Saturday, January 12, 2013

Prairie Dog Town in January

A Prairie Dog town in a vast grassland in north Brewster County in the month of January equals:

Hundreds upon multiple hundreds of Chestnut-collared (Calcarius ornatus) and McCown's Longspurs (Rhynchophanes mccownii)

Above are just a few of the hundreds of Chestnut-collared Longspurs this morning.

Also, in the winter above this grassland resides the largest species of North American hawk..

 Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)

One was soaring above Prairie Dog town this morning.  This hawk often perches directly on the ground.  However during my observation today, it only soared.  I imaging it feeds well, winter after winter.

The wind really began to kick up and I was just about to return to my truck and head back to town when a pleasant acquaintance flew across the road.

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)

Burrowing Owls are fond, among other places, of inhabiting old and vacant Prairie Dog burrows.  We don't always see Burrowing Owls at this location, oddly enough.  However we are often asked about them and this location.

Nice to see one.  Nice to see one in January.  Hopefully it will find, or has already found, an adequate domicile.  They are great birds.

1 comment:

  1. Look at all then prairie dogs!
    Oh wait...well this stuff is all much more awesome, and thank heavens for prairie dog infrastructure to support it all.

    Ferruginous is one of the coolest words in bird lingo circulation.