Intrepid anglers are out enjoying some late season ice fishing before spring melts lake ice. The transition from frozen to open water is often a good time for ice fishing, but it's also a time for extra caution to make sure the ice is safe.
Animals are working hard for the last of the winter’s food.
Winter residents are beginning to move out. Snowy owls, which spend the winter hunting in our prairies, will be headed toward their breeding grounds in the arctic tundra.
American tree sparrows head to northern Canada and Alaska to breed. Contrary to their name, these little birds are ground nesters.
Rusty blackbirds, which sometimes winter in in North Dakota, also move north throughout Canada and Alaska to breed. The population of these little birds has declined an estimated 85-99 percent in the last 40 years. Scientists have been unable to determine the cause for this decline (
In addition to our resident Canada geese, tens of thousands of geese move into and through North Dakota during this time period.
Massive flocks of light geese (snow, blue and Ross's geese) can be seen feeding in fields or resting on ice sheets.
Many raptors like this rough-legged hawk are moving through and into the state…
…much to the dismay of some of our smaller residents (juvenile bald eagle on left, unhappy blackbirds on right).
As North Dakota's valuable small wetlands start opening up, ducks like this male blue-winged teal begin moving into and through the state. Blue-winged teal are typically the most numerous breeding duck in North Dakota.
Grassland nesting birds like the meadowlark will begin coming back later this spring. Meadowlarks were added to North Dakota's Species of Conservation Priority list in 2014 because of population declines and range contraction in the state.
Food sources for animals like this white-tailed deer become more plentiful as the spring progresses.
Prairie crocus are one of the first flower species to begin blooming on the prairie.
Sharp-tailed grouse males gather on leks to dance and attract mates.
Soon birds will be hunting down food for their chicks.
And just a reminder, for all that spring is a beautiful season, it is also the prime season for ticks. So watch out for these little critters hanging off brush and tall grasses, waiting for a meal to walk by.
Happy spring! (great horned owl)