Johnsgard, Paul A., "Birds of the GreatPlains: FamilyPicidae (Woodpeckers)" (2009). Birds of the GreatPlains (Revised edition 2009) by Paul Johnsgard. 37.
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species I studied than did in the High Plains. Both ecoregions, however, sustained
roughly half of their respective public lands as grassland. Areas of higher species richness were relatively widespread in the Northwestern GreatPlains ecoregion and were
associated with lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and National Park Service. In the High Plains ecoregion, areas of higher species richness were limited to the northwestern part of the region, within lands administered by the FWS, U.S. Forest Service, and Department of Defense. Areas managed for biodiversity in both ecoregions were not necessarily associated with higher species richness. For example, some areas with the greatest species richness in the High Plains ecoregion were managed for multiple uses. However, the onus for conservation of grassland birds need not fall entirely on the federal government. Non-public (privately held) grasslands in the landscapes surrounding public lands can add value to public grasslands by helping to offset habitat fragmentation and small patch size. My analyses found this particularly evident in the High Plains ecoregion, and this speaks to the importance of grassland bird habitat conservation being a joint effort among federal agencies and private landowners.
Topography, Landforms and Climate of the GreatPlains
The historic prairies and plains of central North America represented on of the largest and most uniform of the continent’s major ecosystems, and the “grassland biome” evokes an image of vast herds of bison amid a sea of grass that once extended across the heartland of North America. Most of these grasslands have now been converted to grain fields or else have been subjected to such grazing pressure as to degrade them almost beyond recognition. Yet major remnants remain in national parks, national grasslands, and wildlife refuges, and tiny fragments are still to be found in rural cemeteries, railroad rights-of-way, and small nature reserves. In such places essentially all the orig- inal bird life of the plains can still be found. This book documents the present wintering distributions of the birds of this region, both as a biological analysis of this major component of the North American biota, and as supporting evi- dence of changing winter distributions associated with global warming effects. Although there are minor variations, the overall topography of this region is an inclined plain, which slopes downward from the west to the east at an av- erage gradient of about ten feet per mile. The lowest point in the region is in southeastern Oklahoma, at 323 feet above sea level. The Black Hills of west- ern South Dakota provide an isolated and distinctive montane influence, with a maximum elevation of 7,242 feet at Harney Peak. Along the region’s eastern limits the only highlands of significance are Oklahoma’s Ouachita Mountains, which attain a maximum height of more than 2,000 feet. Over nearly the en- tire region, drainage is to the southeast into the Missouri and Mississippi sys- tems; but in North Dakota the Souris and Red rivers are part of the Hudson Bay arctic drainage system.
Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge. 7,350 acres. This refuge, previously known as Squaw Creek NWR, is five miles south of Mound City in extreme north- western Missouri. It consists of shallow marshes, Mis- souri River bottomlands, wooded loess bluffs, and farmlands. The wetlands are at the base of 200-foot- high bluffs of wind-blown silts that form the Loess Hills region along the west banks of the Missouri River valley from northern Iowa to northern Missouri, and are part of an aerial highway for thousands of mi- grating raptors each spring and fall. The refuge lies a few miles east of the Missouri River, in rich prairie bottomland, and its large (3,400 acres) shallow marsh is fed by two small creeks and ditches. At least 90 bird species are common to abundant during spring ver- sus 71 species during fall and 25 during winter (Jones, 1990). There are at least 104 nesting birds among the 268 listed for the refuge by Jones. A total of 65 bird species were reported present year-round by Jones, so an estimated minimum of 76 percent of the ref- uge’s total bird diversity is migratory. Depending on the severity of the winter, up to 400,000 snow geese, other geese, and ducks may be present. Nearly 900 trumpeter swans have been seen here, with the num- bers of migrant and wintering American bald eagles varying with the waterfowl numbers but often ap- proaching 200 (Johnsgard, 2013, Birds of Nebraska ). The refuge is part of a series of important migra- tory stopping points for the more than 10 million snow geese that arrive from vast colonies in Hudson Bay and the central Canadian Arctic en route to win- tering areas that extend from Missouri and Kansas southward. Phenomenally large flocks of snow geese (up to 1.5 million birds at peak) have been reported in late fall and early spring in recent years. The ref- uge’s bird list includes at least 277 total species, with more than 100 nesting species and a spring list of more than 260 species. Beyond this very high over- all spring diversity, 12 species are listed as abundant during spring. Other abundant spring birds include the Canada goose, mallard, northern pintail, Amer- ican coot, bank swallow, red-winged blackbird, and
While reviewing the waterfowl literature, I encountered a paper written by Robert McCabe and H. F. Deutsch, which had been pub- lished in the Wilson Bulletin about a decade previously. Their study indicated that significant interspecies differences exist in the electro- phoretic profiles of egg-white proteins from various game birds. I de- cided to confirm and extend their findings, using eggs that the birds happened to lay while in our aviary, or that I otherwise obtained from the Poultry Science Department. I had to do this experiment surrep- titiously because I would be dealt with harshly should Dr. Sibley dis- cover my departure from his strict protocol. Near summer’s end, Dr. Sibley proclaimed our efforts on blood protein to be a failure and an- nounced that he would not ask for more NSF money to continue the study. Gathering my courage, I then fearfully showed him the re- sults from the egg-white samples I had analyzed. Within minutes he grasped their taxonomic potential and immediately laid plans for a new grant to undertake a massive electrophoretic survey of North American birds.
The ceremony itself contains exchanging food and gifts and a lot of ritual smoking. Except the guarantor, which is usually only one, there are men who made a commitment to fast and to dance in the second part of the ceremony. Every dancer has to find a mentor, someone who had danced at least four times before. The number of the dancers is limited only by the space of the ceremonial construction. Moore mentions that mostly there are fifteen to twenty-five dancers (Moore 2003: 223). The dance itself is not very difficult, but young man keep dancing without any food or water for several days. The dancers also need to have some ritual objects, e. g. enough colour, pipe made of eagle bone, a stick with a fork at the end suspending the pipe, a blanket or a pillow to sit on, wormwood (sagebrush), eagle feathers etc. – these represent the four spirtual powers, the shadows and the four cardinal directions. Very important is the body – painting of the dancers, which is changed four times during the ceremony. When the ceremony is over, the ceremonial arbor and the altar are dismantled and guarantor with the dancers distribute the used objects, which should secure the recipients health and long life. Another very important ceremony is mȧsȧháome, generally known as the Massaum ceremony, also called the Animal Dance, Buffalo Dance, Crazy Dance and Foolish Dance (Grinnel, 1972, vol. II, p. 285). It has not been organized since 1927, but it was reconstructed thanks to the anthropologist Karl H. Schlesier according to photographs and recounting of seniors. It basically retells the story of how the Cheyennes dominated the animals and took control over the plains. The participants of the ceremony played the roles of certain historical figures. It used to be an every year ceremony following the Sun Dance. Unlike the Sun Dance, which celebrates mostly the birds, Massaum celebrates more the four-legged animals.
WHERE THE MIDWEST ENDS AND
THE GREATPLAINS BEGIN 1
Brad Tennant 2
As the United States Senate debated the ratification of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase Treaty, Federalists argued against the acquisition that would double the size of the United States. Delaware’s Senator Samuel White, along with other Federalist opponents of the Louisiana Purchase, favored American access to the Mississippi River and New Orleans, but he questioned the need for such a “new, immense, and unbounded world.” According to White, it would only be a matter of time before American citizens would enter Louisiana and thus distance themselves by two or three thousand miles from the country’s government, becoming alienated from the eastern United States. 3 Similarly, Rufus King, who served as American foreign minister to Great Britain
Sustainability, Resiliance, and Dependency: The GreatPlains Model Abstract
Over the past 400 to 500 years, the GreatPlains have seen a rapid succession of ecological regimes. The ecological historian Dan Flores has written that plains ecological history "centers around a series of ecological crashes and simplifications."1 This text attempts to give an overview of these successive ecological systems and to provide an analysis of the lessons in sustainability, resilience, and ideology offered by plains ecological history of the past few centuries. The plains, a semi-arid ecosystem, have "fewer of the safeguards built into more diverse systems."2 Because natural resources "in semi-arid countries are often set in a hair-trigger equilibrium,"3 the plains can serve as a good model for issues of sustainability and resilience elsewhere. Many historical and ethnographic studies have looked at human-bison interactions, hunter-gatherer lifeways, and Native agriculture on the plains. Agricultural, wildlife management, and grasslands research have both led to and engaged with the industrial ecosystems that has become imposed in the plains. Ecological approaches have also been used to discuss sociological consequences and political proposals for this vast region. This is not a detailed study, and I can do no justice to the broad literature: my focus will be on what the plains can teach us about sustainability.
2.4 Irrigation’s Influence on Precipitation
When considering the GreatPlains, the location of the irrigation is important when determining how it will affect precipitation. The addition of water vapor through irrigation to the south of the low level convergence zone discussed in section 2.1 increases the moisture advection to the convergence zone, likely increasing the total precipitation of an MCS propagating through the region. Additionally, the location of the GPLLJ exit region with respect to soil moisture heterogeneity could provide additional low-level convergence and associated upward vertical motion. For instance, consider Figure 2.4a where an idealized situation of the GPLLJ overlaying agricultural and dry lands is shown. In Figure 2.4a, the exit region of the jet coincides with the southern edge of the irrigated agriculture. The tendency of the air at the surface is to travel from the lower values of H overlying the agriculture to the more convectively active boundary layers to the south. This result is more likely to initiate or maintain an MCS than if the values of H were the same in both regions, as shown in Figure 2.4b.
GreatPlains rivers are unique systems that vary from large, continental scale, to small intermittent streams with grain sizes that range from cobbles to silt. These rivers have been subject to widespread hydrologic alteration both within the channel and the watershed, which has resulted in an alteration in their hydrologic and geomorphic regimes. Although there is an acknowledgement of this alteration, to date there has not been a synthesis of the hydrology of GreatPlains rivers or of their longitudinal morphologies. Chapters in this dissertation provide the first comprehensive analyses of the hydrology and morphology of GreatPlains rivers over a range of spatial and temporal scales. In the first study, I found that there was no uniform pattern of hydrologic alteration throughout the GreatPlains, which is likely attributable to variable system-specific reservoir management objectives, land use changes, and climatic regimes over the large area the GreatPlains encompass. Results of this study are the first to quantify the widespread hydrologic alteration of GreatPlains rivers following impoundment. In the second study, I found an apparent decoupling between local moisture conditions and streamflow in intermittent prairie streams. Results of this study used statistical models to identify relationships between flow intermittence, mean annual flow, and flood flow characteristics with moisture to characterize flow in an intermittent prairie stream. In the final study, I found that the
1. Introduction and Background. The GreatPlains Network (GPN)  is a regional consortium of public universities in the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and South Dakota and regional higher education state networks in these states. Member representatives have recognized the strategic importance of sharing resources collaboratively and shared the goals of national efforts, such as the NMI (NSF Middleware Initiative), NMI-EDIT (NSF Middleware Initiative - Enterprise Desktop and Integration Technologies)  and Shibboleth , devoted to facilitating inter-institutional collaboration. A long-term goal of GPN is to build a regional middleware infrastructure to share existing grid computing resources (computation, storage, data, and applications) across the region and to provide a platform for the development of new tools and technologies.
Th e settlement grew in phases, with distinct groups of individuals from across the country. Eleven settlers fi led homestead claims in 1907, three more in 1908, six in 1909, six in 1910, and twelve in 1911, for a total between 1904 and 1911 of forty- three entries, many of them along both sides of the North Loup River. By 1929 some fi ft y- six homestead claims for 29,402 acres had been proved up. Somewhat later Charles and Rosetta Speese, along with some other mem- bers of the Speese family, left Empire in 1920 and moved to DeWitty (in 1925 they would move again, to Sully County). From our exam- ination of census and other records, it appears that the total number of Black people who at some point lived in DeWitty was between 155 and 171. DeWitty reached its population peak of 146 residents in 1915. In 1912, Miles H. DeWit- ty established and operated the post offi ce and ran a small store alongside, apparently giving a name to the community. 25
The North American GreatPlains are the world’s largest contiguous area where dryland and rainfed farming are done in conjunction with irrigation, and where irrigation manage- ment must take into account precipitation patterns. Because of this, and due to the wide range in mean annual precipita- tion and climate in the GreatPlains (fig. 2), lessons learned regarding irrigation in the GreatPlains are relevant to irriga- tion management in semi-arid and subhumid climates around the world. Several examples of global outreach illus- trate how important this is becoming. Founded in 2010, the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska is actively transferring knowledge and technol- ogy from the GreatPlains nationally, e.g., California (Bab- bitt et al., 2018), and internationally, e.g., Brazil, India, Rwanda, and Malawi (Banda et al., 2019) (https://waterfor- food.nebraska.edu/). Established in 2018, the Irrigation In- novation Consortium operated out of Colorado State Univer- sity is “a collaborative research effort to accelerate the de- velopment and adoption of water and energy efficient irriga- tion technologies and practices through public-private part- nerships” both in the western U.S. and internationally (https://irrigationinnovation.org/). The Consortium has eight founding industry partners and five founding university part- ners, four of which are in the GreatPlains (Colorado State University, Kansas State University, Texas A&M, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln). In the Southern GreatPlains, the Ogallala Aquifer Program (OAP) was formed in 2003 as a consortium of USDA-ARS laboratories at Bush- land and Lubbock, Texas, with Kansas State University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, and West Texas A&M University (https://ogallala.tamu.edu/). The OAP consortium partners have research collaborations throughout the GreatPlains, the U.S., and globally.
Low nutritive value of available warm-season grasses during July through September limits the production of yearling stocker cattle in the southern GreatPlains (SGP). There has been a continual exploration of species with the capacity to provide high quality forage during summer. Mothbean ( Vigna aconitifolia [Jacq.] Marechal), a short-duration, drought tolerant crop is a promising choice for the SGP. This preliminary study evaluated the potential of mothbean as a summer crop for forage, grain or green manure. Results of this study with 10 mothbean lines from a range of geographic locations sug- gested that crop could be harvested 100 days after planting with dry biomass yield range of 7.3 - 18.1 Mg·ha −1 . Mothbean forage contained 10.8% - 14.6%