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Washburn Outdoors: Wildlife battles brutal North Iowa blizzard

Returning from a nearby corn stubble, a seemingly endless supply of ducks descended to the open creek. The stage was set. The signal was clear.

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Washburn Outdoors

A rooster pheasant gleans spilled grain from the edge of blacktop roadway near Farmer’s Beach.

That blizzard was one to remember.

With 16 inches of new snow and sustained winds gusting in excess of 50 mph, the record book, last weekend's winter system didn’t do humans or area wildlife any favors.

While people attempted to shovel sidewalks and clear drifted driveways on Monday, surviving pheasants were also digging out from where they’d spent a very miserable weekend.

Searching for spilled grain, many of those birds are currently showing up along busy North Iowa roadways where vehicle traffic presents yet another winter hazard.

Washburn Outdoors

A rooster pheasant gleans spilled grain from the edge of blacktop roadway near Farmer’s Beach.

Photos: Washburn Outdoors in North Iowa

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Reach Washburn’s Outdoor Journal at iawildlife.org/blog.

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