Hours: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Admission: $11 Adults, $6 Child
16 May 2011 – 20 May 2011
My week started out with my first bit of field work in 4 weeks. It felt good to get back outside and walk around and the weather was absolutely perfect. Unfortunately the fields are a little behind (I couldn’t tell what was planted in the fields) and most of the forbs and other food sources for Prairie Chickens were too small to indicate how much of my survey plots contained adequate brood cover, so we pushed the start of the second survey back one week.
The rest of my week was spent researching Prairie Chickens. I was looking for the effects of weather on their survivability and other reasons that might cause a decline in population (outside of habitat loss). I learned a lot about some other issues that could be effecting the Iowa population of Prairie Chickens and can hopefully come up with some management strategies that might help stifle those causes.
I wasn’t in the field much this week but I did get to see a great deal of wildlife. I found my first nest of the season, I think it is a sparrow nest but I don’t know the species. There were a lot of Kingbirds and Bobolinks displaying and defending their territory as well. I even saw an Indigo Bunting, some Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks and found a Kestrel nest. ]