Dallas County Conservation Board announces eight winter programs

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conservation logoThe Dallas County Conservation Board will offer eight winter programs through January, February and March. Most of the programs are free, and all explore the rich animal, vegetable and mineral resources of Dallas County and the greater central Iowa region.

For more information or to register for a program, contact the Dallas County Conservation Board, 14581 K Ave., Perry, Iowa 50220. The office hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Call 515-465-3577 or email: conservation@dallascountyiowa.gov.

great_horned_owl_vi_by_xernex-d3ajeu1A Conversation with an Owl
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 7–8 p.m.
Kuehn Conservation Area, Earlham
We invite you to come learn about the owls that roam our county. Get to know these wild teachers by their unique physical features and their signature calls. This program will feature mounted specimens and one live barred owl that has been injured and rehabilitated but cannot be returned to the wilds. Preregistration is required for this free program. Call 515-465-3577 or email conservation@dallascountyiowa.gov .

Winter Bird Hike
Saturday, Jan. 23, 8–11 a.m.
Adel – East trailhead of the RRVT Trail
Winter is a wonderful time to explore the world of our feathered friends. Weather permitting, we will look for unusual finches, winter hawks and other hardy species as we walk toward the river. Some binoculars and bird guides will be available for use. Preregistration is recommended for this free program. Call 515-465-3577 or email conservation@dallascountyiowa.gov.

Owl Prowl under a Full Moon
Sunday, Jan. 24, 6:30–8 p.m.
Kuehn Conservation Area, Earlham
Our owl prowl will begin with hot chocolate around a bonfire as we introduce the owls of Dallas County and their signature calls. Next, we will venture out on the woodland trails of Kuehn and try our luck at calling the owls. If we are successful, you will experience the thrill of hearing an owl answer back to our calls. Preregistration is required for this free program. Call 515-465-3577 or email conservation@dallascountyiowa.gov.

slide-5Swan Soiree
Saturday, Jan. 30, 10:30 a.m – 1:30 p.m.
Dale Maffitt Reservoir, Cumming
Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa but were gone from the state by the late 1880s. As the largest North American waterfowl, weighing up to 32 pounds with 8-foot wingspans, the swans were reintroduced to their native habitat in a program that began in 1993. In more than 20 years since the first release, populations have slowly increased, and now swans can be seen throughout the state at least some time during the year. One of the best places to see them is the Dale Maffitt Reservoir in the winter. Join the Iowa DNR, Polk and Dallas County Conservation staffs between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the reservoir and nearby Walnut Woods State Park Lodge to learn more about these birds, view them through spotting scopes and perhaps witness random feeding and flying sessions. Hot chocolate, hot cider, cookies, grilled hot dogs and other snacks will be provided free of charge, with donations accepted for swan care. No reservations are required for this free program.

Trumpeter Swan Trip
Saturday, Feb.y 13, 9 a.m–1 p.m., $7 per person
Pre-registration is required.
Beemer’s Pond in Hamilton county has the largest wintering population of trumpeter swans in Iowa, with as many as 100 birds at this location. These regal, all-white birds, with wing spans of up to 8 feet, migrate in from as many as 15 states. A Dallas County Conservation Board naturalist will drive up to 15 people from Forest Park Museum in Perry, so register early. Bring binoculars, warm clothes and a sack lunch for a creative way to kick off Valentine’s Day.

Bald_Eagle_Profile_Portrait_2Bald Eagle Watch
Sunday, Feb. 28, 12 noon to around 4 p.m.
Saylorville Reservoir
Each winter, bald eagles congregate along the open waters below the dam at Saylorville Reservoir, looking for food and creating an excellent opportunity for viewing. This joint program between the Dallas County Conservation Board and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides you the thrill of viewing eagles in the Des Moines River Valley and opportunity of increasing your understanding of these majestic birds. Specific viewing locations and program schedules can be obtained at the Saylorville Visitor’s Center on the day of the event. No registrations are required for this free program.

Winter Survival
Saturday, March 5, 9 a.m–12 noon
Kuehn Conservation Area, Earlham
This time of the year is excellent for simulating the real-life conditions when people can find themselves in trouble. We will focus on the fundamentals of keeping yourself alive in a life-or-death outdoor situation. We will cover prevention, build survival shelters and attempt to make fires. Dress for the weather (or not!). Preregistration is required for this free program. Call 515-465-3577 or email conservation@dallascountyiowa.gov.

PeregrinePeregrine Falcon Watch
Saturday, March 26, 9–11 a.m.
State Capitol Building, Des Moines
Peregrine falcons are the fastest animals on the planet, reaching speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. Peregrine means to wander, so to see one of these birds in the wild is a gift. A Dallas County Conservation Board naturalist will lead a trip to the State Capitol Building in Des Moines to watch the peregrine falcons nesting on the eastside ledges. Flights, stoops, hunting and feeding have been observed at this historical nesting site. Preregistration is required for this free program so potential meet up places can be planned.

For more information or to register for a program, contact the Dallas County Conservation Board, 14581 K Ave., Perry, Iowa 50220. The office hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Phone: 515-465-3577. Email: conservation@dallascountyiowa.gov.

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