Great blue heron
Bird watching has increased in popularity over the last few decades. Join the millions of people worldwide who are fascinated by this hobby. It’s easy to get started, doesn’t require a lot of money, and is a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors. All you need to get started is a pair of binoculars and a field guide to aid in identifying birds.
You can start in your own backyard or neighborhood, but to see a greater variety of birds, you’ll need to go to different types of habitats. Parks and wild areas are excellent places to see birds that don’t visit residential areas. During spring and fall, Jester Park is a great place to view migrating waterfowl and shorebirds on Saylorville Lake. Yellow Banks Park provides good opportunities to see raptors soaring over the Des Moines River Valley. Brown’s Woods is first-rate habitat for songbirds, and Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt allows you to view grassland species.
- Iowa Birds and Birding - This site identifies hotspots in the state and unusual sitings of birds.
- www.petersononline.com - This page is excellent for learning the “ABC’s” of bird watching.
- www.enature.com - This page provides a complete online field guide for birds as well as other groups of animals.