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Partners Tour Warren Prairie; See Rare Bird Species

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Tuesday, February 27, 2018

ANHC Chief of Research, Bill Holimon, recently held a partner day at Warren Prairie Natural Area (NA). The day came about as Holimon planned a tour for The Connecticut Audubon Society, who have visited Warren Prairie annually for the past 11 years. The Audubon members visit Warren Prairie to see Henslow’s sparrows (Ammodramus henslowii), a rare species that regularly winters in the saline barrens of the natural area. Although a cold day for a tour, it was a successful day by birding standards – participants were able to spot eight Henslow’s sparrows.

Knowing that he would be hosting a tour for the Audubon members, Holimon also invited staff members from the National Wild Turkey Federation, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Quail Forever, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arkansas Field Office to watch the Henslow’s sparrows with The Connecticut Audubon members. Afterward, partners stayed to tour the natural area and discuss collaborative restoration opportunities. Despite the chilly temperatures, everyone seemed to enjoy the visit to the natural area and watching the birds.

Warren Prairie NA is located in Bradley and Drew counties, between the cities of Warren and Monticello. The natural area provides critical habitat for one of the state’s largest populations of the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis, RCW), a keystone species for the area. Where the RCW makes a comeback, northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), and Arkansas’s state butterfly, the Diana fritillary (Speyeria diana) flourish.

A recognized Globally Important Bird Area, Warren Prairie is visited by birders from all over the country. As well as being home to many species, the natural area also offers traditional outdoor recreation opportunities, including hunting, bird-watching, hiking, and nature photography.

Photos:

Top left - Field trip members at Warren Prairie Natural Area.

Bottom - Henslow's sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), photo by Jan Hamilton-Sherwonit, The Connecticut Audubon Society



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