Here are some of our favorite reputable, fact-based links.

Please contact us if you find broken links!

Amphibians and Reptiles

Aquatic Invertebrates and 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.

    • 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

    • 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, Moths, Pollinators, and other Insects


Early Childhood Resources & Interesting Reads

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 and Prairie

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 and Soil

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.

Teacher and Parent Resources

Teacher Learning Opportunities

    • Environmental Issues Instruction: eii is a graduate level in-service program for teachers designed to prepare them to teach environmental issues to students K-14.

    • Iowa Conservation Education Coalition: ICEC is a non-profit organization with a long-standing tradition of providing professional development to formal and non-formal educators and in conservation and environmental education.


    • 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 and Forests


As we cannot control the associated content with videos posted on sites like YouTube and Vimeo, please review these videos for appropriate content for your children before showing.

    • A November 2008 episode, American Eagle from the PBS show Nature.

    • How are birds of prey able to fly through the forest and other tight spaces without getting hurt? Check out this video on YouTube from the show Animal's Guide to Britain on BBC Two -- Goshawk Flies Through Tiny Spaces in Slo-Mo!

    • How can we reconnect with nature? David Suzuki and author Richard Louv tackle this question and more in their conversation at the Art Gallery of Ontario in July 2012. Produced for the David Suzuki Foundation by Dowling Pictures. For tips on how to add a daily dose of nature to your routine, check out Watch their presentation on YouTube - about 25 minutes.

    • Watch this "High Velocity Falcon" video from National Geographic and check out how fast a peregrine dives!

    • The Last River Rat - Learn about the "Last River Rat" who has lived along the shores of the Upper Mississippi River in Wisconsin for 30 years. As Kenny Salwey explains, River Rat is a title you earn. He explains that he lives with the river and not on the river.

      • Iowa Public Radio Talk of Iowa archive broadcast of Charity Nebbe's interview with Kenny, the "Last River Rat" and listen about life on the river and his thoughts about nature and life in general.

      • The BBC also did a Natural World program titled "Mississippi, Tales of the Last River Rat." Visit the Marion County Conservation YouTube channel where you can find this broadcast in five chunks... they are on our list of favorites.

    • Watch IPTV's Iowa Outdoors segment about the 2013 Lake Red Rock Bald Eagle Day, Learning about Birds of Prey

    • Iowa DNR prairie chicken release at Kettleson Grassland on April 6-7, 2012

    • The Right Where You Are Now video is a great example of what childhood should be about!

    • Seeing Nature - You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatsoever about the bird... so let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing That’s what counts! I learned very early on the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. ~Richard Feynman, physicist

    • Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes the snowy owl invasion.

    • Magic of the Snowy Owl from the PBS Show Nature originally aired 10/24/12 and is available through DailyMotion. Infographic from Magic of the Snowy Owl!

    • Symphony of the Soil is a 104-minute documentary feature film that explores the complexity and mystery of soil. Filmed on four continents and sharing the voices of some of the world’s most esteemed soil scientists, farmers and activists, the film portrays soil as a protagonist of our planetary story. Watch the trailer here. Film can be rented for a one-week streaming period for $5.99.

    • 1986 Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom episode "Where Geese Nest in Trees" that shows how Canada geese in a Montana wildlife reserve adapted to using old osprey platform nests to keep their eggs safe from predators.

    • American woodcock portrait gives you a good idea of the sound of the male's call - less than 1.5 minute YouTube video.

    • American woodcock aerial dance - about a 2 minute YouTube video

    • Check out the Drake Law School Agricultural Law Center Our Land Our Water YouTube Channel

Water and 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

    • GLOBE at Night (GaN) is a world wide citizen science project that anyone can participate in. The website has information about how to identify Orion and other constellations and use a magnitude chart. GaN asks people all over the world to go out and observe during specific dates (a 9 day period each month) and report the sky conditions and how visible the constellation was.

    • Night Sky Planner from NASA

    • Current night sky in Des Moines, Iowa (can display the night sky anytime and for any position on earth)

    • Farmer's Almanac Full Moon Names

    • Astronomical Data from the US Navy - Sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moon set, day length, stages of the moon, position of planets - this site is a bit advanced

    • Minnesota Starwatch from the University of Minnesota for us everyday folks!

Wetland Protection and Management (Restoration)


Wildlife Restoration