Sandhill cranes

The sand hill crane is a common resident of Wyoming during summer breeding seasons. These elegant birds have distinct vocalizations that can be heard from miles away. Sand hill cranes nest in open grasslands, meadows, wetland, and riparian areas. We’ve seen a number of breeding pairs around the ranch, including many with small offspring! http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/sandhill_crane/lifehistory

Ucross historical map

History! In 1932, an Iowa land company decided to build a town at the junction of routes 14 and 16, the current location of Ucross. Despite obtaining permits and drafting detailed plans, development never occurred. Many years later, Mike (an employee of Ucross Foundation) and Lynn Latham discovered that their recently purchased, undeveloped, agricultural land Read more about Ucross historical map[…]

Testing acoustic recording units

Setting up a permanent station for collecting audio recordings of birds requires more than just a knowledge of the birds themselves, it requires the know-how and expertise to put together the actual electronic / digital recording equipment. Though the bulk of our team’s future recording units will be independently powered (via rechargeable batteries), the two Read more about Testing acoustic recording units[…]

Badgers and coyotes hunting together

Charlie and Devin were collecting data near the Stone House South pasture in the northern half of the ranch and in quick succession spotted a coyote and a badger den (see photo). This led to some speculating about carnivore competition and interaction, especially since we were near a number of prairie dog ‘towns’ at the Read more about Badgers and coyotes hunting together[…]

Recording bird calls

For the past week, we’ve been digitally recording bird calls from behind the Raymond Plank Creative Center at Ucross. The recorder (the SM2+ from Wildlife Acoustics) will automatically turn on to record ambient sound every day for 30 minutes before and after sunrise/sunset — thus recording the morning and evening choruses of local bird species. Read more about Recording bird calls[…]

Common mullein

Common Mullen (Verbascum thapsus) is an invasive biennial plant, often referred to as “pioneer’s TP” As it is easily crowded out by native species, it is not of significant ecological or agricultural concern. Common Mullen requires a period of winter dormancy to flower in its second growing season.