- Naturalist Journeys: June 8-15, 2013
- National Geographic Student Expeditions: June 30-July 11, 2013
- Yellowstone Safari Company: September 23-27, 2013
- Volunteer Safari on APR: September 12-16, 2013
Naturalist Journeys with Peg Abbott
Montana Prairie Spring Birding Tour – A Great Plains Safari
June 8-15, 2013
The serene beauty of eastern Montana’s expansive prairies offers a lovely contrast to the drama of Yellowstone National Park. We visit this little-visited, beautiful part of Montana during early June, when the prairie is often ablaze with wildflowers and the air filled with birdsong. Some of the region’s signature birds can be very difficult to find, but we have the expertise to do so. We are eager to share the fascinating ecological studies emerging from prairie research, spurred by the attention of the World Wildlife Fund, the Nature Conservancy and American Prairie Reserve, all deeply involved in restoration of the wild character of the Great Northern Plains.
We begin and end in Billings, exploring areas to the north including Glasgow, Fort Peck, the Missouri River Breaks, Bowdoin, Malta and Charles Russell National Wildlife Refuges and the Little Rockies near Zortman. In addition to birding, the possibility of prairie wildflowers, and seeing the region’s mammals, and for those hard to see species, learning more habits and habitats of the rare ones such as Black-footed Ferrets and Swift Foxes.
Our accommodations are in downtown hotels in Billings and Malta, and at an historic Inn at Fork Peck. We eat at a variety of local restaurants and enjoy picnics in the field, time around a campfire one evening, and wildlife sightings to remember. A bison herd has been reestablished on the American Prairie Reserve and we take time to watch the calves frolic. Coyotes and Red Foxes have hungry pups to feed and we may hear the adults serenade.
After a week under open skies, we stop at the Little Rockies, to walk amid groves of aspen and pine, before heading back to Billings where we celebrate at a well-known local steakhouse. For more information and a detailed itinerary, visit the Naturalist Journeys website or contact Peg Abbott directly at 866-900-1146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Geographic Student Expeditions
June 30-July 11, 2013
The wilderness that Lewis and Clark encountered some 200 years ago defied the imagination: soaring peaks, endless grasslands teeming with bison, and the geysers and gem-colored pools of Yellowstone. Venture into northern Montana’s prairie land to take part in one of the country’s most ambitious conservation efforts. Then head to Yellowstone, the world’s oldest national park, to hike the backcountry, study wildlife, and discover some of the country’s most unusual geologic phenomena. This trip is targeted at high school students and focuses on photography and wildlife biology as a theme for interpretation throughout the adventure. Four nights are spent at the APR Yurt Camp, followed by five nights in the Yellowstone Ecosystem.
To find out more CLICK HERE or call 877-877-8759.
American Prairie Safari with Yellowstone Safari Company
September 23-27, 2013
This year, Yellowstone Safari Company and American Prairie Reserve will host again our American Prairie Safari. Participants will experience a full service excursion that blends natural and cultural history, wildlife viewing and recreational activities into a unique prairie adventure. This five-day safari begins and ends where the phrase “Big Sky Country” originated: Great Falls, Montana.
To understand the wildlife we see today requires an understanding of cultural history, and Fort Benton, site of our first night’s stay, is the place. Blackfeet Indians, Lewis and Clark, early fur and buffalo robe traders, the Montana gold rush, steamboat travel and the cowboy and homestead era all played a role in a changing American West. On day two, we will experience the natural Missouri River on a scenic and wildlife canoe adventure along a primary corridor of historic travel. We will have a speaker at historic Fort Benton and visit the Museum of the Northern Great Plains to view the historic “Hornaday Buffalo.”
Following our canoe journey we will advance to the Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge to witness an unparalleled Rocky Mountain elk spectacle. You will see and hear hundreds of elk along the cottonwood-lined banks of the Missouri river. Males will dramatically “bugle” and display to attract females and discourage competitors. We will enjoy this unique event with a picnic dinner and a glass of wine!
Days three and four will explore the American Prairie Reserve in our safari vehicles. We will see many species of grassland birds, sage and sharp-tailed grouse, and raptors, as well as unique mammals including American pronghorn, prairie dogs, elk, mule deer, and the venerable bison. We’ll have the option to hike to badland buttes to search for bighorn sheep, and visit cultural sites including a buffalo jump, native spiritual and campsites, as well as “open range” cowboy and homestead era landscapes.
Our ranch lodge stay will be accompanied by excellent meals, celestial skies, and expert presentations on the flora and fauna of the prairie ecosystem. You will become familiar with one of the most innovative and grand conservation projects ever envisioned. Some special denizens of this conservation prairie include: black footed ferret, burrowing owl, golden eagle, ferruginous hawk, prairie falcon, swift fox, bison and prairie dog.
Your guides on this safari will be professional wildlife biologists. Spotting scopes and binoculars will be provided. We will be out exploring during the day and will have picnic lunches in the field. Our ranch lodge stay will be accompanied by excellent meals, celestial skies, and expert presentations on the flora and fauna of the prairie ecosystem.
For more information, pricing and questions, please visit the YSC website or call 406-586-1155.