Iowa Wood Ducks

Iowa Wood Ducks

Oct 26, 2019

I heard the ducks before I actually saw them.  Not the familiar quacking normally associated with waterfowl, but rather the screeching “Who-week, Who-week” that is the signature greeting of a female wood duck.  Sitting atop a downed log, I was huddled within the tangled confines of a shallow wooded swamp where the birds — eight or nine of...

A Falcon Fancier’s Dream Come True

A Falcon Fancier’s Dream Come True

Oct 14, 2019

I wasn’t until I was in high school that I saw my first peregrine falcons.  Well, sort of.  The birds were actually a pair of mounted specimens perched atop a fake, papier-Mache cliff ledge behind the glass window of a wildlife diorama in St. Paul, Minnesota’s Bell Museum.  Although the work was flawless, the taxidermied birds lacked spirit...

2019 Goose Opener

By mid-September, the Iowa landscape was drying up.  My favorite teal marsh was down to a depth of about two inches; many smaller potholes were bone dry.  And then, with just a week to go before the Canada goose opener, the rains came.  Deluge would be a more appropriate description; anywhere from 6 to 7 ½-inches in four days depending on where...

Iowa Gopher Mound Yields Rare Sighting

Dig your way through a few fresh gopher mounds, and you’re likely to find just about everything but gophers.  Discoveries may include napping toads, salamanders, garter snakes, and an impressive array of multi-legged invertebrate wildlife.  During early fall, the excavations can occasionally yield something a bit more exotic.  That’s what...

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory is Site for World Class Hawk Migration

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory is Site for World Class Hawk Migration

Oct 5, 2019

DULUTH, MN. — In the dense evergreen forests of America’s North Country, the fall raptor migration is gathering a full head of steam.  Pouring down from Canada, the flight includes birds of prey of all shapes and sizes from tiny kestrels to gargantuan twelve-pound golden eagles.  Although the grand passage can be viewed from a variety of...