The Friends of Dubois Badlands completed an opportunistic bird count on May 21, 2023 as local birders gathered for the first time, in hopes to gain a better understanding of species abundance and diversity within the WSA.
This count, along with previous opportunistic data, will serve as a baseline of birds in the area during the Spring season. Point Count surveys will be developed for future surveys to ensure data integrity and validity.
For the opportunistic count, the numbers are as follows: There were 58 different species documented ,and a total of 104 observations. Bird counts and data compilation are per the "Wyoming Bird Checklist by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Nongame Program," May 2016 version.The location breakdown within the WSA is below:
Bryd Draw: 32 different species noted with a total of 43 observations. The most prevalent being the Turkey Vulture.
Mason Draw: 16 different species noted with a total of 51 observations, and the most prevalent noted was the Bank Swallow.
For the Upper Dubois Trail, past the landfill area (Dump Rd), 10 different species were noted with a total of 10 observations. The most intriguing for that area was a Bald Eagle.
Other wildlife and plant species were also noted throughout the count, including rabbits, horned lizards, bees, yellow prairie violets and Indian paintbrush. Of further significance to note, cryptobiotic soils were also observed.