Birds of Iowa

Iowa is a state in the United States of America. The state recorded a data of 429 species birds of Iowa by July 2019. Most of the birds are living in the area and some others have been identified as accidental, casual, and introduced species. The rest of the species are currently populating the area.

Iowa has a total area of 58 thousand mile squares. The state is populated by 3 million people. Iowa is surrounded by Mississippi River, Missouri River, and Big Sioux River on its borders. The state also has several lakes such as Spirit Lake, West and East Okoboji Lake, and Clear Lake.

The climate of Iowa is humid. Both summer and winter season offers strong heat and cold. A lot of areas in this state is swamplands. This state also have state bird, flower, and tree. The state bird of Iowa is the American goldfinch. The state flower is prairie rose and the state tree is bur oak.

The current data for birds in Iowa records about 429 species of birds in the state area. The bird species listed on the record are only those who are living permanently and are completely able to self-sustain themselves in the wild.

Diversity of Birds of Iowa

Birds of Iowa

There is a range of birds of Iowa documented by the state. This is ranging from ocean birds, forest birds, and waterfowl. The state’s bird is American goldfinch which is a small colorful bird from the Fringilidae family. The American goldfinch can be found in living area of the state.

Species wood warbler from family Parulidae can be found in Iowa. The state documented 38 species of wood warblers currently populating the area. The wood warbler are small and brown colored birds. Some of the species include ovenbird, golden-winged warbler, yellow warbler, blackpoll warbler, and pine warbler.

Another family listed in the state of Iowa is the Icteridae of order Passeriformes. This species is beautiful medium sized birds with vivid colors on their heads. There are fifteen species listed such as yellow-headed blackbird, bobolink, meadowlark, oriole, brown-headed cowbird, and common grackle.

There are also the New World sparrows that belongs to family Passerellidae. There are by far fifteen species on the list. The sparrows are grasshopper sparrow, lark sparrow, field sparrow, fox sparrow, and song sparrow. There are also typical owls belonging to the family Strigidae such as short-eared and snowy owl.

The waterfowl species of the family Anatidae quite populate the state of Iowa. There are as many as forty four species of ducks, geese, and waterfowl that are living in the area. Some of the species are snow goose, fulvous-whistling duck, tundra swan, blue-winged teal, northern shoveler, American wigeon, and mallard.

Moreover, there are also six species of grebes from family Podicipedidae, seven species of pigeons from family Columbidae, and five species of hummingbirds from family Trochilidae. Species of water birds are also found in the area. Two species of pelican, American white pelican and brown pelican, are both listed.

Distinct Birds of Iowa

Birds of Iowa

There are quite a number of birds of Iowa documented by the state government. The species of birds are ranging from waterfowl, raptors, songbirds, and forest birds. Some bird species on the list have designated status such as accidental, casual, or even rare and extinct.

1. American Goldfinch

Birds of Iowa

American goldfinch is a bird species that is the official state bird of Iowa. This bird, also known as Spinus tristis, belongs to the genus Spinus and family Carduelinae. This bird is a very small bird with only 11 to 14 centimeters in length and weighing roughly 10 to 20 grams. The wing spans only up to 22 centimeters.

Male American goldfinch has a very vibrant colors that are true to its name. Meanwhile, female American goldfinch has a duller colors. Male goldfinch is yellow colored with splash of black on its tail and head. Female goldfinch has brownish yellow colors that is not as vibrant as the male.

American goldfinch feed on seeds. They also live in areas populated by humans, thus they have been fed by humans as well. This makes up their high survival rate. American goldfinch usually breeds in the summer beginning around July. This bird migrate and feed in flocks.

2. Snow Goose

Birds of Iowa

Snow goose is one of types of birds of Iowa. The goose, also known as Anser caerulescens, belongs to the genus Anser and family Anatidae. This species has two colors which is the white goose and the other is the blue goose. White goose has all white feathers and black tails. Blue goose has blue and grey colors.

Snow Goose breeding seasons start at the beginning of summer and lasts during all the summer season. The female will lay about three to five eggs in one mating season. The eggs will be incubated for about a 3 weeks and once it hatch it will be under the protection of both male and female goose.

3. Yellow Warbler

Birds of Iowa

Yellow warbler is a type of Warbler birds. The name Setophaga petechial belongs to genus Setophaga and family Parulidae. This type of birds of Iowa is a small bird with vibrant yellow colors that is faithful to its name. This bird is a songbird that can produce beautiful sounds for communications and callings.

Yellow warbler is small bird that only measures about 10 to 20 centimeters and weighs from 7 to 25 grams. Their wings only span from 16 to 22 centimeters. Yellow warbler starts breeding when they reach one year of age. The male will attract the female birds by singing to them.

Yellow warblers build their nests on trees. The female will lay about 4 to 5 eggs in one mating season and incubate them for about 11 days. Once the baby birds are hatching the female guard them on the nests while the male go looking for food.

4. Bobolink

Birds of Iowa

Bobolink, also known as Dolichonyx oryzivorus, is one kind of birds of Iowa. This species belongs to genus Dolichonyx and family Icteridae. The small sized bird is only 16 to 18 centimeters in length and weighing about 28 grams. The female and male have different colored feathers that distinguish them.

Female bobolink has brown colors with darker colors on their wings and tails. On the other hand, male bobolink has a matte black colors with splash of white and brown on the top of their head. The birds usually breed during the summer when the female lays about six eggs.

Once the baby birds hatch, the parents will feed them. Bobolinks usually feed on small insects and seeds. Sometimes they also eat worms.

The male bobolink is a songbird which often sings during flying time. Bobolink is not considered an endangered species, however its populations keep decreasing.

Also Read : Birds of South Carolina

5. Short-eared Owl

Birds of Iowa

Short-eared owl belongs to genus Asio and family Strigidae. The species name is Asio flammeus. The distinct feature of this bird species is their tufts which looks like a pair of ears. Their tufts will not be visible at all times except when they were protecting themselves or their territory.

This species of owl is about 34 to 43 centimeters long and weighing about 200 to 500 grams. Their wings can span widely from 85 to 110 centimeters. As all species of owl, short-eared owl has big bright eyes, short necks, and wide wings. Aside from Iowa, short-eared owls are also found in almost all continents.

Short-eared owl can mate once they turn one year old. The mating season is starting from early spring to mid-summer time.

The male will attract the female to mate. The female then will lay from 4 to 7 eggs and incubate them for about 3 to 4 weeks. The owl feed on small mammals, rodents, and smaller birds.

6. American White Pelican

Birds of Iowa

The American White Pelican is one of the two species of pelican listed as birds of Iowa. The other species listed is the brown pelican. This species is also known as Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, belonging to the genus Pelecanus and family Pelecanidae.

This bird species is a big species of marine birds. The length of the American white pelican is ranging from 130 to 180 centimeters. This species weighs between 4 to 14 kilograms with their wingspan reaching about 240 to 300 centimeters.

American white pelican has an all-white colors on its plumage. They have a large bill as the distinct feature of all pelicans. They feed on fishes and amphibians. The white pelicans hunt for their food by swimming. They form colonies for breeding and start the breeding season in spring until summer season.

The mating of the American white pelican will last about a week. Afterwards, the female will lay about 2 to 3 eggs that will be incubated by both male and female for about 4 weeks. After they hatch, the parents will feed and protect the baby birds until they begin migration in autumn.

Also Read : Scarlet Ibis Bird

7. Northern Shoveler

Birds of Iowa

Northern shoveler, also known as Spatula clypeata, is a species of ducks. They are listed as birds of Iowa. This species belongs to genus Spatula and family Anatidae. They have a distinct large beak that makes this species distinguishable from other species.

This species of ducks is measuring about 48 centimeters long and weighing about 600 grams. Their wingspan can reach up to 75 centimeters. The male beautiful emerald green colors on its head and wings while the rest of them are brown and white colored.

Northern shoveler feed on water creatures such as crustaceans as well as plants they can find surrounding the waters. They do not produce a lot of sounds other than occasional calls between their own kinds. However, the male are very territorial during the mating and breeding seasons.

Northern shoveler is a migrating birds. They usually migrates in winter to areas in the south such as South America. Their populations have been watched and considered safe from threat of decreasing.

8. Cliff Swallow

Birds of Iowa

The American cliff swallow is a type of birds of Iowa that belongs to the genus Petrochelidon and family Hirundinidae. This species forms large colonies as they are considered a very social species of birds. As part of colonies, large nesting are also found for as many as thousands of nests.

Cliff swallow is a medium sized type of birds. They are measuring about 13 centimeters in length and about 20 to 30 grams in weight. They have a dark brown feathers with white colors on the under parts of the body. Their wingspan can reach about 28 to 33 centimeters.

Cliff swallow live on the mountain cliffs. They usually nests in colonies. This species feed on small insects such as bees, moths, flies, and grasshoppers. As they live in colonies, cliff swallow has the ability to produce distinct sounds to communicate with each other.

9. Dickcissel

Birds of Iowa

The last species on this list of birds of Iowa is dickcissel that is also known by its species name Spiza Americana. This species belongs to genus Spiza and family Cardinalidae. This small bird is a songbird which often produce buzzing noises while in flight.

Dickcissel have a distinct yellow and brown colors of its feathers. The male has more vibrant yellow color on its front and the back is dominant with brown colored feathers. The female has similar yet less striking yellow and brown colors.

Iowa is one of the state in the United States of America which is located in the Midwestern part of North America. Because of its geographical location, Iowa is home to many unique and diverse species of birds. Birds of Iowa is ranging from waterfowls, duck, raptors, owls, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and many more.

The state bird of Iowa is the Eastern goldfinch which is a beautiful songbird with vibrant colors on its feathers. This bird species has high survival rate due to its habitat that is also populated by humans. However there are some species of birds in the state of Iowa also labeled as rare and extinct.

Also Read : Types of Swans

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