Latin: Cardinalis cardinalis
Photo: Blue Jay and Redheaded Woodpecker. Photo: Ella Clem.
Along the rivers of the Great Plains, woodlands are abundant with birds that thrive in the treetops shelter. These forests significantly increase the biodiversity of the plains, providing shelter from the wind, cooler temperatures, and water for plants and animals. Cavities of decaying wood provide microhabitats for insects, birds, and mammals to live and forage. Dead trees are critical to the woodland ecosystem and signal its overall health, as they provide nutrients, release nitrogen, and store carbon dioxide.
The Great Plains is a shifting landscape made up of many interdependent ecosystems. What we evoke with the very idea of the Great Plains is, of course, extensive grasslands for which it was named. The Great Plains is the world’s largest intact grasslands.
If you are looking for desert-like habitats in the Great Plains, you will not be disappointed.
Help us continue our important work for Sandhill Cranes and other birds that rely on the Platte River ecosystem!
We are able to provide and protect this amazing landscape only with the help of private donations. Help us keep the trails open and the prairie thriving!
Support our work with local landowners, urban woods and prairies, and education programs in North and South Dakota!