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Rare Bird Spotted in Iowa: the Bar-Tailed Godwit

Steve Dinsmore
The bar-tailed godwit at Lake Red Rock in Marion County on August 6, 2017

The bar-tailed godwit has an impressive flight pattern; the bird can fly from Alaska to New Zealand in eight days.

The bird normally breeds in Alaska and then flies an often non-stop migration route to New Zealand and Australia, but incredibly, one bar-tailed godwit landed south of Des Moines last week. It's the first time it has been documented in Iowa; it's only ever been documented in inland North America in Utah.

Steve Dinsmore, ecology professor at Iowa State University, found the bar-tailed godwit at Lake Red Rock in Marion County, and he shares the experience with guest host, Ben Stanton, on this news buzz edition of River to River.

Listen to Ben Stanton's interview with Steve Dinsmore - River to River

Also on the show: Des Moines Register reporter Tony Leys talks about his reporting on the Eldora state school accused of using isolation and restraints on troubled boys who need treatment; amusement ride inspector Ken Martin discusses issues with self-regulation within the amusement park and pop-up ride industry; Brandi Janssen of the University of Iowa’s department of Occupational and Environmental Health talks about farm safety in light of a recent grain bin death in Waterloo; agricultural meteorologist Gene Takle of the University of Iowa talks about the long term impact of absolute humidity in Iowa; and Des Moines Register columnist Kyle Munson shares stories from the Iowa State Fair.