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Currently the Pelican Festival is being held at the Hawkeye Wildlife Area, on the upper end of Johnson’s County’s Coralville Reservoir. View the pelicans through high-powered spotting scopes and listen to a variety of educational programs throughout the day. Bring your younger family members for face painting and temporary pelican tattoos.. Programs and educational displays will await people of all ages from around the state. The event takes place at Iowa DNR’s Hawkeye Wildlife Area headquarters, at 2564 Old Amana Road, Swisher, Iowa.
Coralville Lake has become a premier site for a natural wonder rarely seen anywhere else. It is the amazing gathering of American White Pelicans en route to their southern wintering grounds. That’s right, pelicans in Iowa! Thousands of pelicans can sometimes be found on the lake from mid-August through early October.
Iowa Audubon, Iowa DNR, the US Army Corps of Engineers, McBride Raptor Center, Johnson County Conservation Board and the Iowa City Bird Club will be your hosts during this spectacular event. Support groups include IOU, Cedar Rapids Audubon and other conservation and family organizations. Admission and parking is free. Refreshments and merchandise will be available for purchase.
Begin making plans now for a trip to Johnson County in September. Old Amana Road is easily accessed from HWY 965, just after it crosses the upper end of Coralville Lake. Turn west off HWY 965 onto Old Amana Road and travel approximately 3/4 mile. On arriving at the Hawkeye Wildlife Area headquarters on the right, turn in and park immediately in front of DNR’s buildings and facilities. Then walk across the road to the lakeshore, sponsor tents, and telescopes, where volunteer staff will help you view pelicans