Grand North Dakota July 2018

July 6 - 14, 2018

Endless skies, vast expanses of sweeping prairie grasslands, and abundant birdlife (especially in the prairie pothole region) characterize a summer birding trip to this “sleeper” destination.  North Dakota has more National Wildlife Refuges than any other state in the nation and is home to the unique geology and rugged landscape that is the Badlands.  Combined with its overall rural landscape, the birding possibilities are limitless.  Specialty birds we’ll seek on the trip include Ferruginous Hawk, Sprague’s Pipit, Baird’s Sparrow, and Chestnut-collared Longspur.  We’ll also see a variety of waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, and many species whose breeding range is centered on the prairie pothole region including Sharp-tailed Grouse, American White Pelican, Marbled Godwit, Wilson’s Phalarope, Swainson’s Hawk, and Dickcissel.  Remnant patches of native prairie have an amazing array of wildflowers, and there are interesting butterflies and mammals to see as well.  Places we may visit include Horsehead Lake, Long Lake NWR, Lostwood NWR, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Badlands.  Tour starts and ends in Bismarck.


This tour has been given an activity level of Moderate. It is considered a more active tour with daily intermediate to long-distance walking, including uneven terrain and hills.  Potential for unseasonably hot or cold weather. Those with physical limitations should take these factors into consideration, or contact the tour leader for details.

Our days in the field will usually begin about 7:00 a.m. and will end about 6:00 p.m.  On most days lunches will be in the field (we have coolers for cold food and drinks), and we will provide ample opportunity to get them before the day begins.  The trip involves easy-to-moderate walking over flat and somewhat hilly terrain.

Temperatures will be warm to hot (and dry), though early morning and evening may be cool.  Expect a temperature range from approximately 50-90 degrees F.  Rain or thunderstorms are a possibility, so raingear is advised.  The sun is very strong, especially at this time of year, so sunscreen and a brimmed hat are advised.  Biting insects such as mosquitoes may be present at several locations.

TOUR SIZE:  Travel during this tour will be in vans, with no more than 6 participants plus a leader in one van.  Tour size is limited to 12 participants. 

Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, a reading list, a list of probable/possible birds, further information about weather, dress, etc., will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.

Friday July 6, 2018 (meet at our hotel in Bismarck at 6:30 pm) to Saturday July 14, 2018 (flights home anytime)

PRICE: Cost for this tour is TBA, but estimated at $2099/person based on double occupancy; single supplement about $375.  A deposit of $500 will hold your place until May 1, 2018 when full payment becomes due.

PRICE INCLUDES:  Motel accommodations for 8 nights, tour leadership, ground transportation while in North Dakota, and entrance fees to all areas on the itinerary.  It does not include meals or airfare to/from Bismarck.

SEND DEPOSITS & OTHER PAYMENTS TO:NJA Eco-Travel, c/o Rene’ Buccinna,
600 Route 47 North,
Cape May Court House NJ 08210

tel. 609-400-3852. 

Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon

Marbled Godwit photo courtesy N. Cooke




Scott Barnes began birding in the mid-1980s and has been an avid naturalist ever since. Encouragement and learning came from his parents and many birders, including members of the Delaware Valley and Urner Ornithological Clubs and staff of New Jersey Audubon. An interest in travel and natural history has led him from the Bering Sea to the desert southwest to the tropics of Central America in search of plants and animals.  Scott compiles the Sandy Hook Christmas Bird Count, served for thirteen years on the New Jersey Bird Records Committee, leads on See Life Paulagics boat trips, and is an eBird reviewer for NJ.  He is the assistant director for the NJ Audubon Eco-Travel program. Scott has led NJ Audubon tours to 23 US states, as well as Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. 

Linda Mack's interest in birding began more than twenty years ago on a Cape May Weekend and she has been hooked ever since. She is a member of New Jersey Audubon's Board of Directors for fourteen years, and an Associate Naturalist for All Things Birds. She is a past President, Program Chair, and Conservation Chair for Monmouth County Audubon Society, and currently serves as a voting member of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee. Linda has traveled extensively throughout North America studying birds and natural history, with multiple trips to California, Montana, Arizona, Texas, North Dakota, Louisiana and Florida, as well as Belise, Costa Rica and Panama in Central America. Her infectious enthusiasm and willingness to share knowledge is well known. She has co-led tours to 22 US states, and is a regular leader on long weekend trips to coastal Massachusetts, the Adirondack Mountains and Bombay Hook, as well as NJ Audubon's annual Cape May Fall Festival.

For tour itineraries, to register, or for more information contact:

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel at: (609)-400-3852
c/o NJ Audubon Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
or email