Birds are arguably Iowa’s most conspicuous and best-known animals. If invertebrates are excluded, birds dominate our state’s wildlife in sheer number and diversity, comprising about 60 percent of all vertebrates known from Iowa. About 150 birds now nest regularly in the state. In all, around 200 species have nested here between 1840 and 2000. Including migrants over 400 bird species have been observed in Iowa—nearly half of the roughly 900 birds known to North America.
Cornelia F. Mutel, The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa