I listen every day to hear the cardinal change from his sharp, winter “CHIRP” to the more lyrical “birdie…birdie…birdie”. Then I know spring is here. Jean needs your help with a bird count at the Nature Center! Here’s how you can participate…

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

I was recently tasked to create more space in the offices, which I interpreted to mean going through and condensing outdated files, not punching out walls and adding a sunporch to our shared office space. This found me flipping through my “bird” folder, logically located between “phenology” and “opossums.” In 1991, an intern conducted a springtime field survey of birds at the Indian Creek Nature Center and observed 85 species here. Of the 425 bird species of Iowa, approximately 300 are regularly seen in Linn County. Because so many of our birds are migratory, a single season isn’t enough time to put together a comprehensive list. A single season isn’t enough time for most things. Despite being on staff here since 2001, I didn’t see my first blue-grey gnatcatcher on the property until last summer.

With your help, I would like to develop a current, comprehensive list of birds at ICNC. Between the Red Cedar River and Indian Creek, amidst the prairies and wetlands we’ve reconstructed, and through the savannas and bottomlands we’ve restored, the bird diversity should be high. If you’re planning to go for a stroll anytime this year, please grab your binoculars, visit the Nature Center, and let me know what you find. To get a list of birds that might be here, download the list or stop by our headquarters.  Email me with your findings and we will post the accumulated list at the end of the year.

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