A registered chapter of the National Audubon Society  
Prairie Hills Audubon Masthead
Prairie-Hills Chapter of the Audubon Society conducts regular meetings. All Chapter members are encouraged to participate. For more information select the About Us tab above.

This page is in development. It is a list of projects that citizens can particpate in to aid science in better conserving our wildlife resources.

Audubon's Annual Photo Contest Entry Period

January 27, 2021–April 7, 2021 at 12 p.m. (noon) Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
https://www.audubon.org/photoawards-entry
Cash prizes up to $5,000
The rules:
https://www.audubon.org/get-outside/audubon-photography-awards-official-rules
2020 winners
https://www.audubon.org/magazine/summer-2020/the-2020-audubon-photography-awards-winners

Previous Years winners

https://www.audubon.org/magazine/summer-2019/the-2019-audubon-photography-awards-top-100

https://www.audubon.org/magazine/summer-2018/the-2018-audubon-photography-awards-top-100

https://www.audubon.org/news/the-2017-audubon-photography-awards-top-100

https://www.audubon.org/section/audubon-photography-awards

=========

2021 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest
The Endangered Species Coalition (ESC) is pleased to announce their 2021 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, which is open to K-12 grade students—residing in the U.S.–including those who are homeschooled or belong to a youth/art program. The contest is an integral part of the 16th annual Endangered Species Day, Friday May 21st, 2021.

https://www.endangered.org/campaigns/endangered-species-day/saving-endangered-species-youth-art-contest/?link_id=2&can_id=39b3e4dcdcf683b4ca6f487638a139aa&source=email-create-art-with-your-students-for-endangered-species-conservation&email_referrer=email_1039045&email_subject=now-open-saving-endangered-species-youth-art-contest

===========================================

February 12-15th
Great Backyard Bird Count

Join us, February 12–15, 2021, when the world comes together for the love of birds. Repeats annually

https://www.audubon.org/conservation/about-great-backyard-bird-count
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world

=================================================
The Breeding Bird Survey is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service to monitor the status and trends of North American bird populations. Following a rigorous protocol, BBS data are collected by thousands of dedicated participants along thousands of randomly established roadside routes throughout the continent. For more information visit: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/ To find routes needing volunteers in SD visit: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/results/routemaps/south_dakota.cfm?CountryNum=840&StateNumber=81 For more info, contact Laura Hubers, SD Coordinator: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/contactus/USContacts.cfm#SD

 

=================================================

Climate Watch
May 15th-June 15th, 2021

Climate Watch is sponsored by the National Audubon Society (NAS) & takes place during two distinct seasons—winter (January 15-February 15) and summer (May 15-June 15). Like the Christmas bird count this is a chance to help create “citizen science” for birds
In 2020 there will be Covid19 guidelines that are found here.
Climate Watch focuses on these target species: Eastern Bluebird, Mountain Bluebird, Western Bluebird, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Pygmy Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, Lesser Goldfinch, Painted Bunting, Eastern Towhee, and Spotted Towhee. These birds are easy to identify, have an enthusiastic constituency, and Audubon’s climate models for these species offer strong predictions for range shifts for us to test. In future years, Climate Watch may include additional target species threatened by climate change.

We believe that western bluebird and painted bunting are not normally in SD. All the other birds occur in all or parts of SD.
Visit this page to see where these birds are in SD, and which are near you:
https://www.sdakotabirds.com/species_main.htm

Location
Climate Watch focuses on areas of predicted change for these 12 species at each location across the continent. Audubon provides volunteers with online mapping tools with a grid of 10 km x 10 km squares showing species-specific predictions for each square based on the climate models. A Climate Watch Coordinator can help select your location and survey square. If you are participating on your own, use the online maps to decide in which square to do your surveys. You will be able to see which squares are already "claimed".How to count

Volunteers should first make sure to read through all of the materials including the full protocol manual. The Climate Watch protocol is different than any other birding program. Then using the planning done with the online maps, volunteers survey appropriate habitat for the target species within a square and conduct 12 point counts of five minutes each within one morning, then record the number and species of all birds seen or heard within 100 meters. Participants send the data to the National Audubon Society.

How data will be used

Audubon’s 2019 climate change report, ‘Survival By Degrees,’ reveals that up to two-thirds of North American birds are vulnerable to extinction due to climate change. For example, the beautiful Mountain Bluebird is vulnerable because in the vast majority of its summer range, the climate conditions that this bird needs—temperature, amount of rainfall, and other environmental factors—will shift northward and eastward. This bird may be able to move into new areas over time, or it may struggle to adapt. To test the report’s predictions, Audubon has developed Climate Watch, which aims to document species’ responses to climate change and test Audubon’s climate models by having volunteers in the field look for birds where Audubon’s climate models predict they will be in the 2020s. This information helps Audubon target our conservation work to protect birds. See the Climate Watch results page here to see our early reports and results from the data received by Climate Watch volunteers so far!

Link to the Climate-watch program on the National Audubon Society web page

https://www.audubon.org/conservation/climate-watch

Climate watch instructions for participants
https://www.audubon.org/news/participant-resources-climate-watch

Climate watch for beginners webinar, - this has much of the same info as our November meeting,
https://audubon.zoom.us/rec/share/xe9NAZTe6WVOf7fz2kbRAYAQMI66eaa8hCFL_fNZn0k3a8uNjHkvp4-EZzq7vlq_?startTime=1588186808000

Our November meeting was on this topic (posted to the Zoom Cloud)

November PHAS meeting recording
Topic: Title: Climate Watch: Monitoring Birds in a
Changing Climate
Speakers: Kathy Dale, National Audubon Society’s
Director of Science Technology

Share recording with viewers:
https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/TB51fixJwbJpZX1yWxCAJ78u1HHYO_IMDEgcWDUVcmfEqPPbJJ-Y3IQc1FG-aT-T.G3-lHAH0ATAgPIaw

Passcode: f^%.Pi.4

==================================

NAS web page on SD Birding:
https://www.audubon.org/news/birding-south-dakota

====

Below are links...has birding information created by SD Game, Fish and Parks (SD GFP) (a state agency).

SD GFP on birding in SD
https://gfp.sd.gov/birdwatching/

SD Birding trails (SD GFP)
https://sdgfp.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=dba213d2f0f14c8f9c79ec8ccede92d9

Black Hills/Badlands birding Trails (SD GFP) (see above link, subset of above relative to our chapter's area of SD)
https://gfp.sd.gov/userdocs/BHBadlands-birding-trail.pdf

Birders Guide Mickelson Trail (SD GFP)
https://sdou.org/Places/Documents/mickelson-trail-birding.pdf

====================
By Ornithological Society
SD OU birding hotspots
https://sdou.org/Places/Places.aspx?id=bh

===================---

MAPS WITH LAND OWNERSHIP
- by SD GFP
Why do you care? Lots of public land in SD...find out where you can wander without worry about trespass.
Save money buying maps from each federal agency's office as you go through town.
GFP revises a map each year of land ownership in SD - State of SD creates the Hunter Atlas and hands out free versions at SDGFP offices, but you can get various versions on-line

All three versions below

https://gfp.sd.gov/offline-atlas/

https://sdgfp.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=946eccdaadf84df6aa2bcf08e9fb1aaf

https://sdgfp.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Minimalist/index.html?appid=a65546ac2a434769ade38ac918a2c13f

==================================================

Various bird check list in SD & western SD, I am sure there are more

SD Check list over 430 birds
https://www.sdakotabirds.com/checklist/South_Dakota_Bird_Checklist.pdf

SD Breeding bird Atlas ..also posted by SD Game, Fish and Parks (a state agency). The second South Dakota Breeding Bird Atlas, started in 2008, was a statewide survey to determine the current distribution and status of every bird species breeding in the state of South Dakota. These resultswere compared to bird distributions during the first SDBBA (1988-1992) to see what changes have occurred. The atlas was conducted by volunteers . Atlasing was a great opportunity to contribute to the knowledge of South Dakota birds while having fun and learning about your local birds and their habitats. For more information go to:
https://gfp.sd.gov/breeding-bird-atlas/

Badlands has 238 birds (I counted by hand so # might be off)
https://www.nps.gov/badl/learn/nature/bird-list.htm

Black Hills National Forest bird list, did not count
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5114262.pdf

La creek NWR list has 281 birds,
https://www.fws.gov/refuge/lacreek/wildlife_and_habitat/bird_list.html

Waubay NWR
https://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Kern Complex Birdlist-b.pdf

Lake Andes NWR
https://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/birdlist_Oct2012.pdf


Avi Base list for SD

https://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/checklist.jsp?region=ussd

=================================================
December 14th-January 5th,
Christmas Bird Counts
https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count

December 14th 2020- January 5th 2021
Audubon's 121th Christmas Bird Count (CBC)

All official counts will be held between the dates of Saturday, December 14th, 2020
through Sunday, January 5th, 2021.

This year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count will mobilize nearly 80,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,600 locations across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count utilizes the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone.

The censuses provide valuable data about the number of bird species and numbers of each species occurring within set geographic areas on an early winter day. The results are compiled into the longest running database in ornithology, representing 121 years of unbroken data on trends of early-winter bird populations across the Americas.

When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years. The long-term perspective is vital for conservationists. It informs strategies to protect birds and their habitat, and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well. For example, earlier this year, Science published a study using decades of Audubon Christmas Bird Count data to describe a grim picture: a steady decline of nearly three billion North American birds since 1970, primarily as a result of human activities. Christmas Bird Count data have been used in more than 300 peer-reviewed articles.

Birders of all ages are welcome to contribute to this fun, nationwide community science project, which provides ornithologists with a crucial snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months. Each individual count is performed in a count circle with a diameter of 15 miles. The volunteers break up into small parties and follow assigned routes, which change little from year to year and they count every bird they see. In most count circles, some people also watch feeders instead of following routes.

What to bring?
Participants should bring lunch, drinking water, warm clothing and footwear. Binoculars, field guides and spotting scopes are suggested, for those who have them. The five-dollar fee has been dropped to encourage more participation and the annual published report, (American Birds) previously available in paper has been made digital.
https://www.audubon.org/content/american-birds-annual-summary-christmas-bird-count

Links to CBC web pages:
https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count

To find a count near you on an interactive map:
https://audubon.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=ac275eeb01434cedb1c5dcd0fd3fc7b4

Other links:

SOUTH DAKOTA
http://www.phas-wsd.org
http://sdoubirds.org/SDOU/Calendar.aspx

NEBRASKA:
http://www.noubirds.org/Activities/CBC.aspx

NORTH DAKOTA (last years 2019 list:)
http://www.ndbirdingsociety.com/customContent.php?seq=28&title=North Dakota Christmas Bird Counts

MINNESOTA:
http://moumn.org/CBC/cal/calendar.php

IOWA
https://iowabirds.org/Connections/CBC.aspx

Because of Covid19, the National Audubon Society asks compilers to cancel all in-person compilation gatherings. Social distancing and/or masking will be required at all times in the field. Carpooling may only occur within existing familiar or social “pod” groups. Activities must comply with all current state and municipal COVID-19 guidelines. Contact each compiler for details on their count - traditional gathers/meetings may not be planned.

WESTERN SOUTH DAKOTA's CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT,
12/13/20,
Staff will distribute hiking and driving routes and datasheet packets at the front doors of the Visitor Center at 7:30 am
. Contact: Angela Jarding, (745-1157, angela_jarding@nps.gov)

SHADEHILL, SD, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT,
12/14/2020,
bad weather alternate 12/18/2020
Contact: Meghan Dinkins, meghandinkins@hotmail.com, Meghan.f.dinkins@usda.gov
Meghan's cell: 760-505-1971, Forest Service 605-374-3592

PIERRE/FT. PIERRE, SD, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT,
12/19/2020, bad weather alternate 12/26/2020
(605) 224-5517, rmares@fs.fed.us

STURGIS, SD, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT,
12/19/2020
. Contact: Vic Fondy - (605) 269-2553, rotciv31@gmail.com

RAPID CITY, SD, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT,
12/20/2020
Contact: Michael Melius, mmmelius@hotmail.com, 605-255-4766

HOT SPRINGS, SD, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT,
12/20/2020
Contact: Duane or Marie Weber - (605) 673-2032, mmcurtin@gwtc.net

PINE RIDGE RESERVATION, SD, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT,
12/23/2020
Contact: petermhill@yahoo.com, 605-441-9346.

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, SD, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT,
12/29/20
Please contact Nancy in advance. Contact: Nancy Drilling, dril0008@gmail.com, drillingn@yahoo.com,
605-791-0459.

HARDING COUNTY, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
1/2/2021
Jessica Howell, 605-375-3218, jhowell@abcbirds.org

SPEARFISH, SD, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT,
1/3/2021,
Meet at McDonalds at 7:30 a.m. MT
Contact: Daniel Bjerke, 605-381-0493, dlbjerke@midco.net

BISON, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
not happening this year
Meghan Dinkins, meghandinkins@hotmail.com, Meghan.f.dinkins@usda.gov

PIEDMONT, SD, CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT,
not happening this year
Contact: Gene Hess: gene@neopaleo.net,

===========
EASTERN SOUTH DAKOTA's CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS

Waubay N.W.R. Christmas Bird Count,
12/15/2020
Contact: Laura Hubers, Laura_Hubers@fws.gov, (605) 947-4521 Ext. 116,

Madison Christmas Bird Count, ,
12/16/2020
Contact: Jeffrey S. Palmer, jeff.palmer@dsu.edu, (605) 256-5190

Aberdeen Christmas Bird Count,
12/19/2020
Contact: Gary T Olson - olsonfam@nvc.net, 605-885-6284

Brookings Christmas Bird Count,
12/19/2020
Contact: Mary Pearson, margypearson1@gmail.com, (605-651-1652)

Sioux Falls Christmas Bird Count,
12/19/2020
Contact: Chris Anderson, canderson1@sio.midco.net, 605-254-2550

Yankton Christmas Bird Count,
12/20/2020
Contact: Roger Dietrich - rogerd@iw.net, 1947rogerd@gmail.com, (605) 660-6247,

Mitchell Christmas Bird Count, -
12/26/2020
Contact: Jeff Hansen, jeff.hansen.sd@gmail.com, 785-806-6917

Sand Lake N.W.R. Christmas Bird Count,
12/29/2020
Contact: Allen Olson, allen_olson@fws.gov SLNWR - 605-885-6284,

Canton Christmas Bird Count,,
1/2/2021
Contact: Chris Anderson, canderson1@sio.midco.net, 605-254-2550

Huron Christmas Bird Count,
Date to be decided
Ryan Thompson, ryemel4@santel.net

**Lake Andes Christmas Bird Count,
not happening this year
Contact: Mick Hanan, mick_hanan@fws.gov, (605) 487-7603 Ext. 107,

SOME OTHER CBC DATES, NEAR SD BUT IN NEARBY STATES:

Christmas bird counts in other states, that are near enough, that SD folks may be interested in them -
especially those CBCs close to us in western SD:

SOME OF NEBRASKA CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS

Scottsbluff, NE, Christmas Bird Count,
12/14/2020
Kathy DeLara, renosmom@charter.net,

Ponca State Park, NE, Christmas Bird Count,
12/18/2020
Bill Huser, BillFHuser@gmail.com or 712-574-3107

North Platte, NE, Christmas Bird Count,
Tentatively planned for 12/19/2020, but please verify with
Thomas Walker, thomas.walker@nebraska.gov

Norfolk, NE, Christmas Bird Count,
12/19/20
Duane Wolff , duane.wolff@audubonmember.org, (402)-841-0130

Lake McConaughy, NE, Christmas Bird Count, ,
1/2/2021
Stephen Dinsmore, cootjr@iastate.edu, 515-294-1348,

Crawford NE, Christmas Bird Count,
No Count in 2020
Bruce Walgren, piranga@bresnan.net, 307-234-7455,

Harrison NE, Christmas Bird Count,
No Count in 2020
Bruce Walgren, piranga@bresnan.net, 307-234-7455

SOME OF NORTH DAKOTA CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS

Long Lake N.W.R. ND, Christmas Bird Count,,
12/14/20
Mike Rabenberg, mjldrab@gmail.com

Medora, ND, Theodore Roosevelt N.P. South Unit, Christmas Bird Count,
12/19/2020
(701) 623-4730, ext. 1417, katherine_sedlacek@nps.gov, Kevin Melzo, kevin_melzo@nps.gov,

Bismarck-Mandan, ND, Christmas Bird Count,
12/20/2020
Corey Ellingson, crackerjackbirder@bis.midco, 701-400-5891

Theodore Roosevelt N.P. North Unit Christmas Bird Count
12/20/2020
Kevin Melzo, kevin_melzo@nps.gov, 701-623-4730 ext 1403

Tewaukon N.W.R., ND, Christmas Bird Count,
12/21/2020 - This year only staff will bird, not open to public
,Kristine Askerooth, kristine_askerooth@fws.gov, 701-724-3598 X 118

SOME OF WYOMING CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS

Kane, WY, Christmas Bird Count,,
12/14/2020
Contact: Christy Fleming: christy_fleming@nps.gov, 307-548-5406

Sheridan, WY, Christmas Bird Count,
12/19/2020
Contact: Annie Dunn, anniegitterdunn@gmail.com, (253) 307-9082.

Casper, WY, Christmas Bird Count,
12/19/2020
Contact: Bruce Walgren, piranga@bresnan.net,
307-234-7455, Stacey Scott at hustace@gmail.com or (307) 262-0055

Buffalo, WY, Christmas Bird Count,
12/20/2020
Contact: Deane Bjerke, bjerkedp@gmail.com,

Guernsey/Ft. Laramie, WY, Christmas Bird Count,
12/27/2020
Jane Dorn, 307-640-4002, linglebird@yahoo.com,

Sundance, WY, Christmas Bird Count,
After Christmas -perhaps 12/27/2020, but please verify
Contact: Jen at 307-283-2467, ravenssong18@gmail.com,

Bates Hole,WY, Christmas Bird Count,
1/1/2021
Contact: Hustace "Stacey" Scott, hustace@gmail.com, call Stacey at 307-262-0055
or Charlie at 307-473-2512

Story-Bighorn, WY, Christmas Bird Count,
1/2/2021
Contact: Ariel Downing: at 307-751- 2303, bandgeek832@gmail.com, Christy_Fleming@nps.gov

Gillette, WY, Christmas Bird Count,
Date to be determined
Contact: Dustin Downey, 307.756.3941, 504.453.4139, ddowney@audubon.org,

SOME OF IOWA CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS

Westfield, IA, Christmas Bird Count,
12/16/2020
doczales44@hotmail.com

Sioux City, IA, Christmas Bird Count,
12/19/2020
Contact: Jerry Probst, probstsuebee@aol.com, 712-490-8256,

SOME OF MINNESOTA CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS

Hendricks, MN, Christmas Bird Count,
12/14/2020
Contact: William A. Schultze, bcbrats@itctel.com, 605-479-3015

Pipestone N.M., MN, , Christmas Bird Count,
12/15/2020
Garrett Wee, garrettwee@hotmail.com, (507) 829-8187

SOME OF MONTANA CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS

Miles City, MT, Christmas Bird Count,
Tentatively 12/21/2020 but please verify
contact Jennifer Muscha, jenmuscha@midrivers.com
=================================

Wildlife watching exceeds
hunting/fishing for participants

2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation: National Overview
https://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/subpages/nationalsurvey/national_survey.htm


Download the USFWS survey on wildlife related recreation 2016.
Wildlife watching - page 7, fishing- page 5, hunting -page 6
Nationwide:
Total wildlife watching expenditures: $75.9 billion, Total fishing expenditures: $ 46.1 billion, Total hunting expenditures: $ 25.6 billion,
Total wildlife watching participants: 86.million, Total Anglers 35.8 million, Total hunters: 11.5 million
Of this Wildlife Watching subset
Wildlife watching away from home: 23.7 million participants or at watching home: 81.1 million;
---
Observe Wildlife away from home:19.6 million, at home 43.8 million,
Photograph Wildlife away from home:13.7 million, at home 30.5 million
Feed wildlife away from home: 4.9 million, at home 59.1 million,
Visit public parks or areas 11.4 million; Maintain plantings or natural areas 11.0 million
Bird Observers: 2016
Away-from-Home Observers : 16.3 million
Around-the-Home Observers: 38.7 million

Total Bird Observers: 45.1 million
==================================

=========================
We include link to another report, done just for SD by SD Game, Fish and Parks
"Economic Impact of Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, Boating, and Wildlife Viewing in South Dakota"
=====
https://gfp.sd.gov/userdocs/docs/FishWildlifeBoatingEconomics.pdf

"South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks commissioned this study to estimate the regional and statewide economic activity generated by the State’s fish, wildlife and boating-related resources. Drawing from license sales records and survey-based data sources, this report presents economic contributions based on retail spending in South Dakota attributable to recreational fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, boating and trapping. "
---
Please note the report does not include income from "at home wildlife watching" - which is very significant in the federal study..