6 nature podcasts you should be listening to

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Photo courtesy of Patrick Breitenbach

Listen up: it’s time we talk about podcasts. These episodic audio shows are taking the Internet by storm with the likes of Serial and Radiolab, but here at INHF we challenged ourselves to find the best podcasts for nature enthusiasts.

Whether you’re just starting to subscribe or have been on the bandwagon for years, we hope you’ll find a program that piques your interest.

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Land protection in Madison County and a milestone for INHF

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Roslea Johnson, left, touring her property with For Land’s Sake.

When Bob and Roslea Johnson donated part of their Madison County farm to INHF, they had no idea that their generosity would help INHF reach a major milestone: 150,000 acres protected statewide.

Since 1979, INHF has worked to protect Iowa’s land, water and wildlife in a variety of ways: through the expansion of publicly-owned lands, the placement of conservation easements on privately-owned lands, the piecing together of miles-long trail projects. It is the foresight and dedication of private landowners like the Johnsons that make the work possible. Continue reading

The Ultimate Guide to Winter Birdwatching in Iowa

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Beat the winter blues by checking out some colorful creatures — it’s time to bird watch! Even though some species have headed south for the winter, there are still many opportunities to glimpse our feathered friends in Iowa. Check out the tips and tricks below to make the most of your experience.

Know what species to look for
Nature Worldwide has compiled a list of all the different bird species in Iowa. Each listing states the bird’s scientific name, common name and “UIA.” The UIA codes include each species abundance in the state and status of permanence. Take the red-bellied woodpecker for example. This bird has a UIA of “CN” which means that they are common birds to sight and they nest in Iowa, but are absent for part of the year. These codes can help bird watchers identify which species are around from season to season.

Where to Go:

State parks/forests
Look for areas with coniferous covering or brushy areas. Many species will feed off of remaining berries, nuts etc. Find an area near you.

Water sources
Any open water source will attract a variety of species, as many rely on aquatic animals or plants as food sources. Look for ducks, geese and other shorebirds. Be aware that many species migrate, so your sightings may vary from month to month. Continue reading

Nature Walk: Leafless

Leafless Trees at Sunset

“Silhouettes of leafless trees against a sunset or sunrise dramatically accents their shape and form. One can easily follow up the main trunk to the branches which become smaller and smaller to form a canopy of tiny twigs. Nature is all about structure, form and detail. Late autumn may help us to see the forest for the trees.” -Carl Kurtz

If you are interested in purchasing a print of this photo or requesting information on possible use of any of our “Nature Walk” photographs, please contact Carl Kurtz at cpkurtz@netins.net. View our other Nature Walk posts!

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Five Films for Nature Lovers

Whether you’re exhausted from a week on RAGBRAI or just not feeling up to outdoor activities in the summer heat, we completely understand the temptation stay indoors. But that shouldn’t mean that you miss out on all of the beautiful landscapes, animals and adventures nature has to offer! Continue reading