Saturday, June 13, 2009
North Dakota 2009
Driving to the study site provided some great birding opportunities. I have videos of more western species like the American Avocet below. Some other less common eastern species but found regularly and breeding in the mid-west include Black Tern, Ruddy Duck and Redhead. These are species that rely heavily on the prairie slough or prairie pothole community for breeding and migration. This habitat is subject to many pressures, some natural like varying dry and wet seasons, and other due to human disturbances like development for agriculture.
Black Tern feeding
Ruddy Duck male displaying
Red-necked Grebe in Breeding Plumage
I spent 2 days in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota (Wakopa Wildlife Management area), recording Mourning Warblers. I only made 7 good recordings because the birds are not common there. Now it's time for Manitoba and beginning of the playback experiments to determine whether Mourning Warblers can discriminate among the major songs types found on the breeding range.
My field work has been generously supported by a Summer Research Grant from Saint Anselm College.