 30 minutes and then they were gone! I have never seen a spectacle like this live before-on television perhaps,but never in person,it was pretty amazing. Markdale, Ontario, Canada

      • Teresa on November 7, 2019 at 1:43 pm

        Just walked outside to a yard full of robins feasting on our dogwood berries and it almost seems as though they’re having a party flying here and there chasing each other. I’m in NW Georgia USA.
        November 7, 2019

      • See on November 8, 2019 at 8:29 am

        I’m watching about 20 Robins now on November 8th 2019 in NE Ohio by Lake Erie eating the tiny crab apple berries from my tree .

    62. Carl Dobson on November 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm

      Watched a very large number of Robins traveling south this afternoon in the fields just west of Bentonville AR. It was a disorganized group of many thousand passing through for about two hours. Some would peel off and land in our yard looking for food. Observed up to twenty birds in the yard at any give. Time. At evening many were see brooding in nearby woods

    63. Creighton and Susan Uridil on November 1, 2019 at 10:59 pm

      Brooks Golf Course is part of Lake Okoboji just as Arnold’s Park….I think maybe 18 holes would be easier to maintain…..My family started playing Brooks Golf Course back in the late 40’s. I still have the family movies ……How about good Choice Steaks and Burgers in the restaurant…a little advertising might help also. Beautiful place to eat and look out at the course during dinner. GOOD SERVICE AND GOOD FOOD AND PEOPLE WILL DINE AT THE PUB………GOOD LUCK. THE URIDIL FAMILY IN HASTINGS NEBRASKA

    64. Maureen Reeves Horsley on November 1, 2019 at 8:55 pm

      Looks GREAT! A favorite spot for our family to visit! Grandchildren love the exhibits. Can’t wait to see the new ones

    65. stella ramirez on October 31, 2019 at 7:00 pm

      i had been feeding the cotton tail rabbits al year by giving them fresh carrots and tortillas, then this winter, a very mean property manager where i live stopped me from feeding them or i will be fined and i was cause i did give the rabbits carrots still. i worry now how they will survive this snowy weather. they look up to my balcony waiting for carrots to be tossed to them but i couldn’t cause my nosey neighbor will tell the landlord. i feel so bad not giving them carrots. am still thinking how to reach the carrots to them without being seen by anyone. i feel very sad right now worrying about these rabbits i used to feed.

      • kiley on November 1, 2019 at 12:09 pm

        Stella, That is very kind of you to want to help wildlife, but we don’t recommend feeding wild animals. They are able to find the right food and nutrition that they need in the wild and have instincts to take care of themselves. It’s hard to not do it, because they are so cute! I bet those rabbits are going to be just fine 🙂 I hope your mind is at ease!

    66. Angie Maltese on October 31, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Just saw a female American robin in our mountain ash tree eating berries & perching on the tree branches. I haven’t noticed a robin in our yard since mid-August. We had 2 successful robin nests this past spring/summer in our backyard. So happy to have seen one. I live in Thunder Bay,Ontario Canada in Northern Ontario on the tip of Lake Superior. According to the map, they aren’t supposed to be here year round.

      • Lucy on November 3, 2019 at 2:07 pm

        I have a pair of robins eating berries from my mountain ash as well. I live inSault Ste Marie Ontario at the point where Lake Superior connects to the St Marys River…we are twin cities with Sault Ste Marie Michigan!

    67. DStuart on October 30, 2019 at 9:33 am

      We woke up to see a bunch of Robins around our backyard and hanging around the birdbath, so nice

    68. Doug Brown on October 10, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      What about 2020 and beyond?

    69. Kirlia on October 8, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      What is the difference between butterflies eggs and moth eggs? Which one is hard or soft?

      • kiley on October 9, 2019 at 8:30 am

        The egg of each species is different, so it really depends 🙂

    70. Danette Forbes on October 8, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      Hello! Could I register 3 runners for the 5k? I had my dates messed up thinking today was the 7th yet!!
      I can pay the $20 for each of us!

      Thank you!

    71. Maureen Reeves Horsley on October 4, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Wonderful preservation for future generations as well! Great example of working together for betterment of all. CONGRATULATIONS! (From outdoor Nature n horseback lover.)

    72. Harriet Perez on October 1, 2019 at 9:02 am

      For the past two days I’ve seen several Robin using our birdbath. Usually not seeing them now but they must still be getting food in our part of Illinois

      • Ashley N. on October 19, 2019 at 9:57 am

        I just spotted 3 robins outside of my bedroom window. I live by Madison, WI. I haven’t seen others in weeks.

    73. Michelle on September 22, 2019 at 4:43 pm

      What about water moccasins and cotton mouths

      • kiley on September 23, 2019 at 10:46 am

        Water moccasins, otherwise known as cottonmouths, are not typically found in Iowa. They are not considered an “Iowa snake.”

    74. Reecie A Woodley on September 15, 2019 at 7:28 am

      I was reading the bible how God rained down manna which was small as hoar frost. Wanted to know what it looked like. Exodus 16: 14. thank you.

    75. Darleen Dhillon on September 9, 2019 at 1:04 am

      Today I went to our local street fair (The Solano Stroll, Berkeley+Albany Calif.) and as I stood for a moment talking to an old friend I had run into after many years, a lovely orange butterfly fluttered across the crowd and landed on my outstretched hand! It stayed there peacefully for well over a minute. It was not a Monarch. I have been scrolling thru this website and others trying to identify it. More of a lighter orange, and a very dark fringey body. I am not superstitious, but have to wonder what (if anything) this could mean. I just felt honored and humbled that such a creature chose to come and land on me.
      D. Dhillon
      Berkeley CA

    76. Christi Sweet on September 3, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Just wondering why I haven’t seen any robins in my yard for awhile. There are so many other birds that I didn’t realize it until a couple of days ago. I live in Northern Kentucky.

      • Laurie Goodhart on October 7, 2019 at 12:14 pm

        I’m in upstate NY and haven’t seen or heard them since early spring this year. Not normal at all. I have 8 acres with forest, wild fields, and mowed areas. They should be here in abundance, as they have been my whole life.

    77. Heather Wiese on August 28, 2019 at 9:48 am

      I decided to put out only safflower for awhile, at least until I get a caged feeder. The starlings are still all over it. They’re even clinging to my finch sock I have in a different part of the yard. I’m starting to hate these birds

    78. Carol on August 27, 2019 at 12:49 pm

      What about yellow tiger swallowtail caterpillars? What do they look like? Different from black swallowtail caterpillars?

      • kiley on August 27, 2019 at 2:13 pm

        Tiger swallowtail caterpillars are green and look quite different.

    79. Stagman on August 27, 2019 at 9:05 am

      We’ll be there or we’ll be square.

    80. susan tipton on August 26, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks. I was able to understand quickly. In time to move a caterpillar who had finished a lone, unidentified plant to what I know is milkweed!

    81. Glen S. Keith on August 21, 2019 at 5:08 pm

      I lived in the northern part of Switzerland for a few years and there were lots of hedgehogs..we seemed to encounter them in the winter, and our Jack Russell (leashed) would get vocal , and ‘boop’! into a ball. If it was quiet it would make a noise, not aggressive. We didn’t torment, when we realized there route, we moved down and watched the odd one head off to doo hedgehog stuff

    82. Susan Thompson on August 21, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      That was the easiest thing I’ve ever looked up. Thank you for making it so clear.

      • Buz Peoples on August 26, 2019 at 12:46 pm

        Wonderful description and comparative photos of these two caterpillars.

    83. Patricia Donovan on August 20, 2019 at 1:21 pm

      Wonderful Video…..Great work, Kiley!

    84. Humble origami lover on August 19, 2019 at 6:38 am

      thank you for this brilliant tutorial! My butterfly came out amazing, all thanks to these great instructions 🙂

    85. Rebecca on August 17, 2019 at 7:08 pm

      I own 7 taods and 8 frogs.

    86. David on August 14, 2019 at 8:28 pm

      Very helpful identifier with illustrations

    87. Ross on August 13, 2019 at 4:55 pm

      I know there is other information about coyotes, but I would be interested what you would do if you spotted a coyote or cane face to face with one. In live in a very urban area and have seen what appear to be coyotes. Thanks.

      • kiley on August 16, 2019 at 2:42 pm

        Most coyotes are very skiddish around humans. Just make sure to give them their space!

      • D Brown on January 8, 2020 at 3:09 pm

        Unless it’s diseased you have nothing to worry about. Face to face? Clap your hands and yell loudly at it. If it is healthy it will take off. If it doesn’t take off it may be diseased. Back away slowly & get indoors or in a vehicle. Call your local animal control to report the incident if that occurs.

    88. Carol Bauer, professional gardener on August 13, 2019 at 5:49 am

      Very helpful easy to understand information. Thank you

    89. Luke on August 7, 2019 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you for the insight!!!

    90. Christie on August 5, 2019 at 7:52 pm

      I have found several different size monarch catapillers dead on the milkweed big ones and little ones not sure why. I was hoping for them to turn into butterflies but no luck I’m am sad. If anyone knows why they are dying I would like to know. Thank you

      • Katie on August 25, 2019 at 10:25 am

        There is a monarch disease called Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE).

    91. E.J. Necco on August 4, 2019 at 6:59 pm

      I have a Black Swallowtail caterpillar that I found crawling on the grass below the fennel. I put it back on the fennel and a couple of hours later, I find on the ground again crawling on toward the brick. Is it trying to find a place to develop it’s chrysalis? Maybe not on the fennel?

      • kiley on August 13, 2019 at 12:35 pm

        That could be

      • Chris on August 19, 2019 at 4:25 pm

        I would grow parsley for the Swallowtail caterpillars. They always crawled off somewhere more sturdy to make their chrysalis. I even found attached to the siding.

    92. Jim Budde on August 4, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you. Have been thinking of robins’ migratory patterns and learned a lot from your article

      • Martha Boesch on September 15, 2019 at 8:15 am

        Seeing Robin’s in SE Texas. Its mid September, 2019. Seems early in the season. Thanks.

        • Thomas Williams on September 30, 2019 at 8:13 am

          Seeing the here in Northern VA also!

    93. Lori on July 29, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      Jessica have any of your turtles laid eggs? I’m in desperate need of help. I have an Eastern, found in our driveway after a recent hail storm. Last night she laid a single egg in her pool of water. I have no idea how to care for it or if it’s even a viable fertilized egg. Do you have any knowledge you can pass on to me or know of anyone that does? Please and thank you!

      • turtle lover on November 13, 2019 at 9:30 am

        what else can i know to find out if my turtle is male or female

        • kiley on November 13, 2019 at 4:07 pm

          It does somewhat depend on species. You can usually Google search your species of turtle and find out how to determine the gender.

    94. Jill on July 29, 2019 at 8:49 am

      I saw a butterfly carrying a bug from my mimosa tree down to the ground. At first I thought the butterfly was dying and was cascading gently to the ground. But upon further investigation it was carrying something that looked like a bee. Has anyone else seen this behavior and what is the butterfly doing? I have witnessed this several times and it is the same type of bug that eventually the butterfly releases in the grass and both fly off.

      • Brenda Jones on February 5, 2020 at 10:21 am

        Why do some Monarch Butterfly’s Kill other Monarch Butterfly’s. I’ve seen it happen more than once ?

        • kiley on February 5, 2020 at 10:28 am

          We’ve never seen this before — it possibly could have been a territorial squabble between two males? Caterpillars will be cannibalistic if food is scarce, but adults doing harm to each other would be rather rare.

    95. Maryann Ressler on July 27, 2019 at 9:28 am

      I was told that there is no venomous
      s snakes in Iowa. Apparently that’s not true. Are there any venomous
      snakes in Cerro gordo county?

      • kiley on July 29, 2019 at 8:12 am

        These types of snakes are not very widespread in Iowa. The timber rattlesnake has been found in eastern and southern Iowa. The massasauga was found in a couple of state marshes. The prairie rattlesnake has been seen in the northern portions of the Loess Hills, rarely, and the copperhead can be seen in a small area in southeastern Iowa.

    96. Angie on July 25, 2019 at 8:57 pm

      My cat killed a weasel & left it on our door step yesterday, we live in central Idaho on the upper Salmon river.

      • Amy Leaf on December 7, 2019 at 11:52 am

        My dog just brought home an Ermine.. 12/7/19 upper Michigan

    97. Melanie Rowley on July 20, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      Gives a true view as to what life was like back then for settlers having to deal with Indians. Sad that so many don’t know it now.

    98. K. Hitchen on July 12, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      We’ve been seeing maybe a dozen or so Red Admiral’s flying through our backyard after dinner while sitting on our back deck. They are friendly and land close to where we sit! I was able to take great shots of them. They look like they are having a great time frolicking! We live in Southern NJ.

      • denise DAVIDSON on September 22, 2019 at 2:42 pm

        I was in Goathland N Yorkshire today sitting in the garden of a tea room. When three or four gorgeous butterflies fluttered round causing quite a stir. I think they were red admiral. I’ve got great pictures but I’m still not sure.

    99. Jessica russ on July 12, 2019 at 10:04 am

      I have 3 painted turtles one eastern and 2 western they are my heart. They know my voice they know my face. My eastern painted even gives me high fives.

    100. Gerald Picus on July 12, 2019 at 8:49 am

      This is great info. It might be helpful to state where these plant seeds can be ordered online or purchased in stores. Thanks for this great info

      • kiley on July 12, 2019 at 10:31 am

        It depends on where you live. In the Iowa Great Lakes area, we recommend the Prairie Flower in Fostoria. If you live somewhere, I would look up “native nursery” or “natives garden center.”

    101. Tom Keenan on July 11, 2019 at 3:59 pm

      Great news! Need to keep the local management company. They have been members of the Lakes community for years and have earned our trust!

      • kiley on July 11, 2019 at 4:00 pm

        They are certainly welcome to submit a proposal! 🙂

    102. Susan Thorndike on July 8, 2019 at 1:35 am

      Would like more pictures of Iowa finches. What are the birds with grey breast’s ?

      • kiley on July 8, 2019 at 9:43 am

        We’re not sure what you’re describing with the gray breast. Could you tell us more?

    103. Wendy on July 6, 2019 at 6:23 pm

      I have a greyish coloured toad on my allotment he/she lives under the black cover I have to surprises the weeds when I pull back the cover he/she is looking at me I have dug over the ground really roughly so toad has somewhere to go I am going to have to build toad a home so as to get on with my digging I talk to him or her so sweet I really don’t want to loose it

    104. Beth Schulte on July 6, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      July 7, 2019 A Red Admiral flew into my garage and I got great pictures. Never Sean in Michigan before.

      • Elizabeth West on July 6, 2019 at 6:36 pm

        Me too!! I have three on my porch looking right at me right as I type this! I’m in Clinton township, Michigan! I went to go out the door and one flew right up to me trying to follow me back in the house! Where are these coming from I’ve never seen them before! Whats odd is my late grandfather raised me and my brothers i was told our loved ones show up as butterflies. He loved harley Davidson’ motorcycles and tomatoes and that first time I noticed these butterflies was on his birthday the 4th of July sitting right up above my tomato plants! They are exactly the color of the harley emblem. A real coincidence? No idea but it’s a little weird right about now. lol In just exited as a person I rarely ever see any butterflies yet here I have three in just my yard alone. ❤

      • Deane Harker on August 16, 2019 at 5:32 pm

        I have 2-5 red admiral butterflies visit me each evening since my husband died on23 Apr 2018. I believe that he and God send them to let me know he’s ok. His high school colors were orange and black, just like the butterflies. They frequently land on me and do touch and go landings on me which I believe are kisses. They visit throughout butterfly season. I live in Seaford, Va.

    105. Kathy on July 1, 2019 at 10:54 am

      There must be a Viceroy convention in Gilman, Iowa this week. They are out in great numbers.

    106. Moh on June 27, 2019 at 3:37 am

      Very useful! Thanks

    107. Jan Grant on June 21, 2019 at 9:06 pm

      Pertinent information. Thanks.

    108. Pete McManus on June 21, 2019 at 11:14 am

      When a new tenant arrived under the Bird-feeder to eat Sunflower Seeds, she/he permitted me to walk slowly within 5 feet while looking up repeatedly as the Beautifully Stripped Ground Squirral? or Exotic Stripped Chipmunk? kept eating. I think – by looking at the photos that it was a Ground Squirral. Pete McManus P. S. Deer, Rabbits, Ground Hogs, Foxes, Exotic Birds of many varities (Blue Birds, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Red Headed Wood Peckers, Finchs, Humming Birds, Red Winged Black Birds, ad infinitum, are at the feeders all day long!), visit dailey.

    109. KATHLEEN on June 7, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      I live in WI and still having trouble with blackbirds, crows and grackles eating my birdseed. Today I put only safflower in the feeder. I did buy a tube feeder with metal guards all around it and no perches, but these guys are such wisenheimers that they have found a way to grab onto the lowest bar and still get their heads inside to eat. Is there some other way to keep these hogs our of my feeders?

      • kiley on June 10, 2019 at 8:21 am

        They are tricky. Usually cages that are small enough to allow in songbirds but keep out blackbirds is the only tried-and-true method.

      • sangeeta chakraborty on August 19, 2019 at 4:16 pm

        I hear you. In my backyard, nothing was protected from the onslaught of these blackbirds. When I removed all kinds of food except a thistle sock for my goldfinches, these hogs even clung to that sock and started eating nyjer. Finally I put a cage around my thistle sock and the tube feeder (bought the separately and it has a slot for the feeder hanger to pass through). the cage mesh is a square with a gap of 1.5inches. Do not buy anything bigger than that as the birds can squeeze half way through it and reach the feeding port. in my case, they still try to squeeze through the 1.5 in opening but get stuck around the shoulder and then give up.

    110. Roger on June 4, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      I was playing a Hank Williams song by the lake one night and the yodelling called in a pair of swans from across the lake. They circled around three times overhead before moving on. Living proof that swans like honky tonk!

    111. Bob on June 3, 2019 at 7:24 pm


      • Georgia on June 23, 2019 at 10:12 am


    112. Carol on May 28, 2019 at 6:23 pm

      How soon after hatching must chicks be fed

      • kiley on May 29, 2019 at 8:10 am

        The parents will begin feeding after hatching.

    113. Sharon Cross on May 26, 2019 at 6:00 pm

      I have seen several orange and black butterflies in our yard. We live in central New Mexico. Haven’t ever seen them before this year. Not sure what they are

    114. Adam Muiz on May 22, 2019 at 11:27 pm

      Thanks, now i know that dragonfly have incomplete metamorphosis
      can you add description about cricket insect

      • kiley on May 29, 2019 at 8:11 am

        Crickets also go through incomplete metamorphosis.

    115. Edward Kamenzind on May 22, 2019 at 7:02 pm

      The tyrantulas are truly the best of pets for people who are interested in animals that are like tyrantulas essentially. Easy enough to take care of existing on the most basic and simple as various bugs other spiders occasionally a little mouse and some of the other little things and critters basically found just about anywhere, anytime you want to, of course, nothing wrong with the local pets store to get some more of the things that tyrantulas either really like to eat, or just something else for the tyrantulas to nibble on. They’re quite a bit of friendly and will seek out the friendship of it’s (“owner?”) Friendly “keeper” With serious interest in the actual friendships with which it is making or has made for itself is not super-aggressive to me but seriously enjoys my company essentially not “needy” of course but I think it’s a good idea to have spent as much as possible as far as your time for the little ones are what I have seen and can only imagine how much lonely and I will say forsaken the tyrantulas are going to feel if I could leave it by itself essentially for long periods of time because I have a feeling it will crave attention but I think it’s not a big deal or not annoying or something like that. when I get to my tyrantulas and I have been away from the critters for some time, I will be able to tell that they have missed my connection to them and they will get to show you how much “I love you” exactly is! Mostly because of that they will likely want to cuddle with you if they don’t have seen your face for some time. Adorable, it is of course an understatement to say that the tyrantulas are going to be adorable! truthfully, it’s a understatement of the year and I will dare I say that I do not have a problem with the tyrantulas being adorable at all and in any way whatsoever but I think it’s tough on the more Squamish of people that are generally afraid to be around this animal the tyrantulas or something like spiders ️ in general and actually it at first, it took me a little bit of time to get used to this little guy but I think it’s a good thing because I think he and I are truly inseparable and either way I just love the tyrantulas are truly a blessing to be with me and I will be enjoying his company quite a bit and into the future if I could say anything about it now, I think I have to say that I have awesome tyrantulas! Thanks.

      Edward Kamenzind
      May 2019
      God bless ❣️

    116. Gay Eyman on May 20, 2019 at 10:51 pm

      Our cat killed an animal that looks exactly like a least weasel. It is the second one we have seen this year and have never seen one before in the 11 years of living here. We are in Helena,Montana and just wondered if anyone else has this experience.

    117. Jadynn Bachman on May 20, 2019 at 2:33 pm

      I found two orange, hairy, caterpillars. I was wondering if they’re a moth or butterfly, and if they’re poisonous or not?

    118. Jadynn Bachman on May 20, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      I found a hairy, orange, caterpillar. I was wondering if it’s a moth or butterfly, and if it’s poisonous or not?

    119. Wil. E. Coyote on May 18, 2019 at 2:54 pm

      Interesting. Thank you.

    120. Lisa Guadagnoli on May 9, 2019 at 12:49 am

      are they going to pursue a individual and attack?

      • kiley on May 9, 2019 at 8:03 am

        Definitely not — if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. Wild animals just want you to leave them be.

    121. George Rohmeyer on May 8, 2019 at 6:16 am

      I live in an old growth wooded area with a creek running through.
      This is a natural passage way for creatures.
      I have cameras up and the diversity of wildlife amazes me.
      I have bears, coyotes, bobcats, wolves, deer, turkeys, gray fox, etc,
      I love watching creatures as they navigate the complicated system of survival in a human dominated world.
      We are far more brutal and blood thirsty than any animal I have observed.

      • Bruce Neviaser on January 8, 2020 at 2:50 pm

        Thanks for your post, George. I am so envious of your extraordinary position to watch and appreciate the diversity of animals that we humans so often dismiss and ignore. I completely agree with your assessment of humans versus animals; I am often ashamed of what humans so thoughtlessly do to kill and destroy the world we share. And the future doesn’t look very promising.

    122. Robert Wheeler on May 3, 2019 at 10:50 pm

      Thank you! I have always questioned how the workers could only live six weeks, but the queen doesn’t lay eggs in the winter.

      • Carolyn Galbraith on May 18, 2019 at 3:03 am

        Thank you so clearly written and explained appreciated

    123. AmyT on May 2, 2019 at 9:56 am

      Hi, thank you for this article. I am confused that this was written in March 2018 but it talks about winter 2018/19 population—should it instead say winter 2017/18?

      • kiley on May 2, 2019 at 10:08 am

        The original post was written in 2018 and then was re-written and updated with the 2018-19 numbers in March 2019, so it is the accurate 2018-19 numbers 🙂 Sorry for the confusion!

    124. jackie bork on May 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm

      Do swans every land in corn fields for food or are they always in water

      • kiley on May 2, 2019 at 10:09 am

        Swans are most commonly seen on water. They may graze outside of a wetland, but it is not as common as geese.

    125. Erin on April 29, 2019 at 9:43 pm

      For the Prairie Paradise camp are parents/adults able to stay with them during the camp or not?

      • kiley on April 30, 2019 at 10:35 am

        Our summer camps are designed for parents to drop off and pick up. Thanks for asking!

    126. Dennis Knipper Greeley Ia on April 29, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      I found a stone tombstone on my farm 40 years ago.James Mattock 1814 children Daniel M, Jacob W, Jackson, Agnes,Alice T all of whom were murdered by the Indians March 11 1857.I searched Delaware Co. Iowa and found nothing.Rumor was the stone fell off a stage coach. 4/28/2019

      • John Burkholder on May 25, 2019 at 5:19 pm

        According to one verifiable historical account James Mattock , his family and Robert Mathieson (incorrectly spelled “Madison “ in less accurate accounts) were buried by friends some distance from the cabin site. These friends came from eastern Iowa with coffins and interred their friends Mattocks and Mathieson in the spring after the massacre. (They had been hastily interred by the relief expedition of March 1857)
        When the monument was erected in the 1890s their bodies and those of other massacre victims that could be found were dug up and reinterred at the monument site.
        I know this to be accurate through my research. Also Robert Mathieson was my great great grandfather.
        Perhaps this stone you found was from the Mattocks original grave site and not reused at the monument…?
        I am curious to know if you also found my ancestor’s marker.
        Would love to know more from you. Can you photograph the Mattock stone and email to me?
        The consideration greatly appreciated!
        John Burkholder
        john.h.burkholder@gmail.comcreate new email

    127. John F Smeltzer on April 28, 2019 at 7:39 am

      Wonderful bird …. so glad you have a colony !

    128. Karl Fliris on April 26, 2019 at 5:14 pm

      This past winter, I used suet feeders that held the suet facing the ground (with solid roof on top) to keep grackles from devoring it. Guess what? The grackles learned to hang upside down, just like the woodpeckers. I’m not sure if a more adaptive bird exists. A great article. Thanks for the tips

      • Erika on June 8, 2019 at 1:39 pm

        I’m horrified, but slightly amazed they outwitted an upside down suet feeder. They aren’t supposed to be that agile.

        • Joanne on March 6, 2020 at 7:28 pm

          I have learned that the Starlings will eat from an upside down suet feeder. They can’t stay in the upside down position as long as a Woodpecker but they can do it.

          I just read another article that suggested putting a squirrel baffle above the suet feeder. The article says Starlings are reluctant to go under the baffle. Guess I will be trying that tomorrow.

    129. Gwen Brunson on April 24, 2019 at 11:06 pm

      Saw several (maybe less than 50) today in Martha, Oklahoma (SW part of the state). Saw hundreds of Monarchs in the same area last fall.

    130. Russ Motta on April 22, 2019 at 9:36 pm

      Just put up a bees’ house for native bees. Got two close sources of water and several native plants in the area. We’ll see what happens.

    131. Graham on April 22, 2019 at 9:27 am

      thank you very cool

    132. Phyllis Heitsman on April 21, 2019 at 11:39 pm

      This was very interesting. What a great job!! I have coyotes and Bobcats in my woods.phyllis

    133. Thelma Morris on April 20, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Can garter snakes become aggressive? I had one strike out at me today. The snake had yellow stripes down the length of it’s body. I think the body was green but my husband thought it was brownish.

      • kiley on April 22, 2019 at 8:07 am

        Most garter snakes are docile, but some may try to bite or lash out in self-defense. It may have felt threatened.

    134. Janet Larson on April 16, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      As I looked closer, I found a few Painted Ladies in the same area, but only a few compared to the Red Admirals.

    135. Janet Larson on April 16, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      Have spotted several hundred Red Admiral butterflies amongst pachasandra blossoms in the yard of our condominium both yesterday and today in Evanston, Il.
      I was able to identify them with the pictures you posted under How to tell apart four orange and black butterflies.

      • kiley on April 16, 2019 at 3:31 pm


    136. Sue on April 16, 2019 at 8:35 am

      I have three cocoons (moths?) that I’ve been trying to identify. Where can i send photos so I know what these are?

    137. Mike and Susan Uridil on April 8, 2019 at 12:09 am

      Brooks like Arnold’s Park is part of the reason why family’s having been coming to the lakes region for many years. I hope it all works for future generations. The Uridil family in Hastings Nebraska.

      • kiley on April 8, 2019 at 7:58 am

        Thank you for the input!

    138. Judy on April 6, 2019 at 9:12 am

      thanks for info, have some of these around but this summer am stepping up variety. Live in SE MN.

    139. Cathy Abbott on April 5, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Thank you for the information regarding the purchase of Brooks. I am so happy that it will be preserved and that you have conservation in mind for the course. It is vital we protect the land and the water of the Okoboji area. I will continue to volunteer and believe that the Conservation Board will move in the direction needed to protect our environment.

    140. Carole Westby on March 24, 2019 at 5:25 pm

      Yesterday I was surprised to hear both Snow goose and Canadian geese calls at the same time. I looked up and the “V” was led by 4 snows and the rest on each side of the v were Canada Geese, with three at the end of one side all white!!! they DO travel together!!! so fun to see! ( It was outside of Garfield of MN and they were heading north west.

      • Shannon on April 2, 2019 at 1:03 pm

        I am sitting at my cottage on Lake Ontario, and I just saw a v formation led by 6 snow geese followed by 6-8 Canadian geese! Awesome.

    141. Vern on March 20, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      What other bees can you collect honey from?

    142. paula on March 20, 2019 at 9:43 am

      how do you tell a male from a female?

      • kiley on March 20, 2019 at 2:17 pm

        Which species are you referring to? Telling apart males and females depends on species.

    143. micha on March 19, 2019 at 5:01 pm

      Very Interesting!
      I’ve had a growing interest in bees lately, and have been following honeybee keepers the past 2-3 years. I was just at an Eco rally and someone had a sign..’Native Bees, not Honeybees’,, opened my mind!
      It’s also true that native species are a lot less susceptible to colony collapse,, especially if they don’t live in colonies!

    144. Maureen Reeves Horsley on March 19, 2019 at 9:01 am

      RICH IOWA SOIL PAINTING. WONDERFUL idea for Grma camp☺

      • kiley on March 19, 2019 at 9:02 am

        Feel free to share pictures if you try it!

    145. Maureen Reeves Horsley - Grandma on March 19, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Looks like GREAT FUN! THX FOR posting this recipe. We have enuf snow yet..we can make a SNOW ERUPTION!

      • kiley on March 19, 2019 at 8:59 am

        That works too!

    146. Chris Robie on March 15, 2019 at 9:18 am

      Hi. I love your bee pictures. I am a Nebraska master naturalist and was wondering if I could get copies of them? We will use them at our Nature Center at Heron Haven and give credit to you and photographer . Thanks so much.

      Chris Robie

    147. Annette Johnson on March 14, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      What will the campers be doing?

      • kiley on March 15, 2019 at 8:36 am

        Campers will get to spend plenty of time outside exploring the wetland ecosystem in Kenue Park where two rehabilitated trumpeter swans live. They will play games, make crafts, meet live animals and explore nature!

    148. Natalie on March 13, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      Bummer! Link seems to go to a photo and not the coloring sheet!

      • kiley on March 13, 2019 at 3:11 pm

        It’s fixed! Thanks for letting us know!

    149. Donna Petrokowitz on March 12, 2019 at 9:34 am

      This is an excellent purchase for the nature center. May I ask if you plan to include a more updated Rehabilitation Centers? Including all native birds whom are sick, orphaned and injured, including non releaseable birds to assist (as Ambassadors) to share with the public doing presentation.
      Also one for mammals too!
      There is such a need for care and placements for all of the above before releases back to the Wild can be done.
      What a beautiful and Bless area for this conservation effort. You can start planting trees making water fowl areas now.
      From a fellow rehab in California: Wild Wings of California. I grew up in Spirit Lake and wish the best for your projects.

      • kiley on March 12, 2019 at 9:38 am

        The goal is to work with current operators to manage the property as is for the next year as we gather public input and look into options. Thank you for your ideas; we will take them into consideration with other ideas presented by the public!

    150. Maureen Reeves Horsley on March 8, 2019 at 8:58 pm

      Sounds like a WONDERFUL opportunity!
      Thank you for offering this.

    151. Jane. Biedermann on March 8, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      What is the cost?

      • kiley on March 8, 2019 at 5:22 pm


    152. kiley on March 8, 2019 at 3:48 pm

      To clarify, this purchase does not affect Minerva’s or Arrowwood. Those are businesses separate from Brooks Golf Course.

    153. Miguel Vazquez on March 6, 2019 at 12:10 am

      I always wanted a turantula but my parents think their discussing and won’t let me have one

    154. Sue on March 1, 2019 at 8:35 pm

      I am disgusted with the people and leaders that push for moneyed interests over upholding the care, support and ongoing status of Iowa’s environment for its continued sustainability and improvement and understanding.
      NO MORE CORRUPT users and abusers of Iowa’s lands, air, and waters!
      I don’t want ignorant and fast decisions made by people that have no business making decisions.
      I want ethical, moral, legal and knowledgeable people and not any government leaders that cause harm and hurt our environment for the sake of making a profit for themselves and their cronies.

    155. Nthabeleng on February 28, 2019 at 11:52 pm

      Wow! That is interesting. The list is not complete though. My name is not on the list

      • Karen L Stabler on February 24, 2020 at 5:05 pm

        XD same wow!

    156. Carol Gronstal on February 27, 2019 at 8:37 pm

      Thanks for this information. I enjoyed reading about the birds.

    157. Sarena Ramirez on February 25, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      What a great article, full of information amd pictures of our adorable bats. Thank you so much for posting it. I would love to see more people become Bat Enthusiast.

    158. John F Smeltzer on February 10, 2019 at 9:29 am

      Very nice beach …. great sand, great playground equipment and a small shelter to have a picnic under. New bathrooms as well and close to a small ice cream stand just across the parking lot.

    159. Carol Dreith on January 20, 2019 at 1:30 pm

      I was trying to find out if bats migrate. All the information you have posted in these articles is very informative and helpful. I learned many new things about bats.

    160. brian l butler on January 16, 2019 at 6:29 pm

      tried this recipe this evening with fresh Canadian goose, Excellent!!

    161. Michael H Kooker on January 15, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      Sister,Juanita Kooker, called me to report a big,white owl near Sloan,Ia.
      M Kooker

    162. Jan Grant on January 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      I really appreciate these facts about Pluto. Thanks!

    163. Virginia Dare McGraw on January 8, 2019 at 1:58 pm

      Just saw Wild on Natgeo on Alaska where they show ground squirrels

    164. Allene Anderson on December 21, 2018 at 9:59 pm

      Never too old to learn!!!

    165. Michele on December 11, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you! It is so beautiful, and now I know the rest of the story. It is a great trivia question and answer.

    166. Barbara Baker-Falk on December 10, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      That’s cool!

    167. Dave McKinnis on December 9, 2018 at 5:54 pm

      Thank you for posting these stories about Abbie Gardner, I have enjoyed reading them!

    168. David Squires on December 9, 2018 at 7:33 am

      I read “Horse Woman’s Child” by Roger Stoner which details the life and times of this rogue band of natives and the damaged relations they caused not only with the whites but also other natives. Inkpaduta should have been brought to justice long before.

      • Tommi Atkins on April 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm

        Horse Woman’s Child is largely fiction, Inkpaduta was falsely accused of attacking his father and uncle. The law that would have convicted those Dakota of murder never was used to bring the whites who murdered natives like Inkpaduta’s brother, his mother and the children on Bloody Run. When army soldiers killed unarmed natives at Wounded Knee, they got medals.

    169. Dennis Gren on December 8, 2018 at 7:41 am

      what about Prairie dogs?

      • kiley on December 10, 2018 at 10:38 am

        We don’t have prairie dogs here, but there are actually five species of prairie dogs! You can read some interesting facts about them here:

    170. Aaron Gronstal on December 7, 2018 at 4:22 am

      There a a few wonderful biographies of Inkpaduta that give a fairly balanced account of his life. There is definitely a larger story beyond what happened at the lakes. Inkpaduta: Dakota Leader by Paul N. Beck is one that comes to mind.

    171. Dan Rodawig on December 6, 2018 at 8:01 am

      The Spirit Lake Massacre was a tragic beginning for the Iowa Great Lakes area. But I’ve always thought it if it could somehow be told from the viewpoint of Inkpaduta and his tribe it would would make for a fascinating story.

      • Nancy Rees on December 6, 2018 at 8:51 am

        I agree Dan. As horrific as this was for the settlers in the area, the Indian Nation was victimized in just as horrific ways. We cannot know all the details of their plight, but these historic recordings do shed light on their struggle as well. The genocide of the American Indian is a shameful history for us all.

    172. Grace C Gabrielsen on December 6, 2018 at 1:02 am

      My Dad got to meet Abbie Gardner, in Spirit lake but did not have the 25 cents it took to take her tour.

    173. Cindy Boyles on December 5, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      I really enjoy reading about them.

    174. Maureen Reeves Horsley on December 1, 2018 at 11:48 am

      I love learning all this amazing info about butterflies..thanks for making this info available

    175. Lyndsey on November 28, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      We just found one of those boreal chorus frogs in our basement in Des Moines. Wheres the best place to put it outside?

      • kiley on November 29, 2018 at 3:21 pm

        If you can find a place where it can dig in leaf litter, compost or soil that is not frozen yet, that is best, so it can burrow down!

    176. Gina Pitera on November 23, 2018 at 9:25 am

      Do snow geese and swan ever travel in the same flock? I am looking at a medium flock on a freshwater lake north of Stillwater, Minnesota? Most of the birds are all white with fairly long necks. The other birds have grayish, black feathers in top of white feathers with shorter necks.

      • kiley on November 26, 2018 at 8:48 am

        They may not travel together, but they may stop in the same areas during migration, so you can see them together on lakes. We have a large group of Canada geese on East Lake Okoboji right now that also has about eight trumpeter swans in it.

    177. Martha Oskvig on November 13, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Interested in bringing a 3.5 year old to this week’s session, but couldn’t find an online registration. So will try to bring Brynn at 10:30 Wednesday and hope you have room for her. Thanks!

      • kiley on November 14, 2018 at 8:17 am

        Thanks Martha. We will put you down. In the future, please call 712-336-6352. We do not have online registration for Nature Tots. Thanks!

    178. Mia on November 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Very interesting.

    179. Lahoucine A. on November 8, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Very interesting and useful ! Thanks a lot.

    180. mgy on November 7, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      love it

    181. Annabelle on November 5, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      thanks for the tips !!!!!!
      love what you wrote !

    182. Mary Ann Montgomery on November 2, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      Really interesting explanation!

    183. Shawna G on October 31, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      i got all those right without looking first. moths and butterflies are so easy to tell apart

    184. Karen dokken on October 22, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      Well done and very interesting, Kylie!!

    185. Kelly on October 14, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Solved a friendly dispute. Thank you. P.S. I lost…hahaha

      • kiley on October 15, 2018 at 10:59 am

        Glad it helped, sorry you lost 🙂

    186. Aubrey on October 10, 2018 at 10:42 am

      I have beautiful box turtles

    187. Mr. Curious on September 26, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      Where in Iowa do these snakesive, are they in Dickinson County?

      • kiley on September 27, 2018 at 8:59 am

        These types of snakes are not very widespread in Iowa. The timber rattlesnake has been found in eastern and southern Iowa. The massasauga was found in a couple of state marshes. The prairie rattlesnake has been seen in the northern portions of the Loess Hills, rarely, and the copperhead can be seen in a small area in southeastern Iowa.

    188. Tim on September 26, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Great information! Are these snakes in every county of Iowa?

      • kiley on September 27, 2018 at 8:59 am

        These types of snakes are not very widespread in Iowa. The timber rattlesnake has been found in eastern and southern Iowa. The massasauga was found in a couple of state marshes. The prairie rattlesnake has been seen in the northern portions of the Loess Hills, rarely, and the copperhead can be seen in a small area in southeastern Iowa.

    189. J mullins on September 25, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      20 year ago we did not see them at Lake of the Ozarks, now they are thick! Do not be leave that they can not survive cold weather—it gets plenty cold here. If you see dead one on the road , how many are in the woods?

      • Kiahn on April 28, 2019 at 5:41 pm


    190. Ron on September 24, 2018 at 9:53 pm

      I am not from the US but nevertheless your article has been fascinating to read! Thank you for that.

    191. Jan Grant on September 21, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Keep ’em comin’! This is an excellent educational format!

    192. Jan Grant on September 21, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      Very interesting!

    193. Donna Petrokowitz on September 21, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Wow, this is very interesting! Raised in NW Iowa and never knew how these little guys made it thru the winter icie waters. Just loved to catch them as a kid and eat them as an adult.

    194. denise norris on September 21, 2018 at 3:00 am

      thank daughter gave me some homework today.i can tell her its been completed and I can answer her questions now.

    195. Leslie Boston on September 17, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Thank you.

    196. Ruth Scott on September 13, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      I love your site very informative Ruth

    197. Joel Nett on September 3, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Is it true that osprey will only nest in an area that has open water year round.
      Also how close does the open water have to be relative to the location of the nest.

      I have a pond behind my house with very small fish in it (large goldfish, 4′” or less) and it is froze over about 5 months of the year. The nearest lake with open water is about five miles away.
      I’d love to create a platform on a pole to possibly lure an osprey to build a nest. Would I be
      wasting my time?

      • kiley on September 4, 2018 at 8:31 am

        It depends on where you are in the country. In Kenue Park, the osprey are here April through the beginning of September, and that is when there is open water here. Also, they fly a mile or two to the lakes to fish, because the nearby wetland (close to the nest) does not have fish in it. They still like the nest here.

    198. Steve Lende on August 17, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      Last paragraph should be reworded. A mated queen will lay drones.

      All Queen bees will lay unfertilized eggs to create drones that go out and mate with other new queens. This passes on her genetics in other colonies. Some queens will lay more drones than others. It could be your queen has stopped laying drones because mating season is over.

      After mating season is over in late fall the worker bees will kick out drones so they do not eat the honey and pollen stored for winter survival.

      • kiley on August 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm


    199. Sher on August 17, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      This was very helpful and interesting. Thanks!

      • Gerry Belk on June 22, 2019 at 2:11 pm

        Caught a chipmunk today that had a long pointed tail like a rat.But it had the markings of typical chipmunk ?

        • kiley on June 22, 2019 at 2:17 pm

          Hmmm… odd!

    200. Ashim on August 17, 2018 at 2:13 am


    201. The Guy with the Dogs on August 7, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      Way cool! And I used to think I knew something about Ospreys!

    202. Jan Grant on August 5, 2018 at 11:45 am

      What a terrific way to educate more people!

    203. Jan Grant on August 5, 2018 at 11:44 am


    204. Rick Wohlwend on July 30, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      I found a large dead hornet on my back patio and was flying around in my garage earlier. Naturally I left it alone. Looking on the internet it could be an asian hornet. Do I need to worry about more being close? I did take a picture and kept it if interested.

      • kiley on July 31, 2018 at 8:14 am

        I’m not familiar with Asian hornets, but have forwarded your comment to our naturalists. Hornets do nest socially, so there may be more around, but they can also travel pretty good distances so it’s not guaranteed they are in your immediate area. You’re welcome to e-mail a photo to naturecenter@co.dickinson.ia.uscreate new email if you would like us to take a look. Thanks for reading!

    205. Laura J Stebbins on July 30, 2018 at 1:15 am

      Is there a schedule of events for the day–the bee and butterfly festival? I’d be driving from 3+ hours away so I need to know more details about what I’d experience once I get there to decide to make the trip or not. Thanks.

      • kiley on July 31, 2018 at 8:16 am


        We will be releasing more details in the coming weeks, but our basic schedule looks like this for 2018:

        4-7 p.m. Monarch tagging, pollinator crafts, face painting, food truck open, games
        4:30 p.m. Kindermusik pollinator program
        5:30 p.m. Butterflies & Moths of Dickinson County program
        6:15 p.m. Pockets Full of Fun program
        7:15 p.m. Honey extraction demonstration

        Let us know if you have any more questions!

    206. Marjorie Yarnell on July 27, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      Never had this recipe but it sounds good. Thank you for sharing it. ~ from Margie Y

    207. Jean petitti on July 22, 2018 at 10:42 am

      If we have 5 people in our party can the class be scheduled on the weekend or after 5:00?

      • kiley on July 25, 2018 at 12:00 pm

        We do not usually set up special kayaking classes for groups, but you can call our environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman at 712-336-6352 and she can answer that for sure 🙂

    208. John F. Smeltzer on July 13, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Elk …. the largest populations of native elk …. not reintroduced populations ….. are in Colorado (about 250,000 to 300,000 pre-hunting season), Wyoming and Montana. It has been those core populations of native elk that have been used to reintroduce elk east of the Great Plains.

    209. Angie calhoun on July 3, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      I had a strange looking big on sliding glass door. I think it was a month. Can I send a pic to have it identified?

    210. Alex on June 19, 2018 at 10:45 pm

      Great Article

    211. Bev Van Der Weide on June 13, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Any gull that lives on a coast is a seagull, regardless of what type of gull it is

      • kiley on June 25, 2018 at 3:29 pm

        That’s definitely what people call them; there’s just no gull with the proper name seagull! It’s so interesting!

    212. John F Smeltzer on June 10, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Excellent suggestions …. thanks.

    213. John F Smeltzer on June 8, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      I recently was given a “Solitary Bee Hive” and want to know where the best place to put it would BEE ?? Should I put up multiple units or will one be enough ?

    214. jrb on June 6, 2018 at 2:58 pm

      please put a map link on your website that will give a satellite image.

    215. Jeanette Meyer on May 11, 2018 at 10:25 am

      Very interesting! Had no idea there are no sea gulls!! Thanks for info!!

    216. Jan Grant on May 4, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Excellent website full of information!!!

    217. Donna on May 3, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Will there still be a place for comments so we can post events that we see?

      • kiley on May 10, 2018 at 9:37 am

        With our new setup, we don’t have a place for comments at the moment, but we will see if that is something we can add in the future!

    218. Donna on April 30, 2018 at 11:17 am

      Thank you for switching the cam to the nest, that looks NICE

    219. Donna on April 27, 2018 at 9:31 am

      I looked at the blog the other day and am happy to learn there is a new nest design this year and a new camera set-up. I hope they put it online very soon so we can watch the osprey build up their new nest.

    220. TRSK on April 25, 2018 at 8:49 am

      Meet at club house? Before 7am? Golf cart charge?

      • kiley on April 25, 2018 at 8:54 am

        Meet at the golf carts. You may arrive slightly before 7 a.m. as the program begins at 7 a.m., but there is not much time needed to get a cart so you will not need to arrive too early 🙂 There is no charge for the program or the carts!

    221. Donna on April 23, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      I have been wondering about the camera situation for this year so am glad I thought to check the blog. Thanks for all the thought and effort from all involved so we can again follow the osprey family. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.

    222. Glenda Parrish on April 14, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      I just finished your article how bees. differ from honey bees. How common are solitary or Mason bees in Iowa. Actually how common are they in say Cherokee County?

      • kiley on April 17, 2018 at 8:17 am

        Great question! They are very common! We often overlook them, but there are 299 species of native bees currently listed in the state of Iowa. There are only seven species of honeybees total, so there are far more solitary/native bees out there than many of us realize. They would be just as common in Cherokee County.

    223. brent benton on March 4, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      march 4 9:45 woodland ave in carroll ia

    224. John Garrels on March 1, 2018 at 7:06 am

      Saw one at my workplace in Fort Madison Iowa this morning.

    225. Portia Speed on February 26, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      Love the info! I’ve had my female ornate box turtle for 31 and a half years now and she is still going strong. Best pet I have.

      • kiley on February 26, 2018 at 3:31 pm

        Wow! That is amazing!

    226. A.hamann on February 24, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      Seen one on a utility pole next to the Davenport airport on buttermilk road. On 2-23-18

    227. Racheal on February 15, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Is it open this weekend?

      • kiley on February 16, 2018 at 10:09 am

        It will be open on Saturday, Feb. 17, and then we will re-evaluate snow conditions and post on our Facebook about whether we will be able to open Sunday-Monday, Feb. 18-19.

    228. Alyssa Umscheid on February 8, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      Family pass for Horseshoe Bend residents?

      In the past I believe there was a special rate?

      Just thought I’d ask!


      • kiley on February 12, 2018 at 8:58 am

        There is no family pass at this time. Costs are per tube/person!

    229. Maureen Reeves Horsley on January 31, 2018 at 8:36 am

      Too bad human animals aren’t on the listsome of us do, tho

    230. Alicia Seligman on January 24, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      What a good idea and looks like fun!

    231. Peg Moore on January 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Awesome concept!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    232. Corrine Muske on January 17, 2018 at 11:09 am

      I saw 2 of them sitting together in the trees along the Little Sioux River out by Del’s Garden Center Christmas Day here in Spencer, Iowa. Beautiful birds and first time in a very long time since I have seen Owls in this part of the country.

    233. Dan Johnson on December 30, 2017 at 8:53 am

      This is a good article. Thanks for writing it. I see that you referenced “Stuff You Should Know” podcast. I have spent countless enjoyable hours listening to the hosts discuss a diverse menu of topics. It is presented in such an interesting and humorous fashion.
      Thanks for your efforts and Happy New Year!

    234. Maureen Reeves Horsley on December 29, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Great ideas! Thx for sharing!

    235. Louisa and Ali Tabatabai on December 29, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Fantastic! We have a copy of his beautiful photo book! If the weather cooperates I will make the drive from Ames! We are so very proud of our talented son-in- law!

    236. Lynn Fellersen on December 20, 2017 at 10:21 am

      My mom has two prints by JD Speltz .
      She would like to know what they are worth.
      Day Break, Gull Point Lookout.

      Thank you
      Lynn Fellersen

      • kiley on December 20, 2017 at 11:12 am

        Thanks for commenting. I think you would need to take these to an art dealer/gallery to have these evaluated.

    237. Barbara L Baker-Falk on December 19, 2017 at 7:35 am

      Excellent presentation, skillfully done!

    238. Terry Osgerby on December 16, 2017 at 5:09 am

      Where is the download link?

      • kiley on December 18, 2017 at 10:51 am


        You just click on “here” after tally sheet. Thanks!

    239. on December 15, 2017 at 12:21 am

      In the fall of 2015, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails partnered with Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the Pitkin County Healthy Rivers and Streams Board, Pitkin County Information Technology and Holy Cross Energy to install a wildlife camera on a pole adjacent to an active Osprey nest.

    240. Darrell Christensen on December 14, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      can’t download the tally sheet for backyard bird count

      • kiley on December 15, 2017 at 8:19 am

        Thank you for letting us know. The link has been fixed!

    241. Nathan on November 26, 2017 at 12:08 am

      I am a freelance bird photographer. I am working on a birdwatching book which I plan to compile and launch anytime from next year. I was wondering if there are some unique bird species there in Iowa that I don’t have in my gallery yet. If possible, we can both share some of the unique bird species we’ve got. Thank you.

    242. Dorothy Wagner on October 17, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      Hi Kiley,
      I learned something about a queen bee I did not know. Thanks. you are a great teacher and writer!!!!

    243. Dorothy Wagner on October 17, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Interesting! Thank you for the information.

    244. sharon koerselman on October 13, 2017 at 10:58 am

      How long is the hike generally? Is it usually on hard surface walking trails or on un-even terrain? I am looking at bringing a few individuals from Village Northwest Unlimited in Sheldon.

      • kiley on October 13, 2017 at 11:03 am

        We meet at the nature center at 9:30 a.m. and caravan to the site, and then the hike lasts around an hour. The October hike will go to Loon Lake Cemetery which does not have a paved path, but the terrain is pretty flat. This one will be a little more educational with history and cultural information and a bit shorter of a hike.

    245. Bonnie Umscheid on September 13, 2017 at 9:50 am

      Lennon Umscheid will not be able to attend the 1:30 session of nature tots today because of illness. Thank you!

      • kiley on September 13, 2017 at 10:06 am

        Thank you for letting us know!

    246. Harper Hunter on September 7, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Hi, I am interested in the seasonal position. I am currently working maintenance for the DNR at Gull Point. My number is 712-339-1044. I love the outdoors and this sounds like a fun job!

      • kiley on September 7, 2017 at 8:32 am

        We currently do not have any positions open but please check back for any future openings!

    247. Donna on August 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Still lucky to catch a sighting of an osprey on the nest. 🙂 I think the female is the first one to head back south and I can’t tell if this is the male or a young one.

      • Donna on August 26, 2017 at 4:48 pm

        Getting a good front view of the lone osprey this afternoon and looks like it’s the female with the nice ‘necklace’.

    248. Donna on August 1, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Looking in to an empty nest this morning, the osprey are spending less and less time there. I’m so glad I visited the nature center last week, it’s an awesome place for anyone of any age to see. Thank you to volunteers Skip and the butterfly lady for your hospitality and information. Kiley, sorry I didn’t get to meet you too, I enjoy your blogs and appreciate your responses to our questions in the chat to keep us informed. I’m so happy for a successful year for our osprey family.

    249. Donna on July 22, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Having some cam problems today, keeps freezing up. Only two O’s on the nest right now. Planning a day trip to the nature center Tuesday to see them in person. 🙂

    250. Donna on July 15, 2017 at 11:52 am

      WOW Lots of flapping, hopping and hovering this morning. At 11:44am I’m pretty sure it was one of the chicks that made a flight off the nest and out of sight briefly and came back. The parent and other chicks on the nest watched it.

    251. Delores Maser on July 14, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      This is such an important message—Thank you !
      We must all be taught how to be humane—from the
      tiniest creatures to the largest ones and to
      our human brothers and sisters, as well. Delores

    252. Donna on July 6, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Just lucky to get a quick look at all five on the nest, makes it pretty crowded, lol 🙂

    253. Donna on June 29, 2017 at 7:40 am

      I haven’t seen any swans on the limited lake view, would rather go back to the nest view to watch the babies wingersize. 🙂

      • kiley on June 30, 2017 at 11:49 am

        I switched it back! Enjoy!

        • Donna on July 1, 2017 at 6:11 am

          Thank you Kiley. When do you estimate they will fledge? I want to come and visit about that time.

          • kiley on July 6, 2017 at 11:20 am

            It’s usually about the last week of July that they fledge.

    254. Lynn Davis on June 23, 2017 at 3:43 pm


      How long does the hike last on Tuesday, June 27th?

      • kiley on June 23, 2017 at 3:44 pm

        It will take about a half hour to get there, and then about an hour hike.

    255. Spanky on June 19, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Kiley how are the Swans doing? Hope they nest!

      • kiley on June 30, 2017 at 11:49 am

        It doesn’t look like they will nest this year, but they are doing very well!

        • Spanky on June 30, 2017 at 2:06 pm

          Ty Kiley

    256. Donna on June 17, 2017 at 7:52 am

      I can see two babies for sure but has anyone else seen all three at a time lately? Maybe one didn’t make it? 🙁

      • Spanky on June 17, 2017 at 11:38 am

        I just seen all 3 of the chicks!

        • Donna on June 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm

          Thanks, that’s great!

    257. Donna on June 12, 2017 at 7:43 am

      It seems the parents always like to stand on this side of the nest making it hard to see the little heads bobbing. lol

    258. Gretchen Graff on June 10, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      Very nice, Kiley.

    259. Donna on June 7, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      I can still see all three little bobbleheads so all must be going well. 🙂

    260. Kirk Vogen on June 2, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Dear Madam/Sir: I would like to sign up for the Beginners Kickstart Your Kayak 06/13, 1 to 3.

      I am 66 and bought a Kayak (fishing style) at the end of the season last year. Never had one and struggling getting out of it.

      Kirk Vogen, cell: 214-629-0630, live in Worthington, MN

    261. Nick Guthrie on June 2, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Where can I take an old mattress and box spring to dispose of?

      • kiley on June 2, 2017 at 9:48 am

        If the metal springs are separated from the fabric portion, they can be recycled. As a whole, they can only be taken to the landfill.

    262. Spanky on May 31, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      I can see all 3 chicks eating!

      • Donna on June 1, 2017 at 9:05 pm

        I’m pretty sure I saw them all today too, they’re getting so big already.

    263. Brad Bearson on May 27, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Could I make a reservation for my 9 year old son (Dunkin Bearson) for the Nature Explorers on July 6th?
      Brad Bearson

      • kiley on May 30, 2017 at 8:39 am

        We will put him on the registration sheet. In the future, please call 712-336-6352 to register for programs just so it doesn’t get overlooked 🙂 Thanks!

    264. Donna on May 25, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      It’s nice to have the side view cam up and running, if you go full screen you can see action in the nest. We just won’t be able to see the babies until they’re half grown. And what happens to the hatch date contest? lol

      • Spanky on May 26, 2017 at 7:23 am

        Maybe next year!

    265. Cyndee Dather on May 22, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      Please register my grandson Kellen Proctor, who is 2 1/2 for 10:30 AM. The following dates for Nature Tots:
      – June 14
      – July 12
      – Aug 9
      – Sept 13
      – Oct 11
      – Nov 8
      – Dec 13
      Thanks Cyndee Dather

      • kiley on May 23, 2017 at 7:54 am

        Please call 712-336-6352 to register. We will put you on the June and July list. The August date is full, so we will need your phone number to put you on the waiting list. As of right now we are only taking reservations through August. Thank you!

    266. Jan Grant on May 18, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      Just requesting that you use our new gmail address to communicate. Thanks.

    267. Brody on May 17, 2017 at 10:12 am

      My guess for the osprey eggs to hatch is 5-24 at 1:00am.

    268. Donna on May 16, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      Oh no, this is bad news about the cam and storm, are the osprey okay and still on the nest? Any news would be appreciated. (is there an error # for this? just kidding)

      • Spanky on May 19, 2017 at 7:47 am

        If it wasn’t for bad luck this site would have no luck at all.

        • kiley on May 19, 2017 at 10:21 am

          We are so disappointed that we’re having issues again! We’re trying to switch cameras so we can at least have a side view. Thanks for continuing to watch though!

          • Donna on May 19, 2017 at 7:58 pm

            Thanks for the update and all the efforts to get a cam up. 🙂

    269. Donna on May 11, 2017 at 8:26 am

      My guess for the first hatch is 5-23 at 4:00pm.

    270. Spanky on May 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Pip the 24th and hatch the 25th! You can take that to the bank! (~,0)!

    271. Chimega on May 6, 2017 at 6:34 am

      Looks like a beautiful day, today. Sun, mom on the eggs. Water. Who could ask for more, except a fish? 🙂

      • Donna on May 6, 2017 at 6:40 am

        Great to have the cam back running, should be lots of sun this coming week.

    272. Donna on May 2, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      The sun has been shining all day and still no cam so I wonder what error 522 really is. Hoping to see the ospreys soon.

      • Spanky on May 5, 2017 at 10:16 am

        it would be nice if someone would let us know whats going on!

      • kiley on May 5, 2017 at 11:35 am

        The camera needed more sun to rejuvenate the power. We will be resetting it today. Thanks for watching!

    273. Donna on April 29, 2017 at 9:01 am

      No sun, no cam. 🙁

    274. Spanky on April 23, 2017 at 8:29 am

      To comment you must scroll to the bottom of the page!

    275. Spanky on April 22, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      (o,o)! 3rd egg is here!

    276. Spanky on April 22, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Has anyone seen a 3rd egg?

    277. Spanky on April 21, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Refresh to get it back!

    278. Donna on April 20, 2017 at 6:35 am

      Cam says error 522 again, maybe that means the solar power needs recharged. We need some sunshine. 🙂

      • Spanky on April 21, 2017 at 9:34 am

        That error 522 sure takes the fun out of this!

    279. Donna on April 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      So glad cam is back on. Still just one egg as of early Tuesday afternoon.

      • Donna on April 18, 2017 at 2:22 pm

        And just a little bit later, 2:18pm, there are two eggs. 🙂

    280. Spanky on April 17, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      I watched them mate a few minutes ago, so egg number 2 should be here soon!

    281. Spanky on April 17, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      One egg so far!

    282. Spanky on April 17, 2017 at 7:56 am

      We must have 2 eggs by now!

    283. Spanky on April 5, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Kiley,, what is #522?

      • Chimega on April 7, 2017 at 6:00 pm

        Have the Osprey returned?

        • Spanky on April 7, 2017 at 6:03 pm

          Yes both are back!

          • Chimega on April 7, 2017 at 6:09 pm

            Thanks, Spanky!! 🙂

    284. Jacki Kelly on April 4, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      Wasn’t the kayaking camp for ages 8 and up last year? My daughter turned 8 in Feb and was SO looking forward to that camp!

      • kiley on April 5, 2017 at 8:11 am

        Kickstart Your Kayak is a separate class, which has been ages 10 and up. We did a Kayaking Adventures camp last year for ages 8-12, but since it was our first time doing that camp we found that the 8- and 9-year-olds were a little too small to handle the kayaks well on their own so we did decide to move Kayaking Adventures to ages 10-12 and ages 13-18 for our camps. We added the Science Quest camp for ages 8-9. I’m sorry to disappoint your daughter! We decided this was best for the kids at this age. We think she would enjoy Science Quest though!

    285. Sue on April 4, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Is there a similar course in the Cedar Rapids, IA area?

      • kiley on April 4, 2017 at 2:15 pm

        Iowa Rivers Revival puts on the program, so they should have a list of all statewide opportunities!

    286. Spanky on April 1, 2017 at 7:06 am

      I just hate it when we have problem #522 (o,o)!

    287. Spanky on March 26, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      I think Mom & Dad will be back home on the 5th of April?

      • Chimega on March 27, 2017 at 5:37 am

        I can’t wait to see them!

    288. Linda Rowland on March 23, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Is the program still on for tonight?

    289. Ronda Sherbon on March 13, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      What days and times will these classes be held?

      • kiley on March 14, 2017 at 8:15 am

        If you click on the Master River Stewards Program Objectives link above, it will give you all the class dates and times/subjects/teachers in that PDF document. Thanks!

    290. Jane Shuttleworth on March 13, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      How do we register? Did not show up on registration page. Thanks, Jane

      • kiley on March 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm


        Registration will be open on March 15 if you could check back Wednesday!


    291. craig on February 4, 2017 at 8:36 am

      are you open this weekend February 4th?

    292. Spanky on January 31, 2017 at 10:26 am

      I hope our Osprey have better luck this spring! Last year was heart breaking!

    293. Don Turner on January 31, 2017 at 10:21 am

      The Swans look great! Nice to see they have some open water. Lets hope they have babies this year!

    294. Rich Flower on January 10, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      In the 3rd step you say to add 1/3 cup rice and cook until done, and add 1 1/2 cup cooked wild rice along with bullion and seasonings.

      Is that 1 1/2 cup of cooked rice in addition to the 1/3 cup in the previous step.

      Thank you for any clarification you can give me.

      • kiley on January 11, 2017 at 8:47 am

        They are two different kinds of rice, so yes, the second would be in addition to the first.

    295. Bleeding Heartland on January 4, 2017 at 10:03 am

      […] he took a job with the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He later worked for the Dickinson County Conservation Board and since 2013 has been with the Polk County Conservation Board, where he is now director. […]

    296. Rachel Wavra on December 30, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Could you please register Annabell Wavra 5 and Evelyn Wavra 3 for the 10:30 class.
      Thank you

      • kiley on December 30, 2016 at 1:40 pm

        They are already registered 🙂 Thanks for checking!

    297. Kristi Cooper on October 29, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      I’d like to contact someone who is familiar with Abbie Gardner Sharp relics. I have a 1910 edition of the Spirit Lake Massacre book with a signature dated July 20, 1916. This was 4 1/2 years before her death. I’d like to verify if it is actually signed by Mrs. Sharp.

      Im fine with a phone call to my cell number 319 560 7366.

    298. Vacation Okoboji | Fall in Okoboji - Vacation Okoboji on September 19, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      […] area favorites include:Kettelson Hogsback, Horeshoe Bend Wildlife Area,  Gull Point State Park, Judd Wildlife Area, and Elinor Bedell State […]

    299. Vacation Okoboji | Fall in Okoboji - Vacation Okoboji on September 19, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      […] to explore the lakes!  Kayaking & Canoeing is a great way to explore the shoreline, canals and area rivers & streams.  Bring your own kayak or rent one from Okoboji Boat Works.  You can also rent a pontoon or […]

    300. Vacation Okoboji | Fall in Okoboji - Vacation Okoboji on September 19, 2016 at 11:28 am

      […] prefer to explore on two feet rather than 2 wheels. Some area favorites include:Kettelson Hogsback, Horeshoe Bend Wildlife Area,  Gull Point State Park, Judd Wildlife Area, and Elinor Bedell State […]

    301. Vacation Okoboji | Fall in Okoboji - Vacation Okoboji on September 19, 2016 at 11:24 am

      […] you’re up for a different golfing challenge, check out the Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course.  This is a 18 hole, championship level course with both gold and white tees. The course winds in […]

    302. Donna on September 10, 2016 at 10:38 am

      The camera has been off for several days now so I will say farewell to this osprey season, sad at the tragic ending for the three little ones this year and grateful that the parents survived and worked to fix up the nest for next year. Thank you to the conservation board and nature center for providing the opportunity for us to watch and learn.

      • Spanky on September 12, 2016 at 8:00 am

        Well said Donna! See ya next spring!

      • Brenda on October 31, 2016 at 2:05 pm

        I just discovered this site. What happened to the babies?

        Thank you.

        • kiley on October 31, 2016 at 2:17 pm

          Unfortunately the osprey chicks were blown from the nest during a bad June storm and all three did not survive. We hope to have a successful nest here again next year!

    303. Donna on August 27, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Good morning, nest view today. It looks like they have been very busy refurbishing. 🙂

    304. Spanky on August 12, 2016 at 7:10 am

      Nice view! Thanks for the change.

      • Donna on August 12, 2016 at 10:21 am

        Hi Spanky, yes this is a nice wide view. I can still see the two swans a-swimmin. Did you find the other osprey nest?

        • Spanky on August 13, 2016 at 6:12 am

          Yes! It’s by the school.

    305. R Eddy on July 15, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      What takes place at Nature Explores? How do you register?

      • kiley on July 19, 2016 at 9:26 am

        Nature Explorers revolves around the “Wet & Wild” theme this year. It includes hikes, games, crafts, lessons and more. Each program lasts one hour. You can register a child ages 6-9 by calling 712-336-6352.

    306. Donna on July 9, 2016 at 7:26 am

      I’ve been watching the pond for a while this morning, so calm it’s like a mirror. There has been one swan sitting on the dock, and not sure what the white box-like object is there also. I’ve seen several wing-flaps in the bottom right corner of the screen as the osprey are coming and going.

      • Spanky on July 11, 2016 at 9:50 am

        I’m having a hard time forgiving Mother Nature for taking our babies!

        • kiley on July 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm

          We did find out there is another nest at the Milford school that has three chicks, so that is good news!

          • Spanky on July 12, 2016 at 10:55 am

            Great! I’ll drive down there and check them out! ty Kiley!

    307. John on July 9, 2016 at 6:02 am

      Thank you

    308. Jackie Hopkins on July 6, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      I’d like to register my son Dylan Hopkins for the Fire Making camp on July 14.

    309. Donna on July 3, 2016 at 10:07 am

      I still look in several times a day to enjoy the peaceful pond. Occasionally see a swan and saw an osprey fly over. Miss the osprey family. 🙁

    310. Abbi Wajda on June 30, 2016 at 7:01 am

      I would like to sign up Jack Wajda And Carter Toews for the July 14, 28, and Aug 11 Young Naturalist Programs. Thanks! Abbi Wajda

      • kiley on June 30, 2016 at 8:10 am

        Thanks! I have them down!

    311. Donna on June 22, 2016 at 10:24 am

      Nice view of the pond, thanks. I’m wondering if the swans had a nest, eggs and babies, haven’t seen any little ones.

      • Spanky on June 26, 2016 at 10:48 am

        I got a good look at the Swans and they didn’t have any babies with them! So i’m guessing they didn’t have any better luck then our Osprey!

    312. Jan Grant on June 21, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Yes. I will attend the free clinic on Thursday night.

      May I leave a check at the Nature Center for the Clean Water Bike Ride? PayPal and I do not understand each other.

      • kiley on June 21, 2016 at 1:15 pm

        That works just fine to bring a check to the nature center. Thank you!

    313. Erika Graves on June 20, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      Hi I would like to sign my son William up for the June 30th young naturalist program.
      Thank you,
      Erika Graves

      • kiley on June 21, 2016 at 9:06 am

        Thanks Erika! I have him down!

    314. Spanky on June 19, 2016 at 7:47 am

      Looking at that empty nest is like salt in the wound! Can’t we go back to the swans?

      • Donna on June 20, 2016 at 7:16 am

        I agree this is a sad view of the empty nest. The parents will probably visit some and refurbish with new sticks to hold claim on their nest. I would also like to ask for a zoomed out view to include the pond too, so nice and serene.

    315. Cas on June 16, 2016 at 6:48 am

      So very, very sad, for the Ospreys, but also for everyone else who is suffering due to the damage caused by the storm.

      Yet another peril to be faced by our much loved Ospreys :'(

      Thoughts go out to you all.

    316. Donna on June 15, 2016 at 11:20 am

      Kiley has written an account of what happened in the ‘blog’ link above. Unfortunately it is just what I suspected that the babies did not survive getting blown out of the nest. My heartfelt thanks to Kiley and the others who went out and found the three chicks. This is such a sad loss for everyone involved.

      • Chimega on June 15, 2016 at 6:55 pm

        Ohhhh nooooooooo!!! :'(

    317. Donna on June 15, 2016 at 6:06 am

      I looked in this morning about 5:40 to an empty nest but soon mom came with part of a koi fish and dropped it in the nest. She stared down at the empty nest many times and finally she ate the fish. I see all the sticks for the ‘crib railings’ are gone so assume the storms must have taken the babies too. This just breaks my heart as they were probably too young to survive the fall.

      • Spanky on June 15, 2016 at 8:08 am

        My heart is heavy!

    318. Rolf Carlson on June 14, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Interested in am kayak lesson

    319. Donna on June 14, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Am I seeing an empty nest? There is rain on the lens so it’s a little blurry but I don’t think I see any osprey, hope I’m wrong.

      • Geri on June 14, 2016 at 6:04 pm

        I saw an adult and babies in nest during the storm. It sure looks empty now.

      • Donna on June 14, 2016 at 7:50 pm

        The rain and storms have stopped, mom on the nest alone, can see her calling, dad shows up with some food, no babies. This is so sad. If they were blown out of the nest I wonder if there was an attempt to find them. I hope someone from the nature center can tell us what has happened.

    320. Donna on June 14, 2016 at 9:53 am

      The osprey family seems be getting more than it’s fair share of rain lately. Luckily mom can still cover the chicks pretty well.

    321. Glenna Farnsworth on June 13, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      Question: What is the cost of renting a kayak? this would be a great opportunity to take advantage of having an instructor to teach the techniques & safety before investing in one. Thanks for providing this opportunity.

      • kiley on June 14, 2016 at 8:49 am

        The $20 fee would include the use of a kayak.

    322. Donna on June 11, 2016 at 5:34 am

      The cam is off air since the storms went through last night, hoping, hoping, hoping it’s not damaged and the osprey family and everyone is okay.

      • Donna on June 11, 2016 at 8:15 am

        Cam is back on now and dad just brought in a big fish that mom took away from him to feed the chicks.

        • Judy on June 11, 2016 at 3:46 pm

          It looks like mom is spreading her wings to shade the little ones!

          • Judy on June 13, 2016 at 4:04 pm

            Is that a coy fish they’re eating? Uh oh!

            • Spanky on June 13, 2016 at 6:28 pm

              Yes they have brought many coy to the nest! Last year I lost count of how many!

            • Donna on June 13, 2016 at 7:22 pm

              They are close to a golf course that has a Koi pond.

    323. Donna on June 8, 2016 at 9:04 am

      All three chicks seem to be doing great! Mom just fed them all til they couldn’t eat any more. The two older ones are waddling around the nest now wanting to explore, so fun to watch.

      • Spanky on June 8, 2016 at 12:16 pm

        I see the older 2 are starting to get feathers!

    324. Christine Baker on June 6, 2016 at 9:42 am

      We would like to attend the family natural nights at the Dickinson county nature center in June, July.and August. There will be 3 of us.

      • kiley on June 6, 2016 at 9:53 am

        Thank you for letting us know! This event does not require pre-registration, but we do appreciate the notice. We look forward to having you!

    325. Charlene Anderson on June 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      How do I enroll my 5 year old grandson in the Nature Kids camp?

    326. Donna on June 4, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      #3 is quite a lot smaller than the other two chicks, it has to wait til the others get full at a feeding to get a chance to get some bites but I just watched a feeding and it did get a decent amount of food.

    327. Gordon Dreier on May 31, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      I have concrete block from a raised flower bed. Is there any place that recycles concrete?

      • kiley on June 1, 2016 at 8:16 am

        Clean concrete can be dropped off at the secondary roads area off 220th Street in Milford, behind the sand pit. If you need specific directions, you can also call the recycling center at 712-338-2549.

    328. Spanky on May 31, 2016 at 9:56 am

      We now have 3

      • Donna on June 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm

        Feeding three takes some time and a lot of patience, but all got fed well and look great. I’m happy we’re able to watch this year with no cam problems. (crossing fingers) 🙂

    329. Spanky on May 28, 2016 at 11:47 am

      We have 2

      • Donna on May 28, 2016 at 1:09 pm

        Wow that was quick. I thought it might be 2-3 days but the closer the better. 🙂

        • Spanky on May 29, 2016 at 7:25 am

          Shocked me too.

        • Spanky on May 29, 2016 at 7:51 am

          I think this Mom is a Rookie!

          • Chimega on June 2, 2016 at 6:54 pm

            Same mom from last year!

            • Spanky on June 3, 2016 at 7:13 am

              are you sure?

            • Chimega on June 15, 2016 at 8:15 pm

              Sorry, Spanky, I missed seeing this before. Yes, I am 99 1/2% sure. I’ve compared head markings, especially forehead, top and from the back on her and they all appear to be the same. This female also has one of the most elaborate, huge “necklaces” I have seen in an Osprey, other than some from Europe but those have a different type of marking on the chest than these do.

              For some reason I thought you had asked about the male and I had already compared the numbers on the leg bands, which do match, as well. Same parents. I hope they will return next year. Sometimes failed nests cause negative results and behaviors.

    330. Spanky on May 27, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      We have a hatch in progress! (o,o)

      • Spanky on May 27, 2016 at 12:24 pm

        Mom helped and the baby is out!

        • Spanky on May 27, 2016 at 12:45 pm

          I’ll bet Dad is out looking for a fish for the baby! You should have seen him he was so proud!

      • Donna on May 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm

        Great News! 3:35 and baby is up eating already.

    331. Spanky on May 26, 2016 at 11:39 am

      I only see 1 Swan I hope that means the other is on the nest!

    332. Spanky on May 19, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Our 1st baby this week-end?

      • Donna on May 19, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        A little early I think, I figured more around the 26th, or somewhere in between .

        • Spanky on May 22, 2016 at 8:38 am

          I am on PIP watch! (o,o)

    333. Chimega on May 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      3 eggs visible on the nest when the female (I named her Moonglow) stands to turn the eggs.

    334. Spanky on May 11, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Could we get an up date on the Swans?

      • kiley on May 12, 2016 at 8:27 am

        The swans are doing great! They enjoy being able to swim wherever they would like on the wetland!

        • Donna on May 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm

          Will the swans be nesting/laying eggs?

        • Spanky on May 12, 2016 at 4:04 pm

          Ty Kiley

    335. Donna on May 11, 2016 at 9:03 am

      Another cloudy, wet day in Iowa! I’m surprised the cam is still working with the lack of sunshine but glad we can see that all seems well on the nest. 🙂

    336. Spanky on May 5, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Mom is panting she must be hot!

    337. Donna on May 3, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Nice sunny day! When dad flies into the nest, he wants to take over NOW! lol

      • Spanky on May 3, 2016 at 9:29 am

        He is a bully!

    338. Spanky on May 2, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      1st hatch should be around May 25th. or so!

      • Spanky on May 3, 2016 at 8:07 am

        Give or take a couple of days!

    339. Rhoda Brunz on May 2, 2016 at 12:21 am

      I would like to register my 2 Grandchildren for the May 11, 2016 session for nature time for tots. Rhoda Brunz

      • kiley on May 2, 2016 at 11:47 am

        Thanks Rhoda! Would you mind calling 712-336-6352 just so we can get their names and ages?

    340. Donna on April 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      At 5:03pm I just saw mom and dad switch and we have 3 eggs now. 🙂

      • Donna on April 28, 2016 at 5:06 pm

        Disregard my post, I was looking at my notes from another nest. Duh!!

    341. Spanky on April 25, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      We have 3 eggs!

      • Donna on April 25, 2016 at 5:23 pm

        Thanks again for the good news, wasn’t sure if they would have three or just the two. Early this afternoon I observed an eaglet struggling and caught on something in the nest, reported it and they got a tree service to go up and free it. All is well now 🙂 but what a day, heartbreaking to watch.

        • Spanky on April 26, 2016 at 8:37 am

          Mother Nature & I both thank you Donna. You done a good thing!

      • Chimega on April 28, 2016 at 6:55 am

        Yippee!!! 😀

    342. Chimega on April 23, 2016 at 8:04 am

      What did he bring into the nest, now? I hope that’s dung and not some man-made fibers. Ack!

      • Donna on April 23, 2016 at 9:45 am

        ha ha I’ve seen a couple clods I thought was mud, never thought of dung, hope not. Pretty erratic behavior from this dad.

        • Chimega on April 28, 2016 at 6:56 am

          I’ve seen other males bring in horse dung so, yea, it’s possible. LOL

      • Spanky on April 23, 2016 at 11:12 am

        I think it is sod!

    343. Grace Keir on April 22, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      I don’t see a live picture using the link given above, there are only videos. Date: 4-22-2016

    344. Spanky on April 22, 2016 at 7:46 am

      We have 2 eggs!

      • Donna on April 22, 2016 at 8:17 am

        Good morning and thanks for the report 🙂 Should be good weather for a couple days.

        • Spanky on April 22, 2016 at 9:36 am

          Good morning Donna yw

    345. Donna on April 21, 2016 at 6:58 am

      The cam ran out of power last night with all the cloudy and rainy days, tomorrow should be sunny.

      • Spanky on April 21, 2016 at 7:13 am

        Hope your right!

    346. Spanky on April 19, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Dad is letting the egg cool to slow it down so it’s not so far ahead of the others to come.

    347. Donna on April 19, 2016 at 9:11 am

      I’m wondering if this might be a new young male this year, somewhat hyper and bizarre behavior. Either he’s not quite sure what to do or just really excited about seeing an egg.

      • Spanky on April 19, 2016 at 9:26 am

        I noticed that too Donna. I think they mate for life?

        • Donna on April 19, 2016 at 9:32 am

          Yes that’s true but eventually something happens to one of them and the other will find a new mate.

    348. Spanky on April 19, 2016 at 8:11 am

      (o,o)!!! We have our 1st egg!

    349. Donna on April 19, 2016 at 8:09 am

      We have out first egg!!! Saw it at 8:07 this morning but there was an osprey on the nest last night just after 10 so could have been there then. Let the fun begin. 🙂

    350. Spanky on April 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

      Some new grass in the bowl and we are good to go!

    351. Spanky on April 16, 2016 at 7:52 am

      I wish we could see the Swans to.

      • Spanky on April 16, 2016 at 8:16 am

        I got my wish!

    352. Shirley on April 15, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      I haven’t seen the ospreys. Are they working on their nest?

    353. Spanky on April 14, 2016 at 8:47 am

      No new sticks no new grass! How come?

    354. Donna on April 13, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Question answered, thank you. Cam looks nice and clear. Now mom and dad need to work on the nest and bring in fresh material, make it nice and cushy.

      • Spanky on April 13, 2016 at 4:17 pm


    355. Donna on April 13, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Yesterday there were two people up in a bucket working on the nest cam, I’m wondering if that cam is going to be working. ???

      • Spanky on April 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm

        I seen them too

    356. Spanky on April 11, 2016 at 11:56 am

      I just watched Mom & Dad mate! 1st egg soon!

    357. Spanky on April 10, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Kiley, are both Mom & Dad back?

      • Donna on April 10, 2016 at 8:58 am

        Did you see about 8:52 this morning they were both there? Dad was working on the nest.

        • Spanky on April 10, 2016 at 9:52 am

          Ok ty Donna

    358. Chimega on April 7, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      I am so glad the cam is up this year. I hope and pray it stays up!!! Ospreys are my favorite raptor! 😀

    359. Spanky on April 7, 2016 at 8:20 am

      Kiley, do you know is that Mom or Dad?

      • Donna on April 7, 2016 at 9:06 am

        I’m pretty sure it was the female there this morning, darker breast feathers or the ‘necklace’.

        • Spanky on April 7, 2016 at 1:24 pm

          In my field guide it says both sexes are alike! I just know that Dad has bands on his legs!

    360. Donna on April 6, 2016 at 8:03 am

      The osprey are back!! Or I’ll assume this is an osprey sitting in the nest. lol

      • Spanky on April 6, 2016 at 8:08 am

        I think your right!

      • Spanky on April 6, 2016 at 8:13 am

        Don’t forget Dad has bands on his legs!

    361. Donna on April 5, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Wow the cam is rockin and rollin today! Wondering what it is mounted on. Will be nice to have this second cam view when the osprey chicks get older and start to fledge. Can’t wait, hoping the cams survive better than the last two years. 🙂

      • Spanky on April 5, 2016 at 11:23 am

        Very windy here!

    362. Jon French on March 31, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      Hi, I am unable & confused on how to find where to submit my 3 photos for the contest. I have clicked on the naturecenter@co.dickinson.ia.uscreate new email & it does nothing, nor can i find any links to submit any images or information, etc. It is 5:23 pm., so I could not call today, but will call tomorrow to hopefully get directed on how I can still get photos submitted. Thanks, Jon French

    363. Spanky on March 31, 2016 at 10:19 am

      Kiley, are the Osprey back yet?

      • kiley on April 1, 2016 at 8:24 am

        The osprey have not been sighted yet.

        • Spanky on April 1, 2016 at 9:30 am

          Ok ty Kiley

    364. Spanky on March 31, 2016 at 10:11 am

      Welcome Back!

    365. Donna on March 26, 2016 at 9:21 am

      I hope they can fix the chat so we can comment at the top like last year. 🙂

    366. Donna on March 26, 2016 at 9:19 am

      ha ha no Spanky you’re not the only one watching, I have been checking in too. Today the cam says “error” so maybe needs more sun.

      • Spanky on March 26, 2016 at 1:32 pm

        Hi Donna

    367. Spanky on March 24, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Am i the only one in the world watching this?

    368. Spanky on March 24, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Winter has returned! Yuck!

    369. Spanky on March 22, 2016 at 9:32 am

      To leave a comment scroll to the bottom of the page!

    370. Spanky on March 20, 2016 at 8:58 am

      (o,o)!!! 6 Swans!

    371. Spanky on March 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Good Morning All (o,o)

    372. Spanky on March 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      The small black and white ducks are “BUFFLEHEAD”

    373. Spanky on March 18, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Trumpeter Swan often mate for life!

    374. Spanky on March 18, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Most egg laying occurs between late April and May!

    375. Spanky on March 18, 2016 at 8:19 am

      it looks like the Swans have claimed the man made island!

    376. Spanky on March 17, 2016 at 9:19 am

      Trumpeter Swans wingspan may exceed 10ft.

    377. Spanky on March 17, 2016 at 9:04 am

      The female lays 3 to 12 eggs with 4 to 6 being average. Incubation is 32 to 37 days with fledging stage at 3 to 4 months.

    378. Spanky on March 17, 2016 at 8:35 am

      I like the man made island but it looks like a box canyon trap. Shouldn’t both ends be open providing an escape route?

    379. Spanky on March 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      The Swans look happy, I just hope they take to the tourists!

    380. Spanky on March 16, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      is that a feeder?

    381. Spanky on March 15, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Just got back home. I didn’t see any Swans or Osprey! It just wasn’t my day!

      • kiley on March 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

        Keep watching! The osprey usually come back the third week of April, but with this warm weather, it may be earlier this year!

        • Spanky on March 16, 2016 at 2:19 pm


    382. Spanky on March 15, 2016 at 11:47 am

      I guess i’ll just drive out there and get a look for myself! (o,o)

    383. Spanky on March 15, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Anyone know if the Osprey are back yet? (o,o)

    384. Spanky on March 15, 2016 at 9:26 am

      I’m back! Looking forward to see the new swans!

    385. Helen L Greenhalgh on February 24, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Will you be having the kayak trips this year. Are those for adults?

      • kiley on February 25, 2016 at 8:48 am

        Kayak A Wetland grew too large for our limited staff to safely handle, but many members of the group have continued on their own. Their Facebook page is the Northwest Iowa Paddling Society, and the leaders post weekly where the group will be meeting.

        We will be having Kickstart Your Kayak programs June 20. You can see a full description here:

    386. Kaitlin on January 17, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Will you be open the weekend of the 23rd? January?

      • kiley on January 18, 2016 at 11:35 am

        We expect to be. It depends on the weather; if the cold and wind advisory continues this weekend we may not be. We will announce on Friday, Jan. 22, about our hours this weekend. Check back on the website or Facebook!

    387. Randy on January 1, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Are you guys open this weekend?

      • kiley on January 5, 2016 at 9:03 am

        We are open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday as long as snow conditions remain as they are.

    388. […] Downhill tubing: Horseshoe bend downhill tubing hill, will be open weekends depending on Snow Regular tubing hill hours will be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday as well as during school winter breaks, Dec. 23 and Dec. 26-31. Prices for the 2015-16 season are $10 per day or $45 for a single-person season pass. Season passes are non-refundable and non-transferable. […]

    389. kiley on December 5, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      The tubing hill is closed Sunday, Dec. 6, due to snowmelt. Thanks to those who came Saturday! Check social media for the latest updates this season!

    390. […] I was “surfing the net” for things to do with my son and daughter I discovered the “Bee & Butterfly Festival” held at the Dickinson County Nature Center. The “Bee & Butterfly Festival” Is a one […]

    391. Diana on December 3, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      How old can the youngest child be?

      • kiley on December 8, 2015 at 3:03 pm

        We do not have a set age at the moment, we ask that parents and guardians use discretion. All tubers also must sign a liability waiver.

    392. Elda Vander Schaaf on November 24, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      We are a party of 4 interested in the hike. We are expecting 4 visitors, but are not sure they will arrive in time. Will you email us if at the hike will not be held?

      • kiley on November 24, 2015 at 4:06 pm

        The best way to check on the hike status would probably be to call at 712-336-6352 or on our Dickinson County Nature Center Facebook page, but I will try to remember to contact you if the hike is cancelled due to weather reasons. At this point it looks like the forecast is favorable!

    393. Brett Morris on November 21, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Hey there Charles.
      I reckon this hike will be rain or shine?
      I’m penciling this in, but can’t fully commit yet.
      How long does this hike typically last?

      • kiley on November 23, 2015 at 8:19 am

        The hikes are usually about 1-1.5 hours, including travel time to the site.

        • Brett Morris on November 23, 2015 at 7:36 pm

          Thanks Kiley.

    394. Greg on November 12, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Nice! This was a favorite beach for my family going back over 60 years!

    395. Greg Gamble on October 15, 2015 at 9:11 am

      Beautifully written, Kiley!

      • kiley on October 15, 2015 at 9:13 am

        Thank you 🙂

    396. Laurie Ruf on September 21, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Do I need to register for the hike! Laurie

      • kiley on September 21, 2015 at 11:16 am

        You do not need to register for this hike Laurie, simply come to the nature center at 9:30 a.m. and we will caravan to the site!

    397. mel on September 3, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      do they serve food?

      • kiley on September 4, 2015 at 8:11 am

        The Farm to Fork food truck will be on site selling food.

    398. Mary Ebeling on August 5, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Hello! The Trimont (MN) Chamber sponsors a banquet each fall to acknowledge and show appreciation to our employers and their employees. We are looking for 30 minutes of entertainment. Would you be willing to join us for such a short event?? What fee would be fair? Feel free to contact me at (507) 236-2020 to discuss.

      THANK YOU! -Mary

    399. Donna on August 3, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      By now I’m sure the osprey chicks have fledged and probably are still in and out of the nest. Kiley, could you or someone there post a comment to let us know how they are doing and how many chicks there are this year please?

    400. Danny on July 26, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Campers are given the chance at the end of the day to present to their parents what they have learned at Animal Adventures camp and talk about their favorite animal! In addition to what you see above, each camp day includes a snack break, fun games, journal time, and most importantly FREE HOLD sessions!

    401. bobbi maas on June 21, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      Need to know if there is an opening for beeswax painting.

    402. Becky Welch on May 24, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      What is the age requirement for this event?

      • kiley on May 26, 2015 at 8:39 am

        There is no age requirement. However, the hike is somewhat lengthy so small children may need an all-terrain stroller or to be carried part way.

    403. Jane Shuttleworth on May 24, 2015 at 8:36 am

      it says the register online, but whhere is link for registering online for the clean water bike ride? thx!

    404. Daren Rife on May 6, 2015 at 11:14 am

      When does the wings and wetlands tour start and where at? What would I need to bring?

      • kiley on May 6, 2015 at 11:24 am

        The Warbler Walk starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Marble Lake boat ramp. Please bring binoculars, comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and bug spray if needed.

        The swan program and hike begins at 1 p.m. at the Dickinson County Nature Center. Please bring comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and bug spray if needed.

    405. Donna on May 3, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Good Morning, cam looks hopeful, back to black screen with buffer circle. Maybe waiting for batteries to recharge. This next week is supposed to be rainy but will keep hoping for sunshine.

      • Chimega on May 5, 2015 at 6:36 pm

        I am not seeing anything but a white rectangle that says Embedding Not Allowed. Are we not going to have a cam this year?

        • kiley on May 6, 2015 at 8:11 am

          I’m sorry, we are having some technical issues that we are trying to sort through. We are hoping to have a camera up and running within the next few weeks. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    406. Donna on April 30, 2015 at 11:15 am

      I’m still checking in several times a day, was so hoping to watch this cam this year. 🙁

      • kiley on May 5, 2015 at 3:41 pm

        We’re sorry for the disappointment! We are sad it’s not working too! She’s on her eggs though, we can see her head peeking out atop the nest!

    407. Spanky on April 30, 2015 at 11:02 am

      (o,o) !!!!!!!!

    408. Spanky on April 28, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      (~,~) z zz zzz

    409. Shirley Johnson on April 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      It now says “embedding not allowed”.
      I don’t know what that means.

      • kiley on April 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm


        It is just a part of the issues that we are working through. We are close to solving the problem! Thanks for your patience!

    410. Donna on April 17, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Cam still not working, could someone please tell us if there is a problem with it?

      • kiley on April 21, 2015 at 8:57 am

        There are some undetermined issues unfortunately. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. We’re trying to diagnose the problem.

    411. Donna on April 12, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Was hoping cam would be charged up after two days of some sun, will check back again

    412. Donna on April 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      No sun….no cam. Supposed to be sunny on Friday, fingers crossed.

    413. Spanky on April 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Its dad that has the leg bands right?

      • kiley on April 6, 2015 at 8:27 am

        That is correct!

      • Pam on April 6, 2015 at 12:26 pm

        Thanks for the info Spanky. I didn’t know that about the male. So have you seen both the female & the male?

        • Spanky on April 20, 2015 at 8:33 am

          No, just the male so far!

    414. Donna on April 4, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      Nestorations are underway. I’ve see new sticks brought in, rearranging old sticks, some digging in the nest bowl and even a good old Iowa cornhusk has been added for decoration.

      • Pam on April 4, 2015 at 7:52 pm

        Hi Donna,
        This is so much fun to watch. The tower is practically in our back yard and I can easily walk to the Nature Center. This is my first year to watch ospreys here. Pretty awesome. The nest looks better and better each day. Very good builder. (:

        • Donna on April 7, 2015 at 11:14 am

          Pam, how nice for you to be so close to the nest. I’m going to try to make a day trip to the Nature Center this summer about the time the young ones fledge to watch them come and go.

          • Pam on April 15, 2015 at 9:48 am


            If and when you visit the Nature Center, it would be nice to meet you and discuss nature stuff. Just email me whenever it works. Or you could stop by our house and we could walk the trail up to the Nature Center together. I am a volunteer there.


            Make it a great day in Nature!!


    415. Pam on April 3, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      Wow! This osprey is very busy today preparing the nest. Too bad we can’t tell the male from the female. Does anyone know if they both build the nest. I haven’t seen two of the ospreys at the same time.


      • kiley on April 6, 2015 at 8:28 am


        They will both work on the nest, and the male is banded so that is a way to tell them apart!

    416. Donna on April 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      The wind is terrible in Iowa today so thought I would check the nest cam and Hooray, the osprey is back! It’s facing into the wind and hanging on so I can’t tell who it is but so happy to see the season has begun. 🙂

    417. Jenny on March 30, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Not a lot of information on Soil Painting. Is this something for children, age range, a workshop, fee, length of time, explanation of what it is?


      • kiley on March 31, 2015 at 8:37 am


        Information on the soil painting class is included in the Glenda Drennen post on the front page of the website. Here is the information:

        Environmental education coordinator Karess Knudtson will also lead art classes throughout the year. A soil painting class will be held 6 p.m. on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, a part of Global Soil Awareness Week.
        Knudtson will show a variety of soils from different places and will speak about the importance of it.
        “It’s how we grow our food. It goes to the most basic level of what we need,” Knudtson said. “It’s easy to take soil for granted. Those of us that do not make a living growing things can tend to take it for granted there will be food in the grocery store that is safe and healthy.”
        Then the class will get to try their hands at painting with different types of soil.
        “We use a very small amount of soil in the process of painting with it,” Knudtson said, describing it as similar to watercolor painting with soil. “It is a fun and interesting process. The end results have a unique texture. When people are done, they’re usually amazed at what they can do with soil.”
        Knudtson’s classes are limited to 20 people, ages 9 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants must call 712-336-6352 or e-mail naturecenter@co.dickinson.ia.uscreate new email to register. The soil painting class does not have a fee.

    418. Donna on March 25, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      Several other osprey cams I watched last year are up and running now with activity on the nests. I’m looking forward to watching the Iowa osprey again this year and am wondering if they have returned to the nest yet. Hopefully we’ll have better luck with the cam this year throughout the season.

      • kiley on March 25, 2015 at 4:09 pm

        We are getting the camera up and running and have changed the angle of the solar panels to ensure better absorption of the sun so the power should be more consistent this year! The osprey are not back on the nest yet, but they have been spotted making their ways north so we hope to see them soon!

        • Donna on March 26, 2015 at 8:25 am

          Thank you, Kiley and to all those involved in providing this cam for us to watch and learn from

        • Spanky on April 5, 2015 at 2:10 pm

          I like the new camera angle!

    419. Karla Noble on February 12, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      I would like to register for this class. Does this email do that, or is there a registration tab I am missing? Thank you!

      • Charles V on February 20, 2015 at 1:16 pm

        Hi Karla! I will be sending you an email asking some more information about registering for the owl class. Thanks!

    420. EVA BROWN on February 9, 2015 at 2:51 am

      Please register me for the Upcycled Owl on February 25th….Thanks! Eva

    421. Christine on August 22, 2014 at 6:52 am

      I plan to come have my own kayak.

    422. Sue Biederman on August 19, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      I plan to attend. If weather is bad, please let me know if the Aug. 22 outing will be cancelled.

    423. Andrea Black on August 12, 2014 at 12:04 am

      I am interested in having my children learn how to tag monarchs. We currently raise monarchs in the summer and this is our 8th year doing so. Can we bring monarchs with us to help increase the amount of monarchs available for others to help tag?

      • kiley on August 16, 2014 at 9:50 am

        We have several volunteers who help us catch monarchs to tag, so if you would like to contribute some monarchs for our festival, we would love it! Please call 712-336-6352 to arrange more specifics. Thanks so much!

    424. Ann Ditsworth on August 7, 2014 at 8:27 am

      What’s the cost to rent a kayak for the Friday morning adventures?

      • kiley on August 16, 2014 at 9:48 am

        The rental fee is $40 per person. Please call 712-336-6352 to make reservations!

    425. Nate and Meg Dodge on July 29, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Could I reserve 4 for this tour? My number is 402-490-8800. It would be 2 15 year olds, 1 12 year old and an 11 year old. Thanks for considering.

    426. Todd Thorn on July 11, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      The turning of Westport park into dnr public hunting ground was mistake. It used to be a nice park used by quite a few people. Someone was there almost every time that I was there. By the end of summer it will be a big patch of weeds that no one but a hunter will enjoy.

      • Charles V on July 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm

        Thanks for the input. These are the opinions we are looking for.

    427. Cindy Chapman on June 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

      I would need a 2 person Kayak and single Kayak..would that be possible?

      • Charles V on June 30, 2014 at 10:07 am

        Please call the Nature Center at 712-336-6352 to reserve kayaks, thanks!

    428. Christine on June 26, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Hi, I live on Big Spirit where are the kayakers meeting on little Spirit tomorrow? Thanks

      • kiley on June 27, 2014 at 9:04 am

        The north boat ramp on Little Spirit Lake.

    429. Tony Thelen on June 6, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      Congrats Lee and Ed on your Big Day. Great job for a great cause.

    430. Sue Biederman on June 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Would you please notify the location of where we are “putting in ” our kayaks for those that own their own kayaks?
      I would like to meet at the “put in” location instead of going to the Nature Center. I would be nice for saving time and gas.
      Please advise.
      Sue Biederman

    431. Nancy Galloway on May 30, 2014 at 7:16 am

      I would like to help.

      • kiley on June 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm

        Thanks Nancy! We will be starting at 8 a.m. if you would like to come. Feel free to call 712-336-6352 and talk to Kiley! I can give you the details.

    432. Sue Biederman on May 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      I plan to attend the Kayak a Wetland this Fri! I have my own kayak so don’t need one. Thanks.

    433. Sue Boettcher on May 27, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Do you have the full summer schedule for Kayak a Wetland?

    434. Martee Robinson on May 13, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      Hello. There are 9 of us who would like to go kayaking on June 27th. We have two kayaks. I will also call. Martee Robinson. 417 880 4300. Text and phone. 4 children. 1 teenager 2 adults and 2 seniors. Thank you.

      • Charles V on May 15, 2014 at 8:58 am

        Hi Martee!

        If you would like reserve our kayaks, please call the Nature Center at (712)336-6352 to set up a reservation. The kayaks do fill up quickly so the sooner the better. There is a $40 fee per person to use our kayaks. To use our kayak the children need to be 10 years old or older to be able to physically maneuver the kayaks safely. That fee includes life jacket, kayak, paddle and transportation of the kayak to the wetland. Thanks! Look forward to hearing from you!

    435. Dale Nord on May 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Do you know of any suppliers for rain garden soil in the Dickinson area?

      • Charles V on May 6, 2014 at 8:57 am

        You should be able to get top soil from any gardening center in the lakes area. For large quantities, I bet some of the local landscapers could truck some in for you. The NRCS office might have some suggestion for you, their number is (712) 336-3782 ext 3. Hope this helps

    436. Rozely Penzkowski on April 14, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Please let me know the date for the 2014 Monarch Butterfly Festival

      • Charles V on April 15, 2014 at 9:58 am

        Hi Rozely!

        The Monarch Festival will be on Friday, September 5th from 4:00 – 8:00 PM here at the Nature Center. I just put it on our events schedule here on the web site, you can see it here We will add the specific schedule of the days events soon. Thanks for the comment!

    437. Rita Goblirsch on February 12, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      Are their any tickets left for the murder mystery?
      Email me at monte362@yahoo.comcreate new email
      Or phone 507-227-0726

      • cvigdal on February 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm

        We are currently full for this fundraiser. Thanks for your interest! I also sent a response to your email address. Thanks

    438. Deb on January 2, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      We can not attend the meeting, will you please send us the minutes or information from the meeting by email. We have the Little Sioux going through our place, and our Biggest concern is during fall hunting season’s. There are 4 of here that bow and shotgun hunt, and do lots of pheasant hunting and the more people in here the less likely we are to get anything. It is bad enough watching for trespassers while we hunt, we sure don’t want more people out here and be liable if someone gets hurt or accidentally shot on our property. Also the more people we have on our property the less likely we are to have wildlife to hunt here. We pay property taxes and buy hunting licenses to hunt on our property, and want it kept private, that is why we bought this acreage over 35 years ago. This year alone we have had to chase 5 people off our place while we were hunting, all came down the river by snowmobile or ATV, we also caught people throughout the summer that came by canoes. If they want to use the river they have to stay on the river and off private property. They can enjoy trails in county or state parks, county roads etc, away from private property, to many have the mindset property along the river is public because they can not be seen from a road, but IT IS NOT.

      • cvigdal on January 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm

        Thanks for the messege Deb. You should direct questions to Cara Elbert with the NW Iowa Planning and Development Commission, they are the ones that are putting this together and taking comments about this possible project please contact Cara at (712) 262-7225 ext. 152 or email at cara.elbert@nwipdc.orgcreate new email I forward her this comment and she might get in contact with you sometime. Thanks!

    439. Håkon Holmeslet on December 29, 2013 at 10:52 am

      To cvigdal and Dennis.. Thanks a lot, I will contact them.

    440. Sue Boettcher on December 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

      What will the topic be for this program?

      • cvigdal on December 9, 2013 at 10:43 am

        Tuesday Evening Science Program – Keep Okoboji Blue with Deidre Rosenboom

        She will talk about her non-profit Keep Okoboji Blue, that will help out with projects that will protect our lakes.

    441. Dennis on November 27, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      Hi Minnisota out doors has any thing you need for a Bombi

    442. Håkon Holmeslet on November 11, 2013 at 7:09 am


      I have a Bombi 1984 model here in Norway. Do you know were I can buy spareparts to this vehicle. Ned a New driving wheel on the right side.

    443. ivan sobolik on November 6, 2013 at 8:38 am

      do you have any current pictures? is the machine running and are there and defects besides the clutch?

      • cvigdal on November 6, 2013 at 8:46 am

        This picture was taken less than a month ago. For more information about the bombi please contact David Booth, Operations Supervisor, 712-330-8611 or email him at

    444. Brad on November 6, 2013 at 12:54 am

      Where can I see more photos of this bombi?

      • cvigdal on November 6, 2013 at 8:36 am

        I will try and get you some more pictures this week. I will send them to your email.

    445. Beth Schmitt on September 28, 2013 at 9:23 am

      We have really enjoyed watching the osprey this summer. Thank you for the opportunity to watch them. Can’t wait for next year!

      • cvigdal on September 30, 2013 at 11:33 am

        Thank you very much for watching! It was a lot of fun working with the camera and getting to watch the osprey family here at the Nature Center. I will have the camera running this fall till the snow flys and then back up next spring around the end of April 2014.

    446. Dan Brinkmann on September 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Interested in Naturalist II opening! Look forward to talking with you about this career opportunity.

    447. Sue Boettcher on August 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Is this the topic this month? I was thinking Barbara did this one last month? Just checking.

    448. Sue Boettcher on August 14, 2013 at 8:49 am

      What is the program on tomorrow?

    449. Mary Bandow on August 12, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      I have always wanted to try something like this…I have paddled a canoe before but never a kayak. Do you allow “greenhorns” or would you rather have people with experience?

      Thank you,
      Mary Bandow

      • cvigdal on August 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

        Yes! We welcome all levels of kayakers! Most of the people who rent kayaks from us are novice or have never kayaked again. It is a great way to learn. We also give a short kayaking lesson in the beginning of the every tour. If you need to rent one from us, give the Nature Center a call at 712-336-6352 and reserve one. Space is limited and we are almost out of boats for this outing.

    450. Nancy VB on August 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      What a great season with the osprey!! I have enjoyed getting to know more about them. Thanks for the opportunity!! NVB

    451. Sue Boettcher on August 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      What is the program on tomorrow?

      • cvigdal on August 8, 2013 at 10:27 am

        Insect identification

    452. Sue Boettcher on July 29, 2013 at 10:41 am

      What is the program on this week?

    453. Irene Neppl on July 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Thank you very much for allowing us to follow the osprey program. To watch the eggs hatch and the little ones now. I have so enjoyed it. I visited the Nature Center on Sunday and enjoyed all the pictures, literature, beautiful building.

    454. Sue Biederman on June 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Hi. I am interested in joining the Kayak a Wetland Tour this Fri., July 28th.

      I have a kayak and paddles and life vest.

      If I bring my kayak – do I follow you to the place we are going or can you put my kayak on your trailer? Please advise.


      (712) 260-1143

      • cvigdal on June 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        If you have your own kayak you just follow us out to the site. You will have to provide transportation for your kayak. You can meet us here at the Nature Center 8:20 am and we usually caravan to the site or you can meet us at the Hales Slough boat ramp on Big Spirit where we are putting in. If you have any other questions you can call me (Charles) at 712-330-3505

    455. Colleen Schwanz on June 17, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Congratulations Barbara!!! You have no idea how much you will be missed! My field trips will never be the same….thank you so much for enlightening my students and myself…you have touched many lives!

    456. Sue Boettcher on June 16, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      What will this program be on? The last one was on fish.

    457. Rebecca Carnes on June 12, 2013 at 10:29 am

      I just have a few questions about the Kayak Tour on the 21st.
      How long is the drive to Pearl Lake?
      How long are we in the kayaks?
      Do you have 2 person kayaks?
      Is there a charge to rent a kayak?
      Do I need to make reservations?

      Thank you!

      • cvigdal on June 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

        Pearl Lake is about a 15/20min drive, it is just north of Big Spirit Lake.

        We meet at the Nature Center at 8:30am then we will caravan out to the lake. Dress for the weather! We will put in at about 9ish, depending on how many people are there, and get off the lake at 11:30ish. We do have one 2person kayak available.

        The charge is $35 per person and that include transportation of kayak, paddles, life jackets and instruction. They have to be older than 10 years of age. I suggest if you have your own lifejacket that you bring it so you have a comfortable one that fits you.

        You also have to make reservations as soon as possible because they fill up quick and we have a limited amount of kayaks. You can call the Nature Center at 712-336-6352 for reservations. Let me know if you need any more information.

        I also emailed you this information.

    458. Bill & Nancy Meyer on June 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      You’ve been the face of the Nature Center in Dickinson County. Thank you for all of your effort and success. May you enjoy your retirement to the fullest.

    459. Dennis Langstraat on June 10, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Do we need to make reservations or do we just show up?

      • cvigdal on June 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm

        If you have your own kayak you don’t need to call and you can meet us here at the Nature Center at 8:30am and we will caravan there or you can meet us at the Center Lake boat ramp. If you don’t have a kayak and need to reserve one you need to give us a call, 712-336-6352.

    460. Lloyd Cunningham on June 6, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Could you send me the kayak tour dates and locations for this season, or give me the link? Thank you, Lloyd

    461. Nancy VB on June 6, 2013 at 7:12 am

      #3 has arrived! Some or all received food 7am this morning. Adorable!

    462. Nancy VB on June 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      both hatchlings were amply fed about 8:00 Mon evening.

    463. Kim Fey on June 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Is there a registration for the birds of prey event? It would
      be myself and a 12 yr old and a 9 yr old. Thanks! Kim. Fey

      • cvigdal on June 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        No registration required. It is free to the public!

    464. Joann on May 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Congratulations, Barbara! You have given so much to our county and thank you for that. Enjoy your retirement!

    465. Sue Boettcher on May 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      This makes me both sad and happy! Sad for the Nature Center & programs and happy for you to have the time and freedom to pursue your dreams!! Best wishes my friend!! I’d still love to going on some nature hikes with you!!

    466. chirs j on May 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      just wondering if this cost anything and is open to all ages. please email me info . thank you

    467. Jackie Jerge on May 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Please sign up Emma Jerge and Kaitlyn Nelson for the Young Naturalist Program on June 12. They are both entering 5th grade.

    468. Pam DenHerder on May 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      How awesome is this!! Way to go Dickinson County Nature Center. Love this place!

    469. Molly Foss on May 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Can’t wait for the Friday kayaking!

    470. Cyndee Dather on May 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      1. Do you have the locations decided yet for the Kayak Tours?
      2. Do you need to register if you bring your own kayak?

      Thanks! Cyndee

      • cvigdal on May 18, 2013 at 10:40 am

        Yes we have the locations of the Kayak a wetland tour. We haven’t been able to send it out because we have been busy with end of the year field trips. I will send out the schedule later today. If you have your own kayak you do not need to register.

    471. Nancy VB on May 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      Is the camera down? I cannot seem to get it to load the last several days. TY

    472. Mary Montgomery on May 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Send me your electronic newsletter , please

    473. Lindsey on May 3, 2013 at 7:14 am

      I also need an application. Thank you

    474. Richard Primrose on April 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      I am trying to apply for Dickinson County Conservation – Okoboji, IA (Posted 4/24/13) I have followed the link and it says that cant be found. I was wondering if you could email me a copy of the county application. Thank you very much for your time.

      • cvigdal on April 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        Sorry about that. I just sent the emailed the application document to your email address. Thanks!

    475. Nancy VB on April 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      How exciting! First egg. Maybe another one in a day or two? Did this pair have a clutch together last year? If so, how many fledged? Am I correct that hatch will be in approximately 5 weeks? I am enjoying your beautiful birds! (~:

      • cvigdal on April 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        there has been an osprey couple up on this nest for the last 3 years and they have had success two of those years. One year they lost their chicks in a bad storm. We could not positively identify these birds in the past so we do not know if they are the same couple that comes back every year.

    476. deb manson on April 24, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      I saw the bands on the legs do you have info on the parents names? how old? where they were hatched from?? thanks Deb manson

      • cvigdal on April 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        We know that the male osprey is banded. It is from the Macbride raptor project in Iowa City. I am still waiting on information about release date and age. I will pass on the information when I get it. Thanks for the comment!

      • cvigdal on April 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm

        I have receive new information that that male banded osprey is actually from Boone, Iowa and not from Iowa City. It was released in 2005.

    477. Dale & Helen Sturgeon on April 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      We enjoy following the ospreys each season. Keep us posted with your e-mails. Thank you.

    478. deb manson on April 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

      hello,I would like some more info on the Osprey cam in Dickinson Co i am from Manchester,Iowa and just saw this cam…A bunch of us raptor watchers have been watching and have some QQ Is that RR tracks near the nest?? Where is the cam located?? Is it near a water source?? Is that a field under the cam or weeds of some sort? When will they start laying eggs? Do you have info from the last yrs they were nesting?? Thanks for any info you can provide Deb Manson

      • cvigdal on April 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm

        Hello to you too! Thank you for your interest in the Ospreys. The nest is actually located near our wetland here by the Nature Center. Here is a google map location of the nest, CLICK HERE. It is located in a reconstructed prairie and the road you thought was a railroad is actually a bike trail that runs through-out the lakes area. We have had birds on this nest for about 3 years with two successful broods. We actually raised and released ospreys from 2006 to 2011 on this site too. Hopefully they will be laying eggs here in the end of April and the early parts of May. I will be posting more information here on the website shortly that hopefully will answer more of you questions. Enjoy the nest camera!

        • Deb Manson on April 16, 2013 at 6:22 pm

          thanks so much for the reply..once the snow melted I saw it was a trail. Did you know there are Great Horned Owls that visit the nest at night? Lets hope they dont steal it like they do eagles nests. At least 3 nights we saw one come to the nest off/on for about a hr. Cant wait for the little ones to be laid and hatched…sure will be interesting, I’m used to watching eagles so this will be a new experience for sure…I’ll be sure to watch for the info when its posted…Again thanks for replying to my questions Deb Manson

          • cvigdal on April 17, 2013 at 10:13 am

            Yes I saw that. The mom and dad osprey will chase any predators of the nest when they finally lay eggs.