Thursday, May 27, 2010

Birding the Badlands

Greetings from Medora, ND


After birding the eastern part of North Dakota a few days ago, I drove to the western part of the state to continue doing bird surveys. I had planned on only spending a few days in Theodore Roosevelt National Park but due to some bad weather I have had to spend more time than I expected.


The Badlands at sunset.

The campground in the park is in a riparian corridor along the Missouri River with tall stands of cottonwoods dominating the landscape. This, of course, leads to many bird species. Just while sitting at camp reading birds such as Tennessee and Blackpoll Warblers, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Bullock's Oriole have passed by allowing close views. One morning I even had a Chipping Sparrow hiding under my rain fly of my tent. The rest of the park is much drier and has a much different slate of birds. Say's Phoebe, Rock Wren, and Golden Eagle have been the highlights in these other areas. The wildlife is also abundunt with many Elk, Bison, wild horses, and Priarie Dogs.

The Badlands.
I also chanced upon a Sharp-tailed Grouse lek as I was heading to a transect. As I came over a hill a Ferruginous Hawk glided over and flushed all of the grouse. After realizing they weren't in too much danger the grouse continued their courtship displays.
-Eric

1 comment:

Amy said...

That is so awesome. I love the west! Thanks for sharing your photos.

Amy Kearns