Badlands National Park Wildlife – 6/24/14

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Being a wildlife photographer I am attracted to all kinds of wildlife, and while the prairie dog is hated my many, they are irresistibly cute and just fun to watch.

There are hundreds if not thousands of these adorable little mammals inside Badlands NP, very visible and very easy to observe.

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Prairie dogs are communal, meaning they are very social creatures and live in large gatherings called, what else but, towns. When you first approach one of the dog towns the dogs go into high alert and start yelping to warn others of your presence. However if you visit an area that sees regular visitors you would be surprised by how bold some of them can be. I found an area where the dogs where very very friendly, so much so that the pups kept scratching at the iPhone I used to shoot this video.

While watching the prairie dogs, I also observed some Burrowing owls, and lucky for me I found a nest with with 5 chicks. Unlucky for me, after after 4 hours of waiting I only got one picture of one of the chicks from pretty far away. Considering how much traffic this area gets I was surprised as to how skittish they where.

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I read somewhere a long time ago that the prairie dogs and the burrowing owls each benefit from living amongst each other by keeping a more vigilant eye on potential predators.

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Tomorrow morning I head out towards Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

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