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Rare Bird Spotted in Iowa: the Bar-Tailed Godwit

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Steve Dinsmore
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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.

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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.

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