Sandhills Wildlife

There are a lot of cattle in the Sandhills. Since the land is not suitable for raising crops, cattle are everywhere. So are cowboys, pickup trucks, stock trailers, horses and manure.

But there are also the natives. Driving around Sunday afternoon, we saw:

a pair of Canada Geese and their young family. Did you know that during the breeding season, the adults lose their flight feathers and are unable to fly? They can fly again about the same time their young learn to fly-

a Long Billed Curlew, our largest North American shorebird-

a herd of Pronghorn Antelope-

a Black Crowned Night Heron hunting for supper in a marsh. Check out the spooky red eye-

a female Red Winged Blackbird looking for a place to nest in the cattails-

American White Pelicans resting on a muskrat’s home. They had stoppedĀ  on a pond up the road from us on their migration northward just a few weeks ago.

a White Tailed Deer running with his tail held high to warn others of our presence-

and an Upland Sandpiper with large dark eyes.

And we saw all this in just a few hours driving around the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding areas.


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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12 Responses

  1. Elaine Snively says:

    When my sister and I drove through Valentine NWR, we also saw Burrowing Owls standing next to the Prairie Dog burrows. Reminded me of the great old book The Owl and the Prairie Dog, unfortunately,
    no longer in print.

  2. Tina says:

    Wow! I had no idea all that was even there. It is so nice to travel in the USA and catch our sights. There are so many animals and birds and great pics Suzanne and Harland. Thanks for letting me travel with you!

  3. Wow, I’m jealous!!! Just goes to show what is really out there if we slow down and “see” rather than just look at the landscape!!!

  4. Glenda says:

    I never remember seeing a female red winged blackbird!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Glenda,
      They are pretty bland, but their job is to be camouflaged, not like their showy mates.

  5. Chester's Mom says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. Your wildlife pics give me a real lift!

  6. Tracey M says:

    I love all the photos you’ve shared from your trip (the rainbow on the other post is one of my favorites). The wildlife pictures are just beautiful.

  7. CreationsbyDina says:

    My son loves looking at all the pics on your blog. He loves wildlife and finds your pictures amazing. It is neat to see the different wildlife from other states. By the way my 10 year old wilflife expert wanted me to let you know that the pronghorn antelope are not antelope. That in fact they have no relation to deer or antelope. He said they have no relatives in existance today. Just in case you ever wanted to know!!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Creations,
      Your son is too smart! I had heard they weren’t actually an antelope, but didn’t realize they had no relatives. I wonder what other members of the genus looked like.

  8. Doe of Mi. says:

    Wonderful to see the wild life. I’m a bird lover and have never some of those. Thanks.

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