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Bats, and Owls, and Insects- Iowa's Natural World After Dark

USFWS/Ann Froschauer


Feel like braving the dark? Those who head outside after nightfall are sure to be rewarded with natural sights and sounds unlike anything available during daylight hours.


All this week, Talk of Iowa is looking at “Iowa After Dark,” starting with our natural world. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Ken Keffer, a biologist, wildlife author, and Outreach Coordinator for the Dallas County Conservation Board. Keffer encourages Iowans to skip the flashlight and head out into the darkness for the best nighttime wildlife experience.


“There’s an apprehension to darkness, and I think the main reason for that is that as humans, we use our eyesight so much. We kind of rely on that for everything, and in the dark we lose that,” Keffer says. “It’s like a betrayal, but then the rest of our senses really pick up. So just the subtle sounds of a mouse across the lawn is going to sound really amplified… so we’re kind of on edge.”


Later in the hour, Nebbe and Keffer are joined by bat expert and Central College Professor of Biology, Russ Benedict and Iowa State University Professor of Entomology Donald Lewis for a nocturnal trip across the state through owl calls, bat trapping, and nighttime insect identification.


Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa