Photo of a swan in front of the Dickinson County Nature Center

An eight-foot wingspan, long legs and a graceful neck — the trumpeter swans in Kenue Park are a lovely sight. The two rehabilitated trumpeter swans live year-round on the wetland viewable from the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. “We have both a male and female trumpeter swan on our wetland, and they are flightless…

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

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Photo of swans being released

Trumpeter swans are a majestic sight. Their graceful long necks. Their brilliant white feathers. Their long, slender wings that help them hover above the earth. As strong as they may look, being the largest waterfowl native to North America, they are not invincible. In fact, they were once extirpated — extinct in a local region…

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Photo of a black-tailed prairie dog

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

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Photo of two trumpeter swans in the snow

Check out the trumpeter swans on the wetland year-round with our live web camera. Click here. You can also find more videos on our Videos page or watch what Teddy the turtle eats here. Egret, crane or heron? How to tell which bird you have seen Two big white birds — rehabilitated trumpeter swans —…

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Two trumpeter swans and a goose on a partially frozen wetland

I turned on the live web camera at the nature center last week and zoomed in on the two rehabilitated trumpeter swans on the wetland. The weather was warm, and it appeared the waterfowl were having a ball in the springtime temperatures. They dipped their necks down into the water and then bent them back…

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