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Meet an IAYB Leader - Diane Crookham-Johnson

March 14, 2024 6:53 AM | Tyler Harms (Administrator)

Diane Crookham-Johnson is one of the newest members of our Board of Directors and a huge supporter of our programs. Learn more about Diane below!

Photo courtesy of Diane Crookham-Johnson

Current town: Oskaloosa, Iowa

Home town: Charles City, Iowa

What sparked your interest in birds?

I came to birding later in life.  Our kids had both left home after graduation.  My husband frequently traveled for work.  I was looking for a new photography subject.  A friend suggested Bald Eagles at Red Rock Dam.  One morning with the birds and I was hooked!  My hobby has transitioned from photography to birding with a camera in hand.

What is your favorite bird?

Whichever one is in front of me. I really enjoy watching a birds and their habits.  I’ve been known to sit for a few hours watching them go about their routine.

What is your favorite birding / outdoor space?

Close to home, Maskunky Marsh, Mahaska County, Iowa is my go-to location.  I’ve observed 180 species of birds at that marsh.  It is a great migration stopover.

Do you have young birders in your family?

I do not have young birders in my family, however I volunteer in a kindergarten room each week and I have finding young birders in that room every week!

What motivated you to become an IAYB Board Member?

I have always prioritized volunteer time with organizations and activities that work with kids.  I love birds.  IAYB is a perfect mix of both.

Why do you feel exposing kids to birds and nature is important?

In my professional career and in my volunteer experiences I frequently work with kids who have heavy life experiences.  Birds and nature provide all of us a life-long way to find peace.  I appreciate that it is a tool that doesn’t require kids to have an adult to take them somewhere, or to have insurance, or to leave home.  House Sparrows in the corner of a parking can even provide that peace.

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