Wildlife Day

SriMesh / Wikimedia Commons

If you're been outside in the last week or so across the state, you've heard it: spring migratory rush hour. Lots of species make long migrations in the winter, and many bird species are making their appearances right now across the state. 

"We have seen, in the last two days, very large flocks of Harris Sparrows and White Crown Sparrows," says wildlife biologist Jim Pease. "They are coming through from the South and they will end up in the Arctic. It happens quick when they come through. This morning, I haven't noticed nearly as many Harris Sparrows as I did yesterday." 

Jim Pease

Lions, zebras, and elephants are not native to the Iowa landscape, but a lot can be learned from these African creatures and from the challenges they face.  

On this wildlife day edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe sits down with wildlife biologist Jim Pease, who has just returned from a trip to Africa. His guide, Jim Heck, of Explorer’s World Travel, also joins the conversation to talk about their journey and what they saw, including an up close and personal encounter with the Great Migration.

Del Ramey / Flickr

Lots of animals nest, and spring is the height of nesting season.

"It is a natural behavior that crosses all continents around the world, and something that really, everybody does in some way, including humans," says wildlife biologist Jim Pease. 

Linda MacBride

Winter can be a wonderful time to see wildlife and for some of the best viewing you don't even need to risk getting cold.   On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe speaks with Jim Pease, Emeritus Associate Professor of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University about attracting Iowa's winter birds to your yard with feeders and bird baths. Pease discusses the types of birds which become most prevalent in  during the season, where to place bird feeders, what kinds of feed to use, and even gives some statistics on just how much people love these birds.

Phil Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan

Whether a person loves squirrels for their acrobatics or wishes they would leave the bird feeders alone, squirrels are here to stay.  Over the years, wildlife biologist Jim Pease has collected more than twenty names Iowans have given ground squirrels, ranging from "squinneys" to "liners." 

During this Talk of Iowa program, he talks with host Charity Nebbe about diets,  habitats, ground squirrels and tree squirrels.

Ann Froschauer / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

If you’ve noticed more bats lately, you’re not alone.

“It’s the breeding season, so there’s a lot going on,” explains wildlife biologist Jim Pease.  “They are also getting ready to migrate. Bats have to build up a large fat reserve, so they are out doing lots of flying around and eating this time of year.”

Pease says bats are also more visible this time of year because of the change in air temperature between the indoors and outdoors.

“There’s lots of air flow this time of year and bats follow that air flow,” he says.

Michael Leland

If  you’re paddling one of Iowa’s rivers, out for a walk, or even driving down a highway the sight of a big white bird passing overhead has become common, but that wasn’t always the case.

On this wildlife day edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe sits down with wildlife biologist Jim Pease to discuss Iowa’s big white birds. These birds, including pelicans, great egrets and trumpeter swans, almost disappeared from the state, but are once again common.

Carla Kishinami

There are 10 species of woodpeckers in Iowa, and while woodpeckers are the type of birds that are sometimes heard but not seen, their drumming does have a purpose. Wildlife biologist Jim Pease explains that it’s like a song.

Don Shall / Flickr

When looking at Iowa waterways, it's easy to overlook the furrier creatures--otters, mink, muskrats, and of course, beavers.  

"They are engineers, there's no question about it," says Jim Pease, wildlife expert.

Facilities management arborist at the University of Iowa, Andy Dahl, decided to take advantage of that engineering instinct.

"What they've actually done is help us open the vistas. They are almost the perfect employees," says Dahl. "They work the night shift, they don't call in sick; they're so efficient I'm afraid they may jump over me in the org chart."

Matthew Paulson / Flickr

Do the deer eat your hostas? Do raccoons share your sweet corn?

Humans and wild animals often clash because we need and want different things from the environment, but there are ways to successfully coexist with the creatures that wander the backyards and farms all across Iowa.

On this Wildlife Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with wildlife biologist Jim Pease about some principles of gardening with wildlife in mind.

Jason Mrachina via Flickr

One of the famous Decorah eagles, a juvenile known as Four, died as a result of electrocution last week. 

Rachel Gardner

The groundhog predicted six weeks of winter, and that means six more weeks to plan for spring.

Teddy Llovet / Flickr

While the Seahawks are fighting one showdown this weekend, many across the world have their eyes on a different bird battle: Horned Owls vs. Bald Eagles.

Seney Natural History Association / Flickr

Not too long ago, the call of the Trumpeter Swan was unheard in Iowa; the last nesting pair was seen in 1883. But with concentrated effort from biologists and conservationists, the species has made a comeback in the state.

Jim Pease

Jaguars don’t roam the prairies and Hyacinth Macaws don’t perch in our oak trees, but today on Talk of Iowa we learn about the wild creatures of Brazil with wildlife biologist, Jim Pease.

Big cats, small primates, colorful birds, and rodents of unusual size. We also find out why the biodiversity of the Amazon matters here in Iowa.

"While we still celebrate the wildlife that we have here in Iowa, I think we need to remember how diverse it once was," says Pease. "Visiting places that are these 'mega-diversity' places is important for a number of reasons."

Eric Bégin

Furbearer season starts Saturday in Iowa. Hunters and trappers will likely see greater numbers of raccoons and coyotes from previous years, but fewer red foxes. 

Jeremy Weber

"Our problems with wolves stem from jealousy and competition...they're just like us," says Doug Smith, Yellowstone National Park wildlife biologist.

fieldsbh / flickr

Step outside on a brisk fall evening and sometimes you will find that the air is perfumed with the unmistakable pungent odor of a skunk.

Jill Pruetz

Not many animals will use lethal aggression towards those in their own species, but two groups do - humans, and chimpanzees.

Feuerstein46 / Wikimedia Commons

What game birds have you seen this summer?

Jim Pease

So far this summer, wildlife biologist Jim Pease has paddled hundreds of miles down Iowa’s waterways to gather biological data for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Today on Talk of Iowa, he shares his experience.

Mark Stevens

A mother black bear and her two cubs were spotted earlier this week, on the border of Fayette and Clayton Counties, in northeast Iowa.  The next day, a beekeeper discovered bear scat and paw prints near some damaged hives.

Also this week, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirmed the state's first mountain lion of 2014. A deer carcass with signs of mountain lion predation was found in Cherokee County, in northeast Iowa.

Jim Pease

With their long elegant necks, spindly legs and otherworldly calls, an encounter with one of Iowa's herons can take your breath away.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Wildlife Biologist Jim Pease about his summer spent paddling many of Iowa's waterways.  On those trips he has gotten up close with Great Blue Herons, Green Herons and Egrets, some of Iowa's most impressive waterbirds.  We learn about their mating, nesting and feeding habits.

Porsupah Ree

Iowa’s forests, meadows, streams and subdivisions are full of baby animals right now, and every species has its own approach to parenting.

Today on Talk of Iowa, wildlife biologist Jim Pease joins to talk about parenting in the wild… with cliff swallows, rabbits, deer, bees, ducks, snakes, owls and others.

Noises of Spring

Apr 8, 2014
Jason Mrachina

Beautiful spring weather may make you feel like singing. It definitely inspires many frogs, toads and birds to make some joyful noise. Today on Talk of Iowa Wildlife Biologist Jim Pease talks about some of the noises you should be listening for in the next few weeks and what they mean.

Elizabeth Reetz

Of all the birds that make their home (even for just a season) in Iowa, we may know their common names (sparrow, robin, etc.), but not their scientific names. But the these longer names in Latin tell a lot about the description and behavior of a bird species. This hour, Charity Nebbe speaks with the co-authors of the new book, "The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest," Iowa Citians James Sandrock and Jean Prior.

This past winter is the state's harshest winter in decades.  Wildlife biologist Jim Pease talks with host Charity Nebbe about the negative and positive effects of this long, hard winter on Iowa's wildlife.

Carsten Tolkmit / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Join Talk of Iowa for a talk with Douglas Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He says “We need to change the way we interact with nature; it should not be segregated,” and that living with nature can be very rewarding. Tallamy says that Americans use plants that are mostly from Asia as decorations.  The result is a reduced biodiversity in the places we live, work, and farm.  Hear from Tallamy  about how we can connect habitats by reinstalling native plants.

Geoffrey Fairchild

Today on River to River, we bring you six stories.

First, University of Iowa President Sally Mason meets with the Board of Regents for a special meeting this afternoon to discuss her remarks on how the university handles sexual assault allegations. Iowa Public Radio correspondent Dean Borg tells host Ben Kieffer what to expect out of the meeting.

USFWS Mountain Prairie

Every year more wildlife friendly habitat disappears from Iowa and many different species are paying the price.  Host Charity Nebbe discusses the importance of wildlife corridors and roadside prairies with wildlife biologist Jim Pease and Rebecca Kauten, program manager for Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management.  They explain how Iowa's species are suffering due to a lack of connecting habitat as well as both the history of the state's roadside prairies, and the pros and cons of these

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