On behalf of the Clayton County Conservation Board and animals at the Osborne Nature Center, we welcome you to our new innovative blog. On this site you can find information regarding the facilities of Osborne and a Google Calendar showing the public events being held here. Videos and slideshows are also located on the bottom of the page. Subscribe to our blog or check back often to view new happenings at Osborne and within Clayton County Conservation. We hope you find this blog to be enjoyable and informative-Remember to play outside.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nature's Music

Even with the upcoming predicted cold spell, Nature is showing us Spring is here.
Flocks of Robins, Bluebirds, Woodcocks, Song Sparrows and male Red-Winged Blackbirds have been observed throughout Clayton County. During the morning and evening hours the sound of Goose Music can be heard overhead. In the evening if you listen carefully you may even hear the first amphibian to sing the "spring peeper" who simply sings his name..peeeeper peeeeeper peeeeper. 

One of our programs we do for the students is called Nature's Music.  During the class, we teach the children how to awaken their senses and listen to all the sounds (loud and subtle) of nature.  The kids get a kick out of making all the sounds, but it truly is amazing when you take them outside and they can apply that knowledge to the outdoors. Many of them say, "ooo I've heard that sound before".

Cheers to the attentive ear who knows spring is here, and thanks to all animals who collectively compose  "Nature's Music"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

River Poetry

The following is a poem based upon experiences on Iowa's Rivers.

Experience is like a river constantly changing, never the same.
eddies to rapids and riffles to pools,
it is forever winding and impacting all the
people who cross its path.
Experience carves wonders
into the landscape of the human mind,
weathering ego's and depositing
grains of knowledge and inspiration
along its meandering journey.
Like the river, experience floods with emotions.
Lessons of failures and success
aren't complete without the experience.
The river of experience shapes perspective,
navigates the past through present and
Nourishes the essential hope of future beings.
The river invites every being to
consume its eternal life source,
listen to the enchanted melody of water rushing over rocks
and to share the valuable experiences found reflecting in
its storied waters.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lead Poisoning in Eagles

The increased number of resident Bald Eagle's in Iowa over the past 30 years has provided many people with a sense of awe and respect. However, recent data conducted by Iowa Wildlife Rehabilitators displays a saddening trend. Ingestion of Lead is becoming more common in Iowa's and other surrounding state's Eagles.

Since 2004, 133 sick eagles have been admitted to Iowa Wildlife Rehabilitators, 65 (58.5%) of those eagles have tested positive for lead poisoning; in 2009, 26 Eagles died because of lead ingestion.
During the winter months when eagles can not find food, they will scavenger for any large meal they may find; such as dead deer or deer gut piles. (Winter months also exhibit the highest number of admitted Bald Eagles in Iowa) Research conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources displayed how lead shot actually "fragments" in deer. This fragmentation allows particles of lead to be captured throughout the deer-thus possibly transmitting it to an opportunistic Eagle.

In 1991, due to severly declining waterfowl populations, the United States banned the use of lead shot in waterfowl bird hunting. In the near future, a similar type of law may be needed to protect the Bald Eagle and other birds of prey.  One thing is certain, more research needs to be done to ensure the Eagle does not appear on the endandged species list again and people need to be aware of the problems pertaining to lead shot use.  If you would like more information on this topic please click on:    Saving Our Avian Raptors