25 May 2010

Scenes from Sioux Falls I: birds

Shorebirds, Sioux Falls area

We spent last weekend driving to Sioux Falls and back, a distance of 350 miles if you stay on the interstate, which we did not. Because we were going to the spring meeting of the South Dakota Ornithological Union, we (predictably) stayed on the blue highways as much as possible. The weather was wildly unsettled--there were tornadoes in other parts of the state, more of a rarity here than in West Texas--and there was at least as much good birding on the drive as there was at the meeting.

There is, as you will see, a great deal of nesting activity going on, in spite of the fierce high winds and cold rain over much of the weekend.

Golden eagle on nest. We did not want to get any closer. There were two downy white eaglets under her--we could see their heads, and one of them stretched its wings while we were watching.

Lone grebe at roadside pond.

Terns in flight

American robin on nest

Yellow-headed blackbirds in reeds

Hudsonian godwit

Hudsonian godwit

Ruby-throated hummingbird in silhouette

Tree swallow on nest box, not going anywhere until the weather improves


Green heron, refusing to be a yellow-crowned night heron

White pelicans on Misouri River

Rose-breasted grosbeak

Marsh scene: yellow-headed blackbird, Canada goose on muskrat hut

Yellow-throated vireo on nest

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