Click on a category for a list of reputable, fact-based links. Please contact us if you find broken links or have suggestions for additional website links.

Amphibians & Reptiles

Aquatic Invertebrates - Mussels

Bald Eagles

  • USFWS: Bald eagle life history and conservation success.
  • Nature - American Eagle: A YouTube link for this PBS produced, hour-long episode of Nature filmed by Neil Rettig shows the lives of eagles in the wild.

Birds and Bird Watching

Bird Migration

  • Raptor migration: Check out these resources to help you hawk watch, from the Hawk Migration Association of North America
  • Hawk Mountain: Learn about raptor migration from one of the best places in the US to see migrating hawks in the fall.
    ruby-throated hummer
  • Check out Operation Ruby Throat, a cross-disciplinary international initiative in which people collaborate to study behavior and distribution of the ruby-throated hummingbird.
  • Go here for info on cleaning your hummingbird feeder and for a make-at-home recipe for hummer food.
  • From KNIA - KRLS in Knoxville / Pella -- Dr. Bob Leanord's IN DEPTH: The Annual Bird Migration interview from 8/15/2012
  • Mark Martell, Director of Bird Conservation with Minnesota Audubon, got involved in a project that put satellite radios on pelicans at a very large colony in Minnesota (Marsh Lake). He currently has 4 birds online. Visit Audubon Minnesota to learn about collaborative efforts regarding research and conservation of the American white pelican. Minnesota Audubon is working on an interactive GIS map that will display the routes of all four birds -- check it out here.
  • Migration research from Craighead Beringia South including eagles, osprey, and red-tails.
  • Bird migration forecasts in real time at BirdCast from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Bird Population Surveys and Monitoring
Butterflies and Moths


Endangered, Threatened, and Species of Concern

  • NatureServe - Interactive maps of species by county or watershed. Additional information available for purchase.


  • Fish ID: This is from Wisconsin, but has a great glossary and search feature!

Geology, Rocks, and Coal Mining

Get Outside!

Habitat Restoration

  • How can you manage your prairie area? 

Controlled burning stimulates the growth of fire-adapted prairie plants while retarding the growth of non-natives.

  • Plan ahead - inventory existing prairie areas (determine management needs and goals, availability and need of labor and equipment, get advice or assistance from someone experienced in prescribed burning)
  • Burn once every three to five years (if no haying).
  • Burn only a portion of an area (allows wildlife to escape and invertebrates in the leaf litter to complete their life cycles).
  • Burn in early spring (reduces the chance of harming nesting birds and this is the best time to reduce non-native, cool-season grasses).
  • Burn in linear shapes if possible (allows easier escape of wildlife).
  • Avoid burning contiguous parcels in consecutive years (allows species to repopulate)
  • Mow or clear firebreaks the summer or early fall before the planned burn (allows for excess debris to disintegrate which makes a more effective fire break).
  • Minimize backfires (allows shorter exposure to a hotter fire at the surface).
  • Some prairies may have low need for aggressive management and should be left alone.

Mowing or haying simulates some features of grazing and are helpful and efficient in treating large areas of woody vegetation and alien weed growth.

  • Plan ahead - see the above Fire concerns.
  • Cut small subsections during the growing season.
  • Don’t initiate cutting until wildlife is done nesting (mid to late July).
  • Avoid haying/mowing contiguous parcels in consecutive years.
  • Some prairies may have low need for aggressive management and should be left alone.

Check these site for more info:

Insects, Spiders, & Bugs

Lead Awareness
Marion County, Iowa - Links for Educators and Students
Nest and Wildlife Cameras - Please note that once birds have fledged, cameras may be turned off

Plants & Soil

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
    • USDA PLANTS Database: Searchable, online database of plants found across the nation. Provides a 40,000-image gallery, state species checklists, and additional resources.
    • Soil Biology: Learn about the components of soil. 
    • Soil Education: Learn about soil from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
  • Dr. Dirt: These resources have been developed primarily for K-8 teachers and students. Hands-on, exploratory learning activities based on methods of scientific inquiry will encourage interest in science, soil, engineering, agriculture, and natural resources.
  • Iowa DNR Iowa's Threatened and Endangered Species Program - look for the link for the list of plants
  • Try this experiment with your group... Soil Your Undies for Soil Health (PDF) and here is a companion video, too, 
  • Don't Treat it Like Dirt - video on Iowa NRCS YouTube. This is a product of a high school collaborating with a District Conservationist – having to do with soil health.

Raptors, General

  • Characteristics: Check out the Peregrine Funds "Explore Raptors" page to learn what makes a bird of prey (or raptor).
  • Raptor Resource Project: Learn about this Iowa-based group's efforts to help re-establish the peregrine falcon, also known for Decorah Eagle Cam.
  • The Owl Pages: Everything from species lists and photos to owl physiology and rehabilitation.
  • OspreyWatch - for watchers and enthusiasts: This informative site comes from the Center for Conservation Biology and helps you learn more about osprey and where they are nesting.


  • Journey North has a smart phone app: Here's what a friend said about the app, "Yes the smartphone app Journey North has collects data for bald eagle sightings, daylight (hours of daylight), gray whale sightings, hummingbird sightings, monarch butterfly sightings (egg, larvae, pupae, adult), robin sightings, signs of Fall, symbolic monarchs (like people in costume). So, for me... I can see an adult monarch as I am driving, pull over, get out my phone and go to the app and log on, fill out the form and submit. It confirms, and then I am on my way again."

Trees & Forests

Water & Water Quality


  • Ducks at a Distance: A waterfowl identifiction guide from USFWS, information to help you ID ducks (opens as PDF).

Weather, Stars, and the Moon


Wildlife Restoration

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