What’s in a Name: Attwater’s Prairie Chicken

10,000 Birds

And then there’s Attwater’s Prairie Chicken. Competition with invasive fire ants for insect food is a major source of mortality for young Attwater’s Prairie Chickens. Birds endangered birds Greater Prairie Chicken names

Forgotten Prairies

10,000 Birds

Outside of hardcore twitchers looking for specialty birds and after speaking to thousands and thousands of birders, I have concluded that most people really do not put much emphasis on our prairies. Our North American Prairies hold 2/3 of their biomass beneath the soil.

Who Wants To See a Greater Prairie Chicken?

10,000 Birds

Have you ever seen a Greater Prairie Chicken? Destroy the native prairies and lose Henslow’s Sparrows , Bobolinks , Upland Sandpipers , and Greater Prairie Chickens. In Abraham Lincoln’s day, Prairie Chickens were an incredibly abundant part of the Illinois prairie landscape. Couple that with the fact that Greater Prairie Chickens are either holding on or in decline in all states except Nebraska and the national picture becomes clear. Dawn on the prairie.

Could Prairie Chickens Come Booming Back?

Nature Conservancy - Science

Prairie chickens were once so abundant in the Great Plains that they were hunted for the market and shipped by the trainload to New York City. Could prairie restoration bring them booming back?

Recovery: Prairie Reprise

Nature Conservancy - Science

America has plowed, developed and otherwise destroyed or degraded vast expanses of native prairie. For generations prairies were seen as deficient in their lack of trees and dangerous in their flammability. At least we’re no longer anti-prairie. Bison on Ordway Prairie.

Prairie Falcon Attack on a Northern Shoveler

10,000 Birds

On 11 November 2012 I was leaving Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake after a fruitless morning of trying to photograph birds in a snowstorm and poor light when a female Prairie Falcon ambushed this Northern Shoveler on the water not far from the causeway on which I was driving.

Schaefer Prairie Preserve Citizen Science

Nature Conservancy - Science

Morning dew on asters (Aster) at Schaefer Prairie. What is Schaefer Prairie Preserve Citizen Science Project? . Would you like to explore one of the remaining patches of eastern tallgrass prairie and contribute to science? Regular fires keep prairies healthy.

Bison, Pioneers of the Prairie, Return to Kankakee Sands

Nature Conservancy - Science

Over the past 20 years The Nature Conservancy in Indiana has been converting 6,700 acres of row-crop agriculture at Kankakee Sands into a diverse prairie. The goal – to restore key prairie habitat and connectivity for wildlife.

Allow me to tell you a little story about Prairie Dogs not getting Poisoned to Death, hopefully.

Elephant Journal

Prairie dogs are cute and don’t get people sick and don’t hurt cows or horses (that’s a rural myth). Main Categories* Enlightened Society Green WAYLON: Today Only Activism Martin Luther King non-violence prairie dogs protestAggressive Activism floods Instagram, Facebook, comments in social media, Twitter. It doesn’t work. Allow me to tell you a little story.

2018 45

A Treasure Hunt for Prairie Wildflowers

Nature Conservancy - Science

The Tallgrass Aspen Parklands is on the northern edge of the tallgrass prairie. Only a small portion of prairie plants make it so far north. Further complicating matters is that human activities, such as farming, have destroyed most of the prairie, and have altered most of the rest.

Space Cowboys: A New Generation of Prairie Keepers

Nature Conservancy - Science

How many cows can you graze and maintain a healthy prairie? These are important questions for ranchers and scientists interested in sustainably supporting cattle and protecting prairie habitat for wildlife. Elk Antlers on the Prairie: A Shed Hunt to Benefit the Local Community.

Why Grassland Birds are Poor Indicators of Prairie Quality

Nature Conservancy - Science

Henslow’s sparrows are a bird of conservation concern and their presence in a prairie can be seen as a conservation success. I really enjoyed working on my graduate research, which focused on grassland birds and their vulnerability to prairie fragmentation.

Bison Good, Cattle Bad? A Prairie Ecologist’s Perspective

Nature Conservancy - Science

By Chris Helzer , prairie ecologist. Among some prairie enthusiasts, there seems to be a perception that plains bison are magical creatures that live in complete harmony with the prairie. The other beef prairie enthusiasts have with cattle (sorry) has to do with their diet.

Bison Bellows and Bones: Student-Scientists on the Prairie

Nature Conservancy - Science

Michelle Hulke (left) and Mary Joy Sun, student bison researchers from Gustavus Adolphus College, collect bones on the prairie to reassemble a bison skeleton. Ordway Prairie Preserve, students from Gustavus Adolphus College will soon be arriving to follow bison herds for the summer.

Hope on the Prairie: The Black-Footed Ferret Returns to Colorado

Nature Conservancy - Science

Take, for instance, my recent experience helping reintroduce black-footed ferrets to their historic home on eastern Colorado’s prairie. Training programs put young ferrets through prairie dog hunting “boot camps;” if they learn to hunt, they’ll be eligible for release.

Tracking a Secretive Snake on the Prairie

Nature Conservancy - Science

Researchers at the Chippewa Prairie in Minnesota are using radio telemetry to provide a better picture of the lives of one of the most secretive and little-known creatures of grasslands: the plains hog-nosed snake (also known as the western hog-nosed snake). Big Snake on the Prairie.

Zumwalt Prairie: Mountain Lions, Mountain Quail & More

Nature Conservancy - Science

A black bear stands amongst the expansive grasslands and canyons of Zumwalt Prairie Preserve. The Zumwalt Prairie of northeastern Oregon is one of those spectacular places where the large herds still roam, where big predators still stalk, where you never know what you might see on a hike.

Product Review: Prairie Organic Spirits

Green Living Ideas

Green Living Ideas was recently sent some organic gin and cucumber vodka from Prairie Organics. Prairie is a truly sustainable company, working with land, farmers and community to create high-quality artisanal spirits. File under: I love my job.

The Benefits of a Native Prairie Garden

Eco Friendly Daily

If your thoughts are turning to spring, you may want to consider planting a native prairie garden rather than one filled with exotic plants. Once a prairie garden is established, you should not water it.

Elk Antlers on the Prairie: A Shed Hunt to Benefit the Local Community

Nature Conservancy - Science

Rolling prairie dotted with beautiful wildflowers, with towering snow-capped peaks in the background. I’m at The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve in northeast Oregon for what has become an annual event: a search for antlers shed by bull elk each spring.

Wood-Warbler Haiku 7

10,000 Birds

Funky face pattern, Bobbing tail, ascending song: A Prairie Warbler. Inspiration haiku poetry prairie warbler wood-warblers

2015 100

Caught in the Act: Girl, Interrupted. ~ Prairie Pritchett

Elephant Journal

I was on a walk with a girlfriend. We were in what I thought was a break of silence between conversations that is, until she asked me,“Where are you right now?”.

Back Battle on the Booming Grounds

10,000 Birds

The Greater Prairie Chicken , once common throughout North America, has undergone rapid population decline, mostly due to habitat loss. The tallgrass prairie that once blanketed the Midwest has been almost completely converted to cropland, leaving Tympanuchus cupido painfully vulnerable.

2011 164

The Yucca and its Moth

Nature Conservancy - Science

Read more of Chris Helzer’s writings at The Prairie Ecologist blog, where this post originally appeared. . Soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca) is a common plant in the Great Plains but also occurs in dry sandy and loess soils in Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Introducing the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge

10,000 Birds

Russell National Wildlife Refuge , more than a million acres of prairie, badlands, coulees, and the massive Fort Peck Reservoir on the Missouri River. Here I would see how spring comes to the American prairie. Destinations Charles M Russell NWR prairies

Winter Mission

10,000 Birds

And not far from that scene was my personal highlight of the day, when my life Prairie Falcon swooped across the road, circled back, and came over the car only a few feet above my head, then perched with prey and let us all observe her clearly for several minutes. A second Prairie Falcon just up the road – this one a young male – gave even better, closer looks. Birding Mission valley Prairie falcon raptors

2014 152

Cecil the lion’s final photograph, thanks to “Walter J. Palmer, an Eden Prairie man with a Bloomington dental practice” & Theo Bronkhorst.

Elephant Journal

For the full photo, click here. Here’s the actual last photo, thanks to Walter J. Palmer: This gentleman defines selfishness. “Cecil was a famous 13 year old lion, being tracked via GPS collar and was involved in a wildlife study out of Oxford University. It is, I believe, illegal to kill a GPS collared lion. […]. WAYLON: Today Only

Birding and Butterflying North Carolina Gamelands

10,000 Birds

Prairie Warbler. Sure enough, the bird popped up a few minutes later on a young tree with no leaves, allowing me to see in perfect detail my very first Prairie Warbler ! Trips butterflies migration North Carolina prairie warbler I don’t know if you have ever tried to bird with a cold, but it’s not easy. All your senses are dulled, which makes finding one of those fast-flitting warblers or other songbirds especially difficult.

Rare Butterflies Return Home

Nature Conservancy - Science

This summer 200 federally threatened Dakota skippers emerged as butterflies and were reintroduced to a Minnesota prairie. From the Field Wildlife Endangered Species Grasslands Insects Pollinators Restoration

Climate Change and the Future of Bison

Nature Conservancy - Science

The climate of Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma is 17°F hotter than at Cross Ranch in North Dakota. For example, a 7-year old male bison at Ordway Prairie in South Dakota weighs, on average, 1,900 lbs.

My Mother’s greatest Gift to Me.

Elephant Journal

Blog (always click 4 all blogs) courage death grief memories mother resilience strength The Little House on the PrairieI sit and look back on my time with my mother. 15 plus years since that night with the blue and red lights.

2015 56

Spring’s Top 10 Wildlife Spectacles

Nature Conservancy - Science

Six species of prairie grouse – greater and lesser prairie chickens , greater and Gunnison sage grouse , and sharp-tailed grouse – display in flat, open areas, offering excellent viewing. The Conservancy has bison on a dozen preserves across many prairie states.

Can You Ever Have Too Many Turkeys?

Nature Conservancy - Science

Citizen science provides opportunities to answer essential questions about how people — and the non-native species we've introduced — affect oak savannas, prairies and streams.

2018 60

A Commitment to Nature: Legacy Club Celebrates 20 Years

Conservancy Talk

We were enjoying a hike in the Arizona mountains, soaking up the rugged beauty of Arizona’s Hart Prairie Preserve , when she turned to me and said: “This is why I’m a Legacy Club member. Image: Legacy Club members at Arizona''s Hart Prairie Preserve.

WPAs: America’s Duck Factories

10,000 Birds

The Prairie Pothole Region of the United States—about 100,000 square miles of the northern Great Plains—is characterized by depressions or basins created retreating glaciers. FWS calls WPAs the “Prairie Jewels of the National Wildlife Refuge System.”. Jason A.

How Wildflowers Benefit the Ecosystem

Eco Friendly Daily

The United States has lost 97 per cent of lowland semi-natural grassland alone, to say nothing of other types of grasslands and prairies. The ideal is the well manicured lawn rather than the plant-rich prairie. Environment biodiversity grasslands prairies

A McMansion Builder Tries Zero Energy Building

Green Living Ideas

Like many a true business breakthrough, Prairie Ridge Homes, a new subdivision of net zero energy homes, grew out of disaster. Tags: Green Building/Remodeling building subdivisions greenbuilding Illinois Jim Regan McMansions net zero energy New Lenox Phil Regan Prairie Ridge Homes The traditional builder, Phil Reagan of saw a sharp drop-off in buyers of his traditional McMansion-model subdivisions after the worst recession since the depression.

2010 55

Conserving Bison in Indiana. Yes, Indiana.

Nature Conservancy - Science

Historically, bison roamed the Indiana prairie, although likely in small, residential herds in contrast to the huge, migratory bison of the Great Plains. Since 1996, the Conservancy and partners have been working to restore a significant slice of prairie at Kankakee Sands.

The Death of ‘Green’ and Plan B for Science Communications

Nature Conservancy - Science

If you’re successful within a group blog, the next step is to start your own blog like The Prairie Ecologist by the Conservancy’s Chris Helzer or Corey Bradshaw’s Conservation Bytes — both have vigorous and growing niche audiences.

Where Does Your Wind Energy Come From and Is It Really ‘Green’?

Conservancy Talk

good for a productive wind farm) are often the very same lands that have the best remaining large expanses of prairie habitat. Almost three-quarters of the breeding bird species in the United States rely on the prairies of the Great Plains.