For humans, sleeping involves closing their eyes and drifting away into a state of rest for the mind and body. In the safety and warmth of their home, this is typically accomplished in about eight hours. For teenagers, sometimes it takes much longer.
All living creatures, from the smallest to the largest, must obtain some form of rest in their daily cycle, but how much… more
Did you know that North Dakota's two hare (white-tailed jackrabbits and snowshoe hares) and three weasel (long-tailed, short-tailed and least) species turn white in the winter. For both species, turning white allows them to better blend into the snowy winter landscape. For weasels it has the added advantage of camouflaging them from their prey. (Pictured: long-tailed weasel and white-tailed… more
The species name for the North American “moose” is said to have its roots in Algonquin language, and depending on the source, can mean anything from “stripper of bark” to “twig eater.”
Either of those generally sum up what moose typically eat, as they easily extend their head and neck up to 8 feet off the ground, to reach leaves and tender branches that pretty much no other North… more
This clash of bighorn sheep was observed in the north unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the fall of 2019. It was an epic battle, but in the end, no clear winner emerged...
(Note: These two sparring youngsters are actually ewes, one a yearling and one a lamb. Bighorn ewes will sometimes fight one another for dominance and sometimes just because one annoyed the other. Big Game… more
Wild turkey are another popular North Dakota upland game species. Turkeys are not native to North Dakota. Their historical range extended only as far north as southern South Dakota and Minnesota. The first introduction of turkeys into North Dakota took place in the early 1950s along the Missouri, Knife and Heart rivers. Turkeys need several types of habitat to survive: trees for roosting,… more
North Dakota is home to several upland game species. Arguably one of the most entertaining of these is the sharp-tailed grouse. In the spring these grouse can be found on leks (dancing grounds) where males display to attract mates.
While the criteria for (vegetation and topography play a role as the birds prefer areas with low grass height and an easy view of the surrounding area to… more
Department Upland Game Management Supervisor Jesse Kolar took this awesome video of a bull elk bugling in the badlands (Fall 2019).
Did you know that North Dakota has two softshell turtle species? Spiny and smooth softshell turtles are found only in the southern Missouri River System. Learn more here!
Check out this short video for some facts on bison in North Dakota.
American coots are a fairly common water bird in North Dakota. Check out this short video to learn more.
If you want to see one of the state’s most impressive wildflowers in full bloom, you need to know not only where to look, but when.
Bigmouth buffalo and smallmouth buffalo are members of the sucker family and both native to the Missouri River System in North Dakota. Bigmouth buffalo (left) have long filaments on their gills that strain food from the water and they feed primarily by filter feeding, similar to paddlefish.
Smallmouth buffalo (right) by contrast feed primarily on the bottom.
Buffalo are… more
“Barotrauma” is the term used to describe any of the number of injuries, or trauma, a fish may receive from rapid changes in atmospheric (i.e. barometric) pressures. For fish caught by anglers, these rapid pressure changes occur when fish are reeled to the surface from deep water. Barotrauma injuries include things like eversion, prolapse, torsion and volvulus of the stomach, hemorrhaging of… more
Eastern kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus), which can be found across North Dakota in the summer, feed primarily on insects during the breeding season. Like owls and some other birds, eastern kingbirds regurgitate pellets of indigestible prey parts, in this case insect chitin. Here is a series of photographs demonstrating this behavior (because we knew everyone would appreciate this visual to start… more