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grassland

Short-eared Owl

Flapping with deep, slow wing-motion, a Short-eared Owl appears almost to float above the ground. This owl has an extensive world range, including North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Still, it's declining, due to development, agriculture, and overgrazing. American Bird Conservancy and... read more »

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Southbound Swainson's Hawks

At 9,000 feet in the Manzano Range in New Mexico, HawkWatch International counts and bands raptors making their way south along the Rocky Mountain front. Some, like this Swainson's Hawk, fly all the way to the pampas of Argentina. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Cranes Bring Economic Benefit to the Platte

Every March, Sandhill Cranes return to the Platte River in Nebraska, on their way to nesting grounds in coastal Alaska, northern Canada, and Siberia. Birdwatchers come from all over and contribute mightily to the state's economy - as much as $30 million per year. In addition to being of intrinsic... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival

Restoring Native Prairie

Across the country, native prairie occupies only small fragments of its former range. On Washington's Whidbey Island, the Whidbey Camano Land Trust is restoring a remnant prairie. Land Steward Cheryl Lowe explains: "We're planting 23 different species of native prairie plants." As the prairie... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Ecosystem Engineers on America's Serengeti

Some birds require habitats created by other animals. Two such landscape shapers were the American bison and the prairie dog. With the extermination of millions of bison and prairie dogs, species such as this Mountain Plover and the Burrowing Owl, which require barren ground, greatly declined.... read more »

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Meadowlarks and Grasslands

The clear, whistled music of the Eastern Meadowlark (seen here) is the unmistakable anthem of eastern North America's farmlands and open country. The Western Meadowlark and its sweet, liquid notes epitomize the natural expanses of the American West. Sadly, birds of such grassy habitats are among... read more »

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Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrikes are found across much of the United States in open country, like pasture and sagebrush. Male shrikes are well known for impaling their prey on thorns, creating a larder that may help impress potential mates. But pesticides and the loss of habitat to residential and commercial... read more »

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Hovering with Horned Larks

Horned Larks rival meadowlarks as the most colorful birds of North American grasslands. They live in prairies, fields, and tundra, but agriculture and development now intrude on many of the Horned Lark's traditional nesting areas. The farmland Conservation Reserve Program encourages agricultural... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Long-billed Curlew - Singing over the Grassland

The Long-billed Curlew is North America's largest shorebird, seen here in its breeding habitat, a western grassland. They may be the largest, but they're also among the rarest. Their numbers are declining as arid grasslands disappear. Because curlews depend on very different environments for... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, migration

Landowners Help Endangered Sage-Grouse

When it comes to saving endangered species, habitat is nearly always critical. For this Greater Sage-Grouse, a bird now endangered in parts of its range, it comes down to preserving stands of healthy sagebrush. And essential to saving sage habitat is the cooperation of landowners. Recently, Rob... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

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