Photo of a red-breasted nuthatch

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

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Photo of finished bird seed ornament

Everyone loves to feed the birds in winter. (Learn about one of Iowa’s winter birds: Dark-eyed junco) It helps the birds that are scavenging for food. It lets you get close to watch these fun, feathered friends. Bird watching is a good hobby to do from the warmth of your house on chilly days. You…

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Photo of mallard duck taking off

We have many wonderful volunteers at the Dickinson County Nature Center, and one of regular front desk helpers loves to bring in articles with interesting animal facts. The last article she brought in from “Smithsonian” magazine told that the highest bird flight ever recorded was by the Ruppell’s griffon, a vulture native to Africa. It’s…

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Photo of a female purple finch

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

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Photo of a nuthatch at a nut feeder

Dark-eyed junco Dark-eyed juncos have made their way to northwest Iowa to overwinter. Black-capped chickadees are flocking to feeders. White-breasted nuthatches are looking for nuts to get fat and ready for the cold. Food is a constant necessity for birds to survive through Iowa winters. Their feathers are wonderful insulators, but the food is what…

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Photo of a goldfinch

Birding is such a popular hobby because everyone can do it. Whether you are backyard birding, taking a hike or even boating, you can always catalogue the birds that you see. The he Dickinson County Nature Center features nests of some of the most common birds you might see right outside your window. (Grackles, blackbirds…

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Photo of a stream winding through the prairie

Bobolinks nesting in the prairie, Blanding’s turtles resting by the stream, bald eagles flying overhead — a walk through the Judd Wildlife Area allows some of nature’s finest to show off. Twenty years ago, the Dickinson County Conservation Board looked to add a public recreation area south of Milford, and a Wildlife Habitat Stamp grant…

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