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Theodore Roosevelt National Park - South Unit, Midwest United States (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Theodore Roosevelt National Park - South Unit, Midwest United States

Map of Theodore Roosevelt National Park - South Unit, Midwest United States

Bones on the Prairie After the rain
Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Horse (Equus caballus) Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

National park in Southwestern North Dakota


Moving the Car

7/11/2012: I arrived in the park early in the afternoon. After securing a campsite, I had planned on walking up to the "Big Plateau" area, but it was much too hot to try that hike until later in the day.

Finally, I got around to starting the hike. Nothing was too exciting in the lower elevations, but one I arrived on the top, I found myself in a prairie dog town the size of a small city. Prairie dogs were barking away in every direction. I looked around for a couple of hours for any predators, but they were not hanging around during the day time.

I was pretty tired and hot, and I had already drunk nearly a gallon of water, but I decided to keep pushing up toward the high point in the area. I am glad that I did. Above the prairie dogs was a prairie with longer grass in which I found a few grouse. I saw a bird off in the distance hovering, and upon a closer look, I actually found three Upland Sandpipers that were repeatedly doing a crazy flight display.

I stayed above with the Upland Sandpipers almost until night time at which point a lightning storm passed through. I was most definitely the likely lightning rod in this treeless area, so I high-tailed it back into the valley. Just before I reached the car, a juvenile Great-horned Owl was screeching about on a bluff. Its calls were answered by some "whooping" calls below. The owl led me toward the parking area, flying in front of me as I walked toward the car.

Back at the campsite, I had several bed-time cocktails in preparation for a long drive the next morning.

Birds 12, Scott 5

Previous Visit (McKenzie Slough: 7/11/2012)
Next Visit (Yellowstone National Park: 7/12/2012)

Species Recorded (28)

Birds ( 24 )

New World Vultures ( Cathartidae )
Turkey Vulture - Cathartes aura

Falcons and Allies ( Falconidae )
American Kestrel - Falco sparverius

Grouse, Turkeys, and Allies ( Phasianidae )
Wild Turkey - Meleagris gallopavo
Sharp-tailed Grouse - Tympanuchus phasianellus

Sandpipers and Allies ( Scolopacidae )
Upland Sandpiper - Bartramia longicauda

Pigeons and Doves ( Columbidae )
Mourning Dove - Zenaida macroura

Typical Owls ( Strigidae )
Great Horned Owl - Bubo virginianus
Eastern Screech-Owl - Megascops asio

Nighthawks and Nightjars ( Caprimulgidae )
Common Nighthawk - Chordeiles minor

Piculets and Woodpeckers ( Picidae )
Hairy Woodpecker - Dryobates villosus

Tyrant Flycatchers ( Tyrannidae )
Say's Phoebe - Sayornis saya

Larks ( Alaudidae )
Horned Lark - Eremophila alpestris

Swallows ( Hirundinidae )
Cliff Swallow - Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

Jays and Crows ( Corvidae )
American Crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos

Wrens ( Troglodytidae )
House Wren - Troglodytes aedon

Vireos ( Vireonidae )
Red-eyed Vireo - Vireo olivaceus

Wood-warblers ( Parulidae )
Yellow Warbler - Setophaga petechia

Grosbeaks and Buntings ( Cardinalidae )
Lazuli Bunting - Passerina amoena

Brushfinches, Seedeaters, Sparrows, and Allies ( Emberizinae )
Lark Sparrow - Chondestes grammacus
Spotted Towhee - Pipilo maculatus
Clay-colored Sparrow - Spizella pallida
Chipping Sparrow - Spizella passerina

American Blackbirds and Orioles ( Icteridae )
Western Meadowlark - Sturnella neglecta

Cardueline Finches and Allies ( Fringillidae )
American Goldfinch - Spinus tristis


North America
United States


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