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Nature Photography, Education and Conservation





Photo of the Day- July 18, 2019


Present and Future!


This baby Killdeer was photographed at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge. 

The young are precocial, starting to walk within the first days of their life. After they hatch, both parents lead them out of the nest, generally to a feeding territory with dense vegetation under which the chicks can hide when a predator is near. The chicks are raised by both parents, likely because of the high failure rate of nests and the need for both parents to be present to successfully raise the young. When the young are below two weeks of age, the attending adult spends little time feeding; foraging time increases as the chicks grow. One parent at a time broods the chicks, and does so frequently until they are two days old. The young are brooded during rain until about 15 days after hatching and during night for about 18 days after hatching.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killdeer

Photo of the Month June 2019



Stay Away from My Babies!


The most special time in my wonderful trip to Yellowstone National Park in the Spring of 2019 was to witness and photograph Sandhill Crane parents and their 2 babies (colts) in the first 4 days of the babies' lives.  On day 4, the last day I was in Yellowstone, an Amercian Bison made the unfortunate decision to approach the babies in a slough.  One of the parents walked right up to the Bison, calling loudly and suddenly flapped open its wings.  The Bison was startled and jumped away.  A 9-pound Sandhill Crane versus as 2000-pound Bison and the Sandhill Crane Mom won!


For more photographs of the encounter- please see Yellowstone page in National Parks or Crane page in Birds

What is New in 2019!


  • 24 photos added to Gallery page
  • Baby Mountain Bluebird photos (7)! (Dakota Region- Mountain Bluebirds)
  • Spring Yellowstone photographs (88) including baby Sandhill Cranes; Bison-Crane confrontation; Badger-Badger fight, Badger hunt, Grizzly Bear nursing; my first Black Bear photos; "Red Dog" Bison
  • Mountain Bluebird photographs (8) added showing Nest Building (Dakota Region- Mountain Bluebirds)
  • Whooping Crane photographs added (8) including take off! (Bird page- Cranes)
  • Sandhill Crane photographs added (35) including Bison versus Crane! (Bird page- Cranes)
  • American Badger photographs added (15)- Yellowstone page under National Parks tab
  • Presentations to 5- 4th grade classes and to 3- 3rd grade classes and to 1- 5th grade class
  • Expanded photos (46)- winter Yellowstone National Park- including a long distance view of a wolf pack attack on elk.
  • New Page - India page (153) added under Asia tab with 153 photographs including 36 mammal photos (Greater one-horned rhinos (5), Tigers (7), Asian Elephants (8), Smooth-coated otters (3)); 4 reptile photos and 113 bird photos.
  • Changes to home page- "Do you know?" "Photo of the Day" "Photo of the Month"
  • Website Visits- January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019- 16,588


What was New in 2018!


  • 28 photos added to Gallery page
  • New page- Mountain Bluebirds in Dakota Region
  • New page- Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge in National Parks and Refuges
  • Expanded photos- Denali National Park
  • Expanded photos and information- Dakota Raptors, Elk and Coyotes in Dakota Region
  • Porcupine photograph selected for Theodore Roosevelt National Park 2019 Calendar 
  • Featured in KXMB "Someone you should know"
  • Presentations to 6- 4th grade classes and 2- 3rd grade classes and one community presentation to children
  • 18,692 website visits- 51 per day


What was New in 2017!

  • Presentations to 4- 4th grade classes and 2- 3rd grade classes and one community presentation to children
  • 14 Photographs entered on Gallery Page
  • 25,559 website visits- 70 visits per day


What was New in 2016!

  • 9,162 website visits- 25 visits per day
  • 7 photographs added to Gallery Page


What was New in 2015!

  • Website established on October 6, 2015
  • 27 Photographs added to Gallery Page
  • 705 website visits- 9 visits per day



Enjoy these Photographs of Birds, Mammals and Landscapes in the Northern Plains and

Our Magnificent World


Do you know?

The Brown Bear Mom is One on the Most Dedicated Mammal Moms and will Nurse Her Cubs for 2 to 3 Years

Shown with One of Her Four Cubs

Photographed in Katmai National Park, Alaska

Conservation Status- Least Concern



Do you know?

 Four Brown Bear Cubs in a Litter is Uncommon

Photographed in Katmai National Park, Alaska

Conservation Status- Least Concern


Do you know?

The Polar Bear is the Largest Bear and Very Threatened by Climate Change

Photograhed near Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada

Conservation Status- Vulnerable


Do you know?

The Giant Panda eats Bamboo- a Plant that Few Other Animals Eat!

For more information- please see Giant Panda page  

Photograhed in Chengdu, China

Conservation Status- Vulnerable



Do you know?

There are more Tigers in Captivity than in the Wild but This is Not One of Them!


This 10-month-old Bengal Tiger was photographed in Bandhavgarh National Park in India in March 2019.  More tiger photographs and information found in India page under Asia section 

Conservation Status- Endangered


Do you know?

There were fewer than 200 Indian Rhinos (also called Greater One-horned Rhinoceros) 100 year ago but now there are more than 3000.


The Government of India and many conservation organizations such as the International Rino Foundation have lead the Rhino recovery.

This Greater One-horned Rhino Mom and her Calf were photographed in Kariranga Nationa Park in India in March 2019

 More Rhino photographs and information found in India page under Asia section 

Conservation Status- Vulnerable



Do you know?


Asian Elephants form Lifelong Friendships and can Live for Decades in the Same Family Group!


One expression of love is for an Asian Elephant to hold another's tail with their trunk as this young elephant is doing to a baby sibling or cousin.

These Asian Elephants siblings or cousins were photographed in Kariranga Nationa Park in India in March 2019

 More Asian Elephant photographs and information found in India page under Asia section 

Conservation Status- Endangered



Do you know?

The Three-toed Sloth is the Slowest Mammal in the World!

They travel 0.003 miles per hour- only 100 feet during the day!!

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth Photographed in Costa Rica

Conservation Status- Least Concern



Do you know?

The Cheetah is the Fastest Land Animal with speed up to 70 mph!

Photographed at White Oak Conservation Center Yulee, Florida

Conservation Status- Vulnerable



Do you know?

Sharp-tailed Grouse will Gather in the Spring at Leks to Dance and Select Mates

Photograhed at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Burleigh County North Dakota

Conservation Status- Least Concern



Do you know?

The Western Meadowlark is the state bird of six states: Montana, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming.

Western Meadowlark and Sharp-tailed Grouse

Photographed at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge North Dakota

Conservation Status- Least Concern



Do you know?

The Solar Eclipse Totality

Was Watched in Person or Electronically by 215 Million People in United States

Corona photographed in Southeast Wyoming

August 21, 2017



Do you know?

 Total solar eclipses are rare events. Although they occur somewhere on Earth every 18 months on average, it is estimated that they recur at any given place only once every 360 to 410 years, on average.

Diamond Ring and Solar Prominence photgraphed in Southeast Wyoming

August 21, 2017



Do you know?

There were only 15 Whooping Cranes Alive in the 1940s!

Photographed in Burleigh County, North Dakota April 19, 2019

Conservation Status- Endangered


Do you know?

The Red-tailed Hawk can be Seen from Alaska to Panama

Photographed in Morton County, North Dakota April 19, 2019

Conservation Status- Least Concerned



Do you know?

Mule Deer Fawns will Stay with Their Mom for One Year

This Mule Deer Mom and Her Two Fawns were photographed in

Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Dakota

Conservation Status- Least Concern



Do you know?

Guanocos have Four Times as Many Red Blood Cells as Humans which Allows Them to Graze at 13,000 feet (4000 meters)!

These Guanocos were photographed before The Three Towers in

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Conservation Status- Least Concern



Do you know?

The King Penguin is the 2nd Largest Penguin (after Emporer Penguins)!

These King Penguins Mom and Baby were photographed at

South Georgia

Conservation Status- Least Concern



Do you know?

The Gentoo Penguin is the Fastest Swimming in Water Penguin and can Reach Speed of 22 mph (386 km/h)

This Gentoo Penguin was photographed at 

Falkland Islands

Conservation Status- Least Concern



Do you know?

Roseate Spoonbills gets Their Pink Color from the Crustaceans that They Eat (containing pigments called carotenoids) 

These Roseate Spoonbills were photographed in 

St. Augustine, Florida

Conservation Status- Least Concern



Do you know?

The Badger can Dig Faster than any Animal in the World!  

This American Badger was photographed in 

Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Dakota

Conservation Status- Least Concern



Do You Know?

Birds can Talk to Their Babies before They are Born!


There is emerging evidence that baby chicks can hear their parents while still in the egg!  Canada Geese are fierce protectors of their nest and babies.  This photograph was taken at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge from my car.  Mom may have been saying "Don't worry babies, I won't let him come close."  I stayed away and used a telephoto lens to capture the conversation.

Conservation Status- Least Concern


https://www.allaboutbirds.org/baby-birds-learn-calls-from-their-mothers-while-still-in-the-egg/




Do You Know?

Female Mountain Bluebirds are the nest builders.  


Males sometimes enact a kind of symbolic nest-building—miming the act of bringing nesting material to the cavity, but actually carrying nothing, or else dropping their burdens en route. The female builds the insulated nest by herself, usually working hardest in the early morning. She entirely fills the cavity floor with coarse, dry grass stems and other vegetation, hollowing out a cup just large enough to allow her to cover her eggs snugly, with a maximum interior diameter of about 2 inches. The cup is usually greater than 2 inches deep, and placed as far as possible from the entrance hole. Cavity size determines the nest’s exact external dimensions. The female lines the cup with finer plant material, such as fine grass stems and narrow strips of soft bark, and also in some cases with wool or feathers. The whole process can take several days to more than a week. Mountain Bluebirds often reuse nest cavities within and between breeding seasons, and accumulating nesting material can pile up to the level of the entrance hole.

Conservation Status- Least Concern


https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mountain_Bluebird/lifehistory


Do You Know?

Dad Mountain Bluebird stand Guard as Mom builds the nest


Athough female Mountain Bluebirds are the nest builders, her mate stands guard and make sure the coast is clear as she flies to the nest.  He often signs to her and calls her to the nest.  Both males and females will fiercely defend the nest.  The female will stay on the eggs for 14 days.  Once born, the babies will stay in the nest for 18-21 days.

Conservation Status- Least Concern


Do You Know?

Sandhill Crane Chicks are Born Ready to Go (Precocial)


The chicks are precocial; they hatch covered in down, with their eyes open, and able to leave the nest within a day. The parents brood the chicks for up to three weeks after hatching, feeding them intensively for the first few weeks, then gradually less frequently until they reach independence at 9 to 10 months old.  The chicks remain with their parents until one to two months before the parents lay the next clutch of eggs the following year, remaining with them 10–12 months. After leaving their parents, the chicks form nomadic flocks with other juveniles and nonbreeders. They remain in these flocks until they form breeding pairs at between two and seven years old.


Note: Although able to walk on the first day, the baby on the right had trouble navigating deep bison mud holes and tripped.


Conservation Status- Least Concern


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandhill_crane

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