Allamakee County sees rebound of rare birds

A cerulean warbler. Photo by jerryoldenettel, Flickr.

Three rare species of birds are rebounding in northeast Iowa’s Allamakee County, including peregrine falcons, trumpeter swans, and cerulean warblers.

Peregrine falcons were dangerously close to extinction in the 1970s, but the birds are making a comeback. A new nest was discovered on a bluff ledge overlooking the Mississippi river in June.

“This is the real McCoy — wild falcons nesting on historic bluffs with no help from people,” said Pat Schlarbaum, a wildlife diversity biologist with the Department of Natural Resources.

This spring, Allamakee County also celebrated it’s first successful hatch of trumpeter swans since the 1870s. The swans are a product of a successful DNR reintroduction program that began in 1998.

Finally, Cerulean warblers – considered one of the rarest nesting birds in Iowa, as well as one of the most beautiful – are significantly more common in Allamakee county than previously believed.

 “If someone would have handed me the report I am about to write with these kinds of numbers three years ago, I probably would not have believed them,” said researcher Jon Stravers of McGregor.

For more information, read the full article at The Gazette.

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