Birds Of Iowa


Animals are biologically classified into two; invertebrates and vertebrates. Invertebrates are animals that do not have backbones, while vertebrates do. Vertebrates are further divided into mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. Birds are vertebrates with unique body physiology that allows them to fly. Several birds can fly while others are flightless. The flightless ones can jump, run, dive, and even swim. Based on their physical structure, most of these creatures are built to fly. Even the flightless ones still have wings and feathers. There are various species of birds in today’s world, and these creatures are found in virtually every continent in the world. These creatures are really popular and are featured in several cultures of the world. The largest bird in the world is the flightless ostrich, while the smallest one is the bee hummingbird which is two-inch long.

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Birds are native to several regions of the world, with numerous species existing. These different species, with their various appearances and behaviors, can be fascinating to watch and observe. This led to the adoption of the activity called birding. This bird-related activity involves observing new species of birds and how they relate to the environment. Native birds are usually found in their regions of nativity in huge numbers, most times as residents. At other times, these areas become temporary homes when they migrate with the changing seasons. The state of Iowa offers a wide array of birds for the viewing pleasure of birders. In this region, birdwatching is made a truly beautiful and aesthetic activity.

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Ecological description of Iowa

This is one of the Mid-Western states whose contributions to the economy quite significant due to the diversity in economic activities like manufacturing, technological production, and biotechnology. Most lands in Iowa are used for agricultural products as they have very high fertility. This, therefore, encourages subsistence and commercial agriculture in different parts of the state.

The state of Iowa is occupied by over three million people who speak predominantly English. It is also considered one of the safest states in America. The regions that make up this state are located between areas with different climatic conditions. This, therefore, is responsible for the changing seasons and temperatures which the state experiences. Habitats in this region too greatly support animal life as several species of animals are found thriving. The large expanse of forest lands provides a conducive environment for both terrestrial animals and birds. In the case of birds, Iowa, like other mid-western states, is richly blessed with the presence of birds, most of which are residents.

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Birds native to Iowa

Most birders would be glad to know that Iowa can be considered a good spot for spotting exotic and rare bird species. This is because the environment attracts these flying creatures, luring them into making the region their home. Most backyards and plantations in this state can be a nice spot to birdwatch in comfort and convenience. Although the bird species in this region are numerous, ornithologists have successfully discovered that there are four hundred and thirty bird species, both visitors and residents in the state. Some of these Iowa’s native birds include the American goldfinch, redhead, American coot, Virginia rail, Iceland gull, wood stork, great heron, Northern hawk owl, hairy woodpecker, and Peregrine falcon, and these are just a few among the hundreds of bird species in this state.

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American goldfinch

This is the state bird of Iowa proudly displayed on its insignia. This small beautiful bird of the finch family is migratory during the breeding season and also during winter. These bird species are granivores and have their beaks adapted and designed for the consumption of seed heads. They are also social birds that gather in groups and large flocks when feeding and migrating. They are mostly found in open fields, meadows as well as roadside, and backyards as they are attracted to humans. The American goldfinch is one of the most seen birds in the state of Iowa as they exist in abundance and are very friendly.


This medium-sized diving duck is usually found in shallow waters like marshes and bay edges. It is a migratory bird whose diet changes when it travels.

It survives mainly on plants and animal matter when either of them is available. Some of them are being hunted today for their skin, but their population in America is on the high side. A birdwatching experience in Iowa will surely feature these birds.

American coot

They are birds that can act as both aquatic and terrestrial creatures as they can swim and also walk on land. They are also known to fly occasionally, and when this happens, their large feet are revealed. These clumsy fliers require long-running takeoffs before they can assume flight altitude. Ponds in city parks, marshes, and other bodies of shallow waters are where these birds are found.

Virginia rail

They are small waterbirds well known to be secretive as they are likely heard than seen. They are hugely present in freshwater, brackish marshes, and sometimes salt marshes. Running is the mechanism employed by these birds to escape predators instead of flying as their flights are always for short distances or migration. This bird species eat mostly insects and other invertebrates like beetles and flies. Sometimes their diet changes causing them to feed on frogs, snails, or small snakes.

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Iceland Gull

It is a medium-sized bird that is migratory and feeds on fish, scraps, and eggs as it is omnivorous. It also possesses forage abilities and can feed while walking or swimming. Birders find them particularly interesting, especially when they forage.


The state of Iowa is indeed blessed with birds making it a top choice spot for lovers of birds and birders. It also offers an exceptional appeal to birders as some rare birds have been spotted in this state from time to time. Bird enthusiasts are therefore encouraged to visit this state to enjoy premium bird views.