Outdoors Today

Dancing Duo

SANDHILL CRANES are cool, majestic, tall and big. As birds go this long legged marsh bird likes water and secluded places to live. They are easy to spot if you go to the right places such as bogs, marshes, wetlands or open prairies. Summer time will find them at these sites where nesting is ...

Some treasures come in small packages

The HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus) is the featured creature of the day. This sparrow-sized bird is very common and has an interesting history to why it has become so bountiful over the entire North American continent. It was a bird originally found in the western United States and Mexico. ...

A worthy conservation connection

IZAAK WALTON was an outdoors person of the 17th century. He was an English philosopher and he loved to fish. A dedicated conservationist was another of his titles because his outdoor adventures and observations in England allowed him to understand the relationships between healthy land, clean ...

Some fun facts about fawns

FAWNS are being born at this time of year after a seven month gestation period. And with new spring vegetation sprouting all over the place filling forests and grasslands with green leaves, wildlife babies will find places to hide, their mothers will more easily find a wider variety of foods, ...

My spectacular trip to the Driftless

I knew going fly fishing in Iowa’s Driftless Area was a great way to get in touch with nature, and I learned last weekend that sometimes “getting in touch” can be quite literal. The windshield wipers got a good workout in during the three-hour drive to Yellow River State Forest last ...

Wetlands = Magical Places

Strutting its stuff, an all white GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) is a bird that likes water and wetland habitats. That is where its food is found. Close by in tall trees is where a pair will build a nest of twigs. Nests can be up to three feet in diameter and one foot deep, and are often over water. ...

Forest floor flowers for Mother’s Day

MAYAPPLE (Podophllum peltatum) has one scientific name. But it will go by a host of common names depending upon where you are in the eastern two-thirds of the states or eastern Canada. Here are a few of the local names: Devil's apple, ground lemon, hog apple, Indian apple, mandrake, Puck's ...

Sweet Success

This past January, an east coast forestry tradition made its way into the Marshall County Conservation woodlands: maple syrup production. Many people associate maple syrup making with the state of Vermont, which does in fact lead the United States in syrup production. However, only about 6 ...

Extinct, extirpated? What’s the difference?

Occasionally individuals of certain species of wildlife not common to Iowa are seen in the state. Such is the case of a Black Bear that wandered into the central part of Iowa recently. Questions are asked, why does this happen, do they belong here and so on. To partially explain why animals ...

Seeking a bountiful spring

Spring can be as bountiful as fall harvest if you know where to look. Iowa Outdoor enthusiasts have ample spring opportunities to test their skills that come in different combinations: Wild turkey, Asparagus, Crappie, Trout and Morrel Mushrooms, can all be pursued and collected the same day if ...

Pope & Young Club: A class act

­The POPE and YOUNG CLUB meets at a convention site every other year to give honor to the best of the best North American big game animals taken by archers. Officers of the P&Y Club also recognize corporate sponsors, and present awards to a wide variety of archers, both women and men, boys ...

Saving and protecting wildlife

Historically wildlife populations were kept in check primarily by weather, food availability and predation. With many influences of man on the landscape, wildlife in some instances, have flourished to nuisance levels by human’s standards such as White-tailed Deer and Canada Geese. Others have ...

Taxidermists shows their best

IOWA TAXIDERMIST ASSOCIATION's members did an excellent job of bringing their best works for show and friendly competition last weekend. Today's image of the interaction between two top predator species helps tell a story of hostile intent between between wolf and coyote. The display was ...

Spring!

CARDINALS have a lot going for them, and while some of the biology of this red colored bird is known, science will never know it all. Part of the mystery of nature is that the more we learn about a subject, the more we understand what we do not know. So science is never settled, just in a ...

Snow goose banded on Baffin Island

OPEN WATER in every area pond, lake and stream is a potential draw for migrating birds of all sizes. A place like Green Castle will gets its share of ducks, geese, shorebirds and other passerine species over the next two months. The migration is in full swing for many birds. Some migrate ...

Records made to be broken

The 2017 DEER CLASSIC is a fantastic show of whitetail deer trophies and related sporting goods. The event was held last weekend, so it too is in the record books. Hundreds of exhibitors, about 20,000 paid admissions, and lots of fun awaited those who made the effort to attend. They were not ...

Fire is a magic management tool

FIRE is a great tool if used carefully and skillfully. For prairie grasslands, preparation work begins the year before with analysis of aerial maps, mowing fire lanes around grassland plots, and then deciding how best to burn only enough fields to equal about one-third of the total area. A ...

Migratory stop at Hendrickson Marsh

SNOW GEESE (Chen caerulescens) are big and white, except for those that exhibit the "blue" morph phase. To help confuse the casual bird watcher even more, the blue-morph color variant is not really blue but brown and gray. That is why avid bird watchers and hunters call them "snows and blues." ...

Kestrels get new nest boxes

The AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) is a very small bird of prey, a falcon actually, and it is quite adept at catching small prey to make its living. Finding homes to live in has been problematic. So conservation agencies like the Marshall County Conservation Board have decided to assist. ...

Raptor feeding frenzy cleans up carrion

EAGLES and HAWKS that are residents this winter have to eat to survive. Eagles may look for fish in the Iowa River at places like Three Bridges County Park or Hendrickson Marsh. However, out in the middle of ag land sites far away from water, bald eagles will congregate at food sources they ...