PETERSON, Iowa | A wildlife area near Peterson will soon be named Iowa's newest Bird Conservation Area.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will dedicate the Waterman Prairie Wildlife Management Area and a portion of the Little Sioux River watershed as a Bird Conservation Area at an 11 a.m. ceremony March 7 at the O'Brien County Prairie Heritage Center, about four miles west of Peterson on the north side of Iowa Highway 10.
"Designating this complex as a Bird Conservation Area will add to its recognition by indicating its importance for nesting and migratory grassland and savanna birds," Bruce Ehresman, DNR wildlife diversity program biologist, said in a news release.
Birds that nest in the area include upland sandpipers, northern harriers, bobolinks, ring-necked pheasants, American woodcocks and red-headed woodpeckers.
According to the DNR, watching wildlife is a $318 million industry in Iowa, and the new designation near Peterson is expected to attract bird enthusiasts, supporting the local tourism economy.