Upland Sandpiper

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It’s hard to believe but the  Upland Sandpiper will begin its journey south less than a month from now. Upland Sandpipers breed in the northern prairies yet spend most of the year (8 months or so) in Central and South America. Standing about a foot tall with that big eye and relatively short bill these birds forage on foot through short grass habitats looking for insects.

“Upland Sandpiper’s association with native prairie is so strong that scientists consider it to be an “indicator species,” along with Sprague’s Pipit and Baird’s Sparrow, that can indicate the quality a habitat. Thus, the absence of these three birds in a patch of prairie would indicate to biologists that there is likely a problem with the habitat.1

We were thrilled to be able to watch this bird foraging for several minutes before they moved into the tall grass a short distance away and disappeared from sight. Now you see them now you don’t.

Reference:
1. All About Birds: Upland Sandpiper.

An unassuming walk

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Just the grass greening up in a landscape filled with sage and juniper. Quiet, perhaps the sounds of Meadowlarks and Sparrows singing, an unassuming landscape in a quiet place.

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Yet upon closer inspection we were provided with quite a treat. Chocolate Lily – Fritillaria atropurpurea were hidden in theses still greening grasses. 

Wake up call

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Looks like somebody got a wake up call and right on time as well. With little holes poking through the still snow covered fields all through the valley the Prairie Dogs are definitely wake up. One big stretch, a quick look around and it time to go on this fine spring morning.