90 Min From Bismarck, Pelican #s Halved By- Flooding?
Heading east out of Bismarck there's Steele, there's Dawson, and then there's Tappen. Tappen, the home address of Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
How did I not pay more attention to this?
Disclosure- no actual photos here of Chase Lake pelicans- that's my point. Never been there. Great AP write up of the story- you should read it by clicking here. You can read it and not come back and that's OK.
Seems like the arrival of the white swans is a beautiful thing to witness. But before you jump in your car, it is a Wildlife Refuge, so access is already tricky- but according to the park ranger still sorta flooded
A lot of facts in that AP story
The Chase Lake pelican population has ranged from around 6,000 birds in 1974 to 35,460 in 2000, wildlife officials say. The refuge went through two years of abandonments and die-offs in 2004 and 2005 that were blamed on coyotes and a combination of weather and disease.
I've been in Bismarck/Mandan for nearly 20 years and I've heard tell about these migratory White Pelicans and that it's a big deal. Guess I wasn't paying attention. Hopefully I remember next year, and it's not so wet in Tappen.
Meanwhile, it's been pretty dry in Burleigh.
You really should read the story if you didn't
Pelicans have been monitored at Chase Lake since 1905, when the birds numbered about 50. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt designated the site as a bird refuge in 1908, when many of the birds were being killed for their feathers and for target practice.
In North Dakota there's cool places all around us.