About Hardin County

Hardin County first achieved Bird Friendly County status in 2022.

Providing critical habitat for a host of bird species, Hardin County Conservation Board (HCCB) manages nearly 4,000 public acres, primarily within the larger habitat corridor of the Iowa River Greenbelt. Birders have documented 281 bird species in Hardin County, mostly on public lands, and 89 are Species of Greatest Conservation Need. HCCB follows conservation plans created by NRCS, designed to protect nesting birds on important Wetland Reserve Program easements like Legacy Wildlife Area and Pintail Wetland. Burn plans are timed to reduce impact on nesting bird habitat, and roadside mowing cannot begin until July 15. The HCCB requires non-toxic shot use on 700+ acres of public hunting areas. Hardin CC interpretive center, Calkins Nature Area, provides ample opportunities for the public to learn about general bird identification, the natural history of birds, habitat requirements of Iowa’s rarest avian species, and common threats to local bird populations. Over the past 5 years, HCC Naturalists presented over 125 bird focused programs, including night hikes and birding workshops, to 6,000+ people, and 2,840 K-6 students visited Calkins Nature Area for field trips during the month of May. An Audubon Christmas Bird Count is hosted at Pine Lake State Park and surrounding natural areas.