Spotted Owls

Spotted Owls
adapted from my photo of 2008

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gray Partridges!

I glanced out the window this morning and was delighted to see what I thought was a Sharp-tailed Grouse family. Although I have seen many in SD, I did not have them on my yard list here. And I still don't, because they were Gray Partridges, a mother and 6 young, and not Sharp-tailed Grouse. The young easily came through the backyard fence while mama waited and called outside the yard. Eventually they all wandered off into the taller grass outside our fenced yard. I have been looking for them in SD since I arrived, but these are the first. The only other time I've ever seen them in the US (they are introduced from Europe) was in Washington State during my 2008 big year!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer South Dakota birding

It's been many years since I lived where there were many breeding birds. North Carolina and Texas are better for migrants and wintering birds. It's wonderful to wander up and down South Dakota roads and see baby birds and parents with worms in their beaks. Many of the birds are the same species I grew up with in Wisconsin (Eastern Kingbird, Bobolink, Western Meadowlark, American Robin) but there's the delightful addition of more western species than I typically had in central Wisconsin, such as Burrowing Owls (see picture, small & distant family of Burrowing Owls), Western Kingbirds, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Greater Sage-Grouse (see picture of mother and one of the 2 young that I saw along a NW SD roadside). Tomorrow I'm off to join a morning field trip in the Black Hills.

gold parties