This week’s Gift of Bird Watching is a conservation success story: the Osprey.
These eagle-sized, fish-eating birds of prey vanished from Iowa before European settlement. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources was instrumental in bringing them back to the landscape.
At present, a nesting pair is on a cell phone tower south and west of Woodland Hills Elementary School in West Des Moines. At least one young appears to be in the nest.
A ridge on north side of the school is best for viewing. Make sure to bring binoculars or a spotting scope as the birds are some distance away.
Mike Havlik is a natural in the Dallas County Conservation Department.