first achieved Bird Friendly County status in 2021.
Boone County contains ~15,162 acres of public owned land (most of which is managed by Iowa DNR and Boone County Conservation), and its citizens are proud of the fact that this county provides more habitat for birds and other wildlife and provides more outdoor recreational opportunities than most counties around it. Documented in these public areas are 267 species of birds, of which 86 are Species of Greatest Conservation Need (including nesting Iowa endangered Red-shouldered Hawks and Iowa threatened Long-eared Owls and Henslow’s Sparrows). Since 1983, Boone County has been a leader in the building, maintenance, and monitoring of bluebird and American Kestrel nest-box trails and played a most significant role in Iowa’s Osprey Restoration Program and Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program. Boone County Conservation staff provides year-round bird-related educational programs, for all ages, and also host events like Owl Prowls and an annual High Trestle Trail Hawk Watch event (along the Des Moines River). Boone County citizens actively participate in citizen-science projects like Audubon Christmas Bird Counts, Great Backyard Bird Count and Project FeederWatch.