Calendar

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* Happy New Year!!Happy New Year!!

Nature Center offices and buildings are closed January 1st and 2nd for the New Year's Holiday. All trails are open for your enjoyment!

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* Happy New Year!!Happy New Year!!

Nature Center offices and buildings are closed January 1st and 2nd for the New Year's Holiday. All trails are open for your enjoyment!

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* Coffee and ChatCoffee and Chat

Time: 9:00 am

Coffee and Chat. Each month on the second Thursday gather in the sunroom at Indian Creek Nature Center to enjoy coffee and conversation about the latest happenings at Indian Creek Nature Center. Enjoy a social time, and learn what’s happening in nature at that time, meet Nature Center staff and become better acquainted with our facilities, programs and trails. Free

* Home School-Eagles/Owls/HawksHome School-Eagles/Owls/Hawks

Time: 1:00 pm

Home School Program 2014-15 “Explore Your Wild World” Eagles, Owls and Hawks: The Raptors. Thursday, January 8, 1 PM. Owl, hawks and eagles are common raptors with fascinating stories. Discover the special ways each hunts and survives in Iowa. Dissect an owl pellet to discover what it has been eating. Learn about the amazing flight abilities of our hawks and falcons. A short hike will take us to the Cedar River to view eagles. Bring your binoculars or borrow ours. 1 ½ hours. Fee: $5 per student age 5 and older

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* Eagles Have Super Powers!Eagles Have Super Powers!

Time: 10:00 am

Announcing: Cub Corner for Preschoolers Join us each month for an exciting adventure just for you and your parents in Cub Corner. Our first adventure will be with eagles, owls and hawk. Cub Corner Adventures begins with Eagles Have Super Powers! Saturday, January 10, 10 AM Discover eagles! Have fun learning about our national bird and where it hangs out in winter. Learn how eagle eyes work, and try stretching your eagle “wings.” Just how big is that nest? We’ll also learn about other raptors, such as owls and hawks. Adults must accompany children. M $5; NM $8. Parents: free.

* Backyard Chicken BasicsBackyard Chicken Basics

Time: 1:00 pm

Backyard Chicken Basics Saturday, January 10, 1 PM Get the basic information you need to raise hens in urban and suburban areas. Participants will receive a certificate of completion that enables them to get a permit to legally keep chickens in Cedar Rapids and other communities. Register by 4 PM on Thursday, January 8. M $7 NM $10

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* Eagles Have Super Powers!Eagles Have Super Powers!

Time: 10:00 am

Announcing: Cub Corner for Preschoolers Join us each month for an exciting adventure just for you and your parents in Cub Corner. Our first adventure will be with eagles, owls and hawk. Eagles Have Super Powers! Tuesday, January 13, 10 AM Discover eagles! Have fun learning about our national bird and where it hangs out in winter. Learn how eagle eyes work, and try stretching your eagle “wings.” Just how big is that nest? We’ll also learn about other raptors, such as owls and hawks. Children must be accompanied by an adult. M $5; NM $8. Parents: free.

* Snowshoe AdventureSnowshoe Adventure

Time: 1:00 pm

Learn the basics and enjoy the snow! Basic techniques and safety will be covered then we will hit the trails. Program suitable for adults and children 2nd grade and up. No special equipment needed, just wear snow boots and layer clothing according to weather conditions. Members $10; Non-Members $15

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* Beginning Bee Keeping 2015Beginning Bee Keeping 2015

Time: 7:00 pm

This very popular CLASS IS FULL - no more registrations will be accepted. Please call 319-362-0664 to be added to the 2016 Interest List. This eight session series is designed for individuals serious about starting a beekeeping hobby. The series will take the participant through the annual cycle of beekeeping from establishing a hive to harvesting and marketing the honey produced. The class members will be actively involved in learning activities by working with the hives at the Indian Creek Nature Center. All classes are held at the Nature Center and last approximately two hours; attendance is critical. Starting two colonies of bees (recommended) costs approximately $600-$700. Beekeepers usually devote 2-5 hours weekly to working in their apiaries April-September, with several additional days in the early spring and fall. The city of Cedar Rapids currently has an ordinance against apiaries on residential property. Beekeeping is allowed in Linn County. Check with your local government to see if you can keep bees. Instructors: Bob Wolff, Phil Cummings, Jean Wiedenheft Fee includes classes, informational handouts, and use of the Nature Center’s Honeyhouse and extracting equipment (student must have attended session VII; extracting is scheduled between Sunday, August 23 and Tuesday, September 15, 2015. Plan to spend approximately 1 hour per super, plus an hour for setup and cleanup). Required text: The Beekeeper’s Handbook by Diane Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile, 2011. This book is available in the Creekside Gift Shop at Indian Creek Nature Center.

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* Guild Potluck & Annual MeetingGuild Potluck & Annual Meeting

Time: 12:00 pm

ICNC Guild Potluck and Annual Meeting Friday, January 16, Noon Current, past and future Guild members are invited to enjoy a potluck lunch and meeting to celebrate the group’s 2014 accomplishments. Bring a dish to share and your table service.

* Snowshoe AdventureSnowshoe Adventure

Time: 1:00 pm

1:00 pm Learn the basics and enjoy the snow! Basic techniques and safety will be covered then we will hit the trails. Program suitable for adults and children 2nd grade and up. No special equipment needed, just wear snow boots and layer clothing according to weather conditions. Members $10; Non-Members $15

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* Snowshoe AdventureSnowshoe Adventure

Time: 10:00 am

Learn the basics and enjoy the snow! Basic techniques and safety will be covered then we will hit the trails. Program suitable for adults and children 2nd grade and up. No special equipment needed, just wear snow boots and layer clothing according to weather conditions. Members $10; Non-Members $15

* Boogie in the Barn!Boogie in the Barn!

Time: 1:00 pm

Boogie in the Barn! Saturday, January 17, 1 PM Guitarist Sheila Stevens will keep your feet tapping and fingers snapping with fun sing-along songs for young and old. This lively afternoon of musical fun and activities will include musical crafts. We will create a few instruments of our own from gourds and other natural materials. M $5; NM $7; M Family $12; NM Family $15

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* ICNC Annual MeetingICNC Annual Meeting

Time: 4:30 pm

ICNC Annual Meeting Tuesday, January 27, 4:30 PM All members are cordially invited to attend Indian Creek Nature Center’s annual meeting.

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* BSA - Take Care of Your PlanetBSA - Take Care of Your Planet

Time: 6:00 pm

Friday, January 23, 2015 6:00-8:00 PM Bear Cub Achievement #6 Become an Earth Caretaker! Learn where energy and natural resources come from and how to use them more responsibly. Play a game to discover how much water a leaky faucet wastes. Discover ways the Nature Center is sustainable. (Fulfills requirements c, d, e & f) Registration and payment are required prior to the event. This can be done online, in person, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. Use a separate registration form for each event. Completed registration forms, payment, and roster of scouts attending must be received by the Nature Center no later than one week prior to the scheduled workshop (by 4 p.m. on the Friday prior to the event). Late registrations will be excepted through the Wednesday preceding the event at an additional fee of $2/scout. Payment must accompany registration. To register, call 319-362-0664 or visit: www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org. To complete the process you must also download and fill out one Registration Form and one Roster sheet per pack/group and submit these two forms to ICNC via email or fax.

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* GSA - Be Energy StarsGSA - Be Energy Stars

Time: 9:30 am

Saturday, January 24, 2015 9:30-11:30 AM - Girls Scouts - Junior Energy is an important part of everything from the lights in your room to the food you eat. Explore energy at the Nature Center and determine your ecological footprint. Learn about using solar energy to create electricity. Build a sun oven and cook. Discover the things the Nature Center has done to turn an old barn into an energy-efficient environmental center. We will lead you on part of the Get Moving! Journey. REGISTRATION/CANCELLATION POLICY: Cost: $11/Scout Attendance requirement: Minimum of 10 Scouts and maximum of 60. Registration and payment must be completed no later than Thursday the week prior to the scheduled workshop (at least 8 days before the workshop). Workshop registrations should be made through the Girl Scout office. To register by phone call 319-363-8335 or go to www.girlscoutstoday.org to register online.

* Paddle DayPaddle Day

Time: 12:00 pm

Paddle Day Saturday, January 24 Noon-4:30 PM Paddle Day offers something for every paddler, whether a beginner or seasoned veteran. Connect with a paddling buddy, share experiences, learn about new gear, and discover new places to paddle. Doors open at noon for you to enjoy paddling exhibits and displays by various paddling organizations. Speakers begin at 12:30 PM and will include: “Paddling Adventures in the Ozarks” by Marty Koch; “Kickapoo River, A Gem in SW Wisconsin” by Lisa Nagle and Jan Aiels; “Expanded View from the Cockpit,” by Bill and Joyce Schoon; and “Discover Great Local Paddling Opportunities.” Visit indiancreeknaturecenter.org for details. M $8; NM $12.

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* Willow Garden OrbsWillow Garden Orbs

Time: 10:00 am

Willow Garden Orbs Saturday, January 31, 10 AM Create a lovely willow orb for your garden or home using one of nature’s fastest growing plants. Participants will learn simple random weaving techniques to create one or more rustic willow ball. We will use a combination of wild willow harvested from the Nature Center wetland and cultivated basket willow. Good hand strength required. All consumable supplies provided. Participants should bring sharp garden shears or basketry scissors and a towel for wrapping your materials. We will “warm” willow “withies” across our knees, so wear an apron or old pants that can get dirty. Our finished product will be roughly basketball-sized. Bring a brown bag lunch. We will provide beverages. Register by 4 PM on Wednesday, January 28. M $25; NM $35.

* Chicken ChatterChicken Chatter

Time: 1:00 pm

Chicken Chatter Saturday, January 31, 1 PM Anyone new to keeping a flock of chickens is likely to experience the joys and frustrations of caring for animals and learning husbandry skills. Join longtime chicken keeper and ICNC Director Emeritus Rich Patterson for an interactive discussion. He will suggest solutions for the five most common problems experienced by new poultry keepers, then encourage everyone to share experiences. Call 319-362-0664 to reserve your place. Suggested donation: $5.

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Wildlife

Photo of a mounted owl in the auditorium of the Indian Creek Nature CenterMost wild animals tend to avoid one of their largest predators—humans. If you are quiet and patient, some animals may let you see them. Signs of wildlife are abundant on the property.

The Nature Center receives many inquiries about abandoned or injured wildlife people find in their yards or on hikes.  We are not licensed, equipped or staffed to handle injured or abandoned wildlife. We recommend you contact the Wapsie River Wildlife Rehabilitation Project if you have orphaned, injured, or displaced wildlife. They are volunteers licensed through the Department of Natural Resources who care for area wildlife in need. Their services are free although donations are always appreciated. The Wildlife Hotline number is: 319-480-6828. This phone number will place you in contact with over twenty rehabilitators with consideration of location, expertise of species, and circumstances. Click HERE to visit their Facebook page.

Other resources include the McBride Raptor Project at Kirkwood Community College for birds of prey (319-398-5495). You can also contact DNR Game Wardens Aric Sloterdyk (319-350-2863) or Ron Lane (319-350-2871) for assistance.

Orphaned Wildlife is Rarely Truly Orphaned

Usually mother is hidden nearby watching. Adult mammals have strong odors that are easily detected by predators. Young mammals are naturally protected by not having strong odors that attract predators. Wild mothers will not stay in a nest unless they are actually nursing their offspring. If you discover a nest of young wildlife, leave it alone. They do not need to be “rescued”.

Baby rabbits spend many hours alone in their fur-lined nest with the mother rabbit secretly visiting only to nurse them. She is rarely seen. Rabbit nests that are discovered should be left alone and pets should be kept away from the site. If tiny rabbits handled by humans, the mother rabbit will still return and care for them. Her instinct to care for her young is greater than her fear of human scent. Leave them in the nest or at the nest site if the nest have been destroyed. The mother will move them to a new nest. Be patient. She may wait for darkness to hide her activities.

Deer hide fawns in tall grasses or woodland plants. Fawns may appear to be abandoned but do not be fooled. The doe is nearby watching and she will return. Never remove a fawn from where it is found.

Photo of bluebird hatchlings on the prairie at the Indian Creek Nature CenterBaby birds are frequently found on the ground, especially as they leave the nest for the first time, an act called fledging. It is natural for fledglings to spend some days on the ground while learning to fly and be independent. The parents feed and care for the young during this critical period. It is important to keep cats and dogs away from the site. A young bird found on the ground can be placed in a nearby bush or tree for safety. If you place it back in the nest, it will only leave again. Birds that are fledglings will be covered with feathers.

Storms often knock baby birds from nests before the birds are ready to fledge. These birds will not be fully feathered. Place the bird back in the nest if you can. Birds have very little sense of smell and parent bird will not detect that a human has handled their young. Parents will return to care for the young. Do not take the bird into your house. If the parents return and cannot find their young, they will assume a predator destroyed them and not return to that nesting site. It is best to let nature take it’s course. Injured creatures are a link in the natural food chain.

All wild baby birds, mammals and reptiles are difficult to care for. Wild animals and birds never make good pets. They often carry diseases you can contract. A license from the state Department of Natural Resources is required to care for injured animals or birds. Wildlife rehabilitators are trained and licensed to care for injured or truly orphaned wildlife. Contact the Iowa DNR, 1-515-281-IDNR for more information. It is illegal to have a wild bird, mammal or reptile as a pet unless you have a state license to do so.