The Ultimate Guide to Winter Birdwatching in Iowa


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

5 fun winter activities in REAP areas

embrace-winter copyWinter doesn’t have to be a time to stay cooped up inside. There are plenty activities to get you outdoors and enjoying the beauty of an Iowa winter. Many of the best places to experience Iowa this time of year are supported by the Iowa Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP)* program.

*Although, there is one indoor activity that can help you enjoy the beauty of the outdoors even more. On Tuesday, Feb. 17, come to the Capitol for the 2015 Environmental Lobby Day to tell your legislators why funding the REAP program and protecting Iowa’s natural resources is important to you.

Check out five of our favorite things to do in REAP areas this winter: Continue reading

Five Fun Winter Activities in Iowa

All Rights Reserved INHFRegardless of if there’s snow on the ground or not, it’s always fun to start planning fun seasonal activities that get you outdoors, enjoying nature.

Check out our five favorite winter activities perfect for enjoying the seasonal beauty of the Hawkeye State! Continue reading