Nahant Marsh

Nahant Marsh is a unique ecosystem that is home to many plants and animals. Let's go on a virtual trip to Davenport, Iowa and explore the marsh.

Davenport's Nahant Marsh

Marsh areas used to be common along the Mississippi, Missouri and other rivers in Iowa. Over time these areas were largely filled in to be used for farmland. This makes Nahant Marsh in Davenport a very unique ecosystem in Iowa. What unique plants and animals might call Nahant Marsh home?


Why do you think many other marshes in Iowa have been filled in?


Nahant Marsh is full of life. During the day you can see, hear and smell a wide variety of creatures. When the sun goes down, a whole new community of animals come out. You guessed it! Bats. Check out how naturalists keep track of which bats live at Nahant Marsh.


Why might bats be an important part of an ecosystem?

Turtle Tracking

Nahant Marsh is home to a very special kind of turtle, the Blanding's turtle. What makes these turtles so special? Check out how the naturalists at Nahant Marsh keep track and teach us about these amphibians. 


Why might it be important to protect Iowa’s endangered species?

Pond Creatures

The water at Nahant Marsh is home to a wide variety of fish, insects, other animals and plants. Check out some of the unique creatures that can be found! What might you be able to find near you if you stopped and looked closely?


What might you notice if you took a close look at a pond or grassy area near where you live?


Goldenrod is a very important plant for a lot of different insects that can be found at Nahant Marsh. In what unique ways do insects rely on this plant?


What unexpected types of life might be right outside your window?

Interpreting Bat Sounds

Bats don't see with their eyes. Instead, they use echolocation, which uses sound waves to help them sense the world around them. Each species of bat has a unique sound that they use for this purpose.

An animated big brown bat in front of a red curve showing the frequency of bat sounds.

Big Brown Bat

Compare the eastern brown bat's sound to the other bats.

An animated hoary bat in front of a red curve showing the frequency of bat sounds.

Hoary Bat

Compare the hoary bat's sound to the other bats. 

An animated eastern red bat in front of a red curve showing the frequency of bat sounds.

Eastern Red Bat

Compare the eastern red bat's sound to the other bats.