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Prairie Ramble

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Locoweed. 

Sometimes you have to get down on your knees to really appreciate the prairie, see it from a bug's eye view.

Up in the rare air where our heads are, you miss things.


Like chestnut-collared longspur nests


with long-haired pink babes.


Or prairie smoke in bud


and bursting into fumes of flower.


So you walk, looking down


or better yet, sit


but you must look up frequently, like a duck does


so as not to miss the resplendent prairie eagle they call the Ferruginous Hawk


as it wheels overhead, looking down at you


sometimes giving you a glimpse of its ferruginousness (that would be the iron-rust red on its shoulders)


and its see-through tail


and if you are lucky you may see a dark-phase one


so be sure to look up.


It was here, in North Dakota, that Bill wrote his song, "Is Anybody Out There." Listen to it, as The Rain Crows performed it at the Midwest Birding Symposium,  here.

And think about joining us at the 10th Annual Potholes and Prairies Birding Festival June 15-18, 2012.



2 comments:

I love looking a wildflowers. Do you think we will get to see Lady's slippers? I've always wanted to see Lady's Slippers. I found pictures of some here,
http://ecologyofappalachia.blogspot.com/2011/06/north-dakota-ladys-slippers.html
I will have to look in Minnesota too.
So much to plan. So many possibilities...
Kathy in Delray Beach

Posted by Anonymous March 13, 2012 at 5:15 AM

Thanks for that wonderful study of the ferruginous hawk. It's one of my target birds to find while I'm out west. They are supposed to be around but all the raptors I've seen in my first two weeks at Malheur NWR are redtails, harriers, and a kestral.

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