|Julie Zickefoose Photo|
|Rick Bohn Photo|
You'll be birding from the prairies to the Missouri Coteau, surveying roadside sloughs and big lakes, observing ducks trailed by ducklings in the pothole ponds, and learning to ID hawks and waterbirds. Participate in the Big Day or take a guided bus tour through Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge, which hosts the largest population of white pelicans in North America. There are so many wonderful choices! Check the 2014 Festival Events here.
|LeConte's Sparrow photo by Mike McDowell|
What makes North Dakota so unique, is in summer you'll be seeing birds you'd be hard-pressed to find in one place anywhere else. During the 2013 festival, 148 species were spotted. See the checklist here. Perhaps you're hoping to catch glimpses of the rare Big Five, listed below? I'd say there's a pretty darned good chance!
- Baird's sparrow
- LeConte's sparrow
- Nelson's Sharp-tailed sparrow
- Sprague's pipit
- Chestnut-collared Longspur
Incidentally, this festival doesn't stop when the sun starts to set. Informative evening seminars, dinner and garden birding at Pipestem Creek Lodge (followed by an an after-dinner jam session--so bring your instruments), and a special appearance by the funniest man in birding, Al Batt are all in the offing. There will be vendors on site too--including our very own Adrian Lesak, to assist you with an upgrade on your binocular, scope or tripod. Here's the link to register for the 2014 Prairies and Potholes Festival.
Need any more convincing, dear reader? Then, as Julie Zickefoose, who so dearly loves this festival, reminds us: "Look at your life list. See if there are some holes that need plugging. Think about the blooming prairie in June, the burbling songs of Western Meadowlarks and Bobolinks, the click and hiss of rare sparrows in thick grasses, and make the (12th) annual Potholes and Prairies Birding Festival an unusual--and unusually satisfying--destination."
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.