Once you get out and start exploring this land you see a whole new dimension to this beauty: the birds. Even the sparrows do their part to add to the diversity of the prairie canvas.
One does not need to go afoot in the tall grass to see amazing birds. Looking up at telephone wires while cruising down dusty roads will showcase a whole new group of birds as they sing their unique songs from on high.
Even certain shorebirds call the prairie their home and ocassionally show themselves. Though they seem out of place, they add to the richness of prairie's beauty.
|Marbled Godwit enjoying the strong prairie winds|
As you approach the many prairie potholes that dot this landscape, you see yet another layer of beauty - the birds of the marsh. Some of them lurk in the cattails or the short-grass marshes.
Others boldly proclaim their presence as they splash the marsh with color and fill the air with their beautiful songs.
The prairie would not be the same without the sights and sounds of these magnificent birds. For those of us who also call the prairie our home, hearing the melodious song of a Western Meadowlark or a Bobolink stirs up fond memories of growing up in a land of tall grass, rolling hills, and cattail marshes. There truly is no place like home.
Josh Wallestad writes about his birding adventures with his 6-year-old son, Evan, at A Boy Who Cried Heron.