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Bird Checklists of the United States

Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

Kenmare, North Dakota


Lostwood was established by presidential order in 1935 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Today it is 26,900 acres of rolling, mixed grass prairie dotted with more than 4,000 wetlands ranging from tiny, ephemeral sloughs and broad, grassy marshes to brackish lakes covering nearly a square mile. Nearly one-third of the Refuge area once was farmed. Still, Lostwood remains the largest contiguous block of prairie pothole country under federal ownership in the "Missouri Coteau," a 12- to 15-mile wide, "knob-and-kettle" glacial moraine that stretches from northwestern Iowa nearly to central Alberta. The Refuge has gained recognition as a diverse, productive, near-native plant community.

Lostwood was virtually treeless prairie when the area was homesteaded by persons of European descent in the early 1900's, but the landscape has changed considerably since, with trees and brush increasing mainly as a result of fire suppression. Sightings of some grassland-dependent wildlife species such as ferruginous hawks have decreased, while wildlife associated with woody habitats have increased. Current management efforts are directed toward reversing this trend, with a goal of returning as close as possible to the mixed grass prairie community present in the late 1800's, just before settlement.

This is the first comprehensive list of vertebrates of Lostwood. The information is based on numerous area surveys conducted mainly in the 1980's. Incidental observations and previous records from Refuge files also are included. This should be considered a working list; further investigation by visitors as well as refuge staff is encouraged. Shortcomings in the list include incomplete knowledge of warblers and some other bird species during fall, mainly due to a seasonal decrease in observer effort.

Checklist

This list includes all vertebrate species documented on the Refuge since 1935 and includes three species of reptiles, four amphibians, 37 mammals (at least 32 of these breed on the Refuge), and 234 birds (at least 104 of these breed on the Refuge). There are no records of viable fish populations in Refuge lakes (northern pike introduced on the north Refuge boundary in the 1970's survived only a few years).


General habitat each species should be found in is indicated as follows:

a - aerial                                  o - other woodland
ag - aspen groves                           p - prairie
b - buildings                               r - refuge periphery
bu - burned uplands                         s - shrubs
g - gravel pile/pits                        sh - shorelines
gp - grazed prairie                         sl - sloughs
h - headquarters area                       sp - seasonal ponds
l - lakes                                   w - widespread
m - observed migrating

Time of earliest spring arrival is indicated under the Arrivals column.

Abundance of birds is on a seasonal basis as follows:

Sp - March to May
S - June to July
F - August to November
W - December to February
* - denotes a breeding species

Species abundance varies annually, sometimes tremendously, due to dramatic changes in wetland availability, fluctuations in food resources, or natural cycles. Relative abundance of each species are for an "average" year and are defined as follows:

a - abundant: numerous and easily found in appropriate habitat
c - common: should be found in appropriate habitat with little search effort
u - uncommon: encountered infrequently but can be found with moderate search effort
r - rare: only observed once or twice every 1-5+ years
? - probably occurs in a given season but has not yet been observed


LOONS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Common Loon l late April r r ? -
GREBES HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe* sl,sp late April c c c - ___ Horned Grebe* l,sl mid-April c c c - ___ Red-necked Grebe l,sl late May r r r - ___ Eared Grebe* l,sl mid-April a a a - ___ Western Grebe l late April u u u -
PELICANS, CORMORANTS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ American White Pelican l mid-April u u u - ___ Double-crested Cormorant* l mid-April u u u -
HERONS, BITTERNS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ American Bittern* sl late April u u u - ___ Great Blue Heron l,sl mid-April u r u - ___ Great Egret l,sl r - - - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* l,sl mid-April u u u -
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Tundra Swan l early April c - c - ___ Greater White-fronted Goose l,bu mid-April c r u - ___ Lesser Snow Goose l,bu late March c - a - ___ Ross' Goose l ? - r - ___ Canada Goose* (m)l,bu (Feb) c c c r ___ Wood Duck l,sl late March r - r - ___ Green-winged Teal* l,sp late March u u u - ___ American Black Duck l,sl - r r - ___ Mallard* l,sp (Feb) a a a r ___ Northern Pintail* l,sp mid-March c c c - ___ Blue-winged Teal* sl,sp early April a a c - ___ Cinnamon Teal sl,sp early May r r - - ___ Northern Shoveler* l,sp early April c c c - ___ Gadwall* l,sp early April a a a - ___ American Wigeon* l,sp early April c c c - ___ Canvasback* l,sl late March u u u - ___ Redhead* l,sl late March u u u - ___ Ring-necked Duck sl,sp early April u r u - ___ Lesser Scaup* l,sp early April a a a - ___ White-winged Scoter* l r r r - ___ Common Goldeneye l,sl mid-March u - r - ___ Bufflehead l,sl early March u u u - ___ Hooded Merganser l,sl mid-May r - - - ___ Common Merganser l late March u - u - ___ Red-breasted Merganser l early March u - r - ___ Ruddy Duck* l,sl late April c c c -
VULTURES, HAWKS, EAGLES, FALCONS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Turkey Vulture m mid-April r r - - ___ Osprey m early April r r r - ___ Bald Eagle l mid-March u r u - ___ Northern Harrier* p mid-March c c c - ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk p early April u r u - ___ Cooper's Hawk* ag,p early April u u u - ___ Northern Goshawk ag,p (winters) r - r r ___ Broad-winged Hawk ag,m late April r - r - ___ Swainson's Hawk* p,r early April u u u - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* ag,p mid-March c c c - ___ Ferruginous Hawk* p,r late March r r r - ___ Rough-legged Hawk p (winters) r - r r ___ Golden Eagle w (winters) u r u u ___ American Kestrel p late March u r u - ___ Merlin w (winters) u r u u ___ Peregrine Falcon w,l late April u - r - ___ Gyrfalcon p (winters) r - r r ___ Prairie Falcon w (winters) r u u r
PARTRIDGES, PHEASANTS, GROUSE HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Gray Partridge* p,r (winters) u u u u ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* p,r (winters) u u u u ___ Sharp-tailed Grouse* p (winters) a a a a
RAILS, CRANES HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Yellow Rail r r - - ___ Virginia Rail* sl,sp mid-May u u u - ___ Sora* sl,sp late April a a a - ___ American Coot* l,sl mid-April a a a - ___ Sandhill Crane l,p early April a r a - ___ Whooping Crane sh ? - r -
SHOREBIRDS, GULLS, TERNS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover sh mid-May u - u - ___ American Golden-Plover sh r - - - ___ Semipalmated Plover sh late April u - u - ___ Piping Plover* sh late April u u u - ___ Killdeer* sh,p late March c c c - ___ American Avocet* sh mid-April c c c - ___ Greater Yellowlegs l,sl mid-April u u c - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs l,sl early April c u c - ___ Solitary Sandpiper sh early May u u ? - ___ Willet* l,p mid-April c c c - ___ Spotted Sandpiper* sh early May u u u - ___ Upland Sandpiper* p late April c c u - ___ Whimbrel r - - - ___ Hudsonian Godwit p late April r ? r - ___ Marbled Godwit* sl,p mid-April c c c - ___ Ruddy Turnstone sh early May r ? - - ___ Sanderling sh early May r r ? - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper sh late April a c c - ___ Western Sandpiper sh mid-May r - - - ___ Least Sandpiper sh late April c u c - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper sh mid-May c u r - ___ Baird's Sandpiper sh late April c u u - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper sh late April u u u - ___ Dunlin sh mid-May u - - - ___ Stilt Sandpiper sh mid-May c u u - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher sh r r - - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher sh late April c u u - ___ Common Snipe* sl,p mid-April u u u - ___ Wilson's Phalarope* l,sl,p late April a a a - ___ Red-necked Phalarope l late April a u c - ___ Franklin's Gull l,sl early April c c c - ___ Bonaparte's Gull l,sl ? r r - ___ Ring-billed Gull* l mid-March c c c - ___ California Gull l late March u u u - ___ Herring Gull l late March r - - - ___ Common Tern* l mid-May r r r - ___ Forster's Tern l,sl mid-May r r r - ___ Black Tern* sl,sp early May c c c -
DOVES, CUCKOOS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Rock Dove b,r (winters) u u u - ___ Mourning Dove* ag,p early April c c c - ___ Black-billed Cuckoo* s late May r u r -
OWLS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Great Horned Owl* ag,s (winters) c c c c ___ Snowy Owl w (winters) u - u u ___ Burrowing Owl* gp mid-April r - - - ___ Long-eared Owl* ag,s late March u u u - ___ Short-eared Owl* p (winters) u u u u ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl ag,s r - ? -
GOATSUCKERS TO KINGFISHERS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* a,w mid-May r r r - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird w,p r r r - ___ Belted Kingfisher l,sl mid-April r r r -
WOODPECKERS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker p mid-April r - - - ___ Downy Woodpecker* ag,o (winters) u u u u ___ Hairy Woodpecker* ag,o (winters) u u u u ___ Northern Flicker* ag,o early April c c c -
FLYCATCHERS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee - r - - ___ Willow Flycatcher* s,ag mid-May u u u - ___ Least Flycatcher* ag mid-May a a a - ___ Say's Phoebe* h,r early May u r r - ___ Western Kingbird* h,ag mid-May u u r - ___ Eastern Kingbird* p,s mid-May a a u -
LARKS, SWALLOWS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Horned Lark* gp,r (winters) c u c u ___ Purple Martin* h early May r r r - ___ Tree Swallow* ag,o early April a a c - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow p,w early May r r - - ___ Bank Swallow* w,g early May u u u - ___ Cliff Swallow* b,h,r early May u u u - ___ Barn Swallow* w,b late April c c c -
JAYS, MAGPIES, CROWS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Blue Jay h,w mid-May r - r - ___ Black-billed Magpie* p,ag,s (winters) c c c c ___ American Crow* p,ag (winters) c u c r
CHICKADEES, NUTHATCHES, CREEPERS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* ag,o (winters) u u u u ___ White-breasted Nuthatch ag,o mid-April r - r - ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch ag,o mid-May r - r - ___ Brown Creeper ag,o early April r - r -
WRENS, KINGLETS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Rock Wren r - - - ___ House Wren* ag,o early April a a c - ___ Sedge Wren* p,sl early May u u r - ___ Marsh Wren* sl early May c c c - ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet s,ag mid-April r - ? - ___ Ruby crowned Kinglet s,ag mid-May r - r -
THRUSHES HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Northern Wheatear r - - - ___ Eastern Bluebird p,r early May r r r - ___ Mountain Bluebird* p,r early March u r r - ___ Veery ag mid-May r r r - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush ag mid-May u - r - ___ Swainson's Thrush ag early May u - r - ___ Hermit Thrush ag mid-May u - r - ___ American Robin* w,h,r mid-March u u u -
MIMICS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Gray Catbird* s,ag mid-May u u u - ___ Northern Mockingbird - r - - ___ Brown Thrasher* s,ag early May c c c -
PIPITS TO STARLINGS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Sprague's Pipit* p mid-April a a a - ___ Bohemian Waxwing s,h,r (winters) u - u u ___ Cedar Waxwing* s late May r u u - ___ Northenn Shrike w (winters) ? - ? u ___ Loggerhead Shrike* o,s,r late April u u u - ___ European Starling* ag (winters) u u u r
VIREOS, WARBLERS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Bell's Vireo - r - - ___ Solitary Vireo ag mid-May u - r - ___ Warbling Vireo* ag mid-May u u u - ___ Red-eyed Vireo ag mid-May u r r - ___ Tennessee Warbler s,ag mid-May u ? u - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler s,ag late April u - u - ___ Nashville Warbler s,ag mid-May r ? ? - ___ Yellow Warbler* s,ag early May a a a - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler s,ag early May r - ? - ___ Magnolia Warbler ag mid-May u - ? - ___ Cape May Warbler ag mid-May r - ? - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler s,ag late April c - c - ___ Palm Warbler ag early May u - ? - ___ Bay-breasted Warbler ag mid-May u - ? - ___ Blackpoll Warbler ag mid-May u - ? - ___ Black-and-White Warbler* ag,o mid-May u r r - ___ American Redstart ag mid-May u ? u - ___ Ovenbird ag mid-May u ? ? - ___ Northern Waterthrush ag early May u - ? - ___ Common Yellowthroat* s,sl mid-May a a a - ___ Wilson's Warbler s,ag mid-May r ? ? - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat s mid-May r r ? -
SPARROWS, BUNTINGS, LONGSPURS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Blackheaded Grosbeak r - - - ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak ag u - u - ___ Lazuli Bunting s,ag mid-May r - - - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* s,o early May u u u - ___ American Tree Sparrow p,s early March c - c - ___ Chipping Sparrow o,h,r late March u - u - ___ Clay-colored Sparrow* s late April a a c - ___ Field Sparrow s,p mid-May r r - - ___ Vesper Sparrow* p mid-April c c c - ___ Lark Sparrow s,p early May r - - - ___ Lark Bunting* gp late April u r u - ___ Savannah Sparrow* p mid-April c c c - ___ Baird's Sparrow* p early May c c c - ___ Grasshopper Sparrow* p early May c c c - ___ LeConte's Sparrow* p,sl early May u u u - ___ Sharp-tailed Sparrow* sl late May r u u - ___ Song Sparrow* s early April c c c - ___ Lincoln's Sparrow s,ag late April u r u - ___ Swamp Sparrow s mid-May r - ? - ___ White-throated Sparrow s,ag mid-April c - c - ___ White-crowned Sparrow s,ag mid-April c - c - ___ Harris' Sparrow s,ag late April u - u - ___ Dark-eyed Junco p,s early March c - c - ___ Lapland Longspur p (winters) u - c u ___ Smith's Longspur p r - - - ___ Chestnut-collared Longspur* gp,bu early April u r u - ___ Snow Bunting p (winters) u - u u
BLACKBIRDS HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Bobolink* p early May c c c - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* p,sl mid-March c c c - ___ Western Meadowlark* p late March c c c - ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird* sl mid-April c c c - ___ Rusty Blackbird w mid-March u - u - ___ Brewer's Blackbird* p mid-April c c c - ___ Common Grackle* ag,o late March u u u - ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* w late April a a u - ___ Orchard Oriole* o,h,r early May r r r - ___ Northern Oriole* ag,o mid-May c c c -
FINCHES HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___ Pine Grosbeak ag,o (winters) ? - r r ___ Common Redpoll s,p (winters) c - - c ___ Hoary Redpoll s,p (winters) - - - r ___ Pine Siskin ag early May u - u - ___ American Goldfinch* s,ag early May c c c -
WEAVER FINCHES HABITAT ARRIVALS SP S F W ___*House Sparrow h,b (winters) u u u r
ACCIDENTAL SPECIES - rarely seen and are outside of their normal range: ___ Black-necked Stilt l,sl 5/23/89 ___ Whip-poor-will ag 4/28-5/3/82 ___ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher s,p 7/7/87 ___ Winter Wren s,ag 9/25/90 ___ Bell's Vireo ag 6/25/90
EXTIRPATED - Greater Prairie-Chicken: last observed on Refuge in 1952; presence before European settlement unlikely.

Birds of probable occurrence (unconfirmed):

Greater Scaup                           American Pipit  
Common Raven                            Mourning Warbler
Townsend's Solitaire                    Purple Finch    

Note: Visitors are encouraged to report any new or unusual sightings by contacting the Refuge Manager at the address below.

Please follow all refuge regulations and keep out of unauthorized areas. Contact the Refuge Manager regarding questions on regulations.

Compiled by: Robert K. Murphy, Lostwood NWR, October 1990.

Acknowledgements: G. Berkey, F. Broerman, A. Gammell, and M. Green contributed many observations to the bird list. J. Albertson helped collect information on small mammals and reptiles. G. Berkey, M. Green, and R. Seabloom offered helpful suggestions on an early draft.

For more information contact:

                     Refuge Manager
                     Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge
                     RR 2, Box 98
                     Kenmare, ND 58746 
                     Telephone: 701/848-2722
This resource is based on the following source:
Murphy, R.K.  1991.  Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota.  
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
Murphy, R.K.  1991.  Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota.  
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govlostwood.htm  
     (Version 22MAY98).

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