Bird count plans take shape
A house finch munching on sunflower seeds in the feeder. A cooperís hawk watching hungrily from a perch nearby. A woodpecker knock-knock-knocking on a tree trunk.
Your yard is most likely full of different avian species, flying about during their busy day-to-day lives.
The Great Backyard Bird Count Feb. 16-19 is the perfect time to stop and take notice of them. Simply watch your yard for as short as 15 minutes or as long as you wish for one day or more of the four-day event and then submit your findings at birdcount.org.
"I think itís good for people to know what birds we have in the area," Dickinson County Naturalist Ashley Hansen said.
Anyone who would like some help identifying birds may come to the Dickinson County Nature Center 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 16 and Hansen will help visitors document which birds are seen in the Kenue Park avian courtyard.
She will assist visitors in identifying species, with the help of bird field guides and will give helpful hints on how to tell different species apart.
"They can discover what birds we have, and they might stumble upon something they didnít know existed or was here," Hansen said.
Local birder Lee Schoenewe will also lead a birding trek during the Great Backyard Bird Count. Meet at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Dickinson County Nature Center and caravan throughout the county to check for open water along Milford Creek and to take a walk through the woods to look for birds.
"Like the Christmas Bird Count, the Great Backyard Bird Count is an important source of citizen science data about winter bird populations across North America and the world," Schoenewe said. "You can help us add northwest Iowa bird sightings into that important effort."
In 2017, the Great Backyard Bird Count had 214,018 participants who documented 5,940 species. The most frequently reported species was the northern cardinal and the most numerous species reported was the snow goose.
To find out more about this event and other birding opportunities with the Dickinson County Conservation Board, visit the organization's website or call 712-336-6352. You can also keep up on the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.