Document Type



birds, endangered species, population changes, population declines, range changes, introduced species


Iowa's avifauna has changed dramatically since 1980. The state list now has 40 additional species and totals 398 species, the most of any vertebrate group. Four species that had not previously nested in Iowa (Ring-billed Gull, Great-tailed Grackle, House Finch, Eurasian Tree Sparrow) and four whose nesting populations had disappeared (Double-crested Cormorant, Sandhill Crane, Piping Plover, Least Tern) now breed regularly here. Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, White-faced Ibis, Mississippi Kite, Prairie Warbler, and Red Crossbill nested for the first time but do not have established nesting populations. Trumpeter Swan, Peregrine Falcon, Greater Prairie Chicken, and Sharp-tailed Grouse have been reintroduced to Iowa but nesting populations are not well established. The nesting distributions of Canada Goose, Bald Eagle, Wild Turkey, and Gray Partridge have changed greatly since 1980. Despite these gains in Iowa's avian diversity, one nesting species (Say's Phobe) has disappeared from Iowa since 1980. Thirteen species are listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern, and 36 other species have nesting populations of fewer than 1,000 pairs. The survival of some of those 49 species is in jeopardy. Another 16 species, although still relatively common, have shown long-term population declines in Iowa and in North America and may be in jeopardy. Iowa's avifauna is dynamic, and changes can be expected to continue in the future as some species thrive, new species colonize the state, and others decline or disappear.

Publication Date

September 1998

Journal Title

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science





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© Copyright 1998 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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