Photo of the wingspan exhibit

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

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Photo of flying short-eared owl

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

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Photo of a snowy owl pinecone

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

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Photo of swan chicks

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

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Photo of families outside looking at a telescope

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

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Photo of a short-eared owl on the ground

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

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Photo of a long-eared owl in a tree

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

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Photo of white-tail buck with antlers

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

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Photo of child petting a bunny

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

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