Dear Prairie lovers far and wide,
You may not know it yet, but I bet you are a prairie lover. What’s more, I bet our project to cross the American prairie on horseback, celebrating our beautiful and disappearing grasslands, will help you rediscover a love for the prairie and the myriad animals, insects, and plants it is home to.
Let’s take the Sprague’s Pipit. I learned all about this little guy while reading Trevor Herriot’s brilliant Grass, Sky, Song, a chilling look at the steady disappearance of grassland birds. The male pipit circles high above its mate and sings to her for up to 3 hours, the longest display of any bird on the planet. Until recently, the Sprague’s pipit was one of the most plentiful songbirds in the prairie. According to Birdlife International, the Sprague’s Pipit has declined at a rate of 32 percent per decade in the United States since 1970. The story of the Sprague’s pipit is not an anomaly in the world of grassland birds.
We hope to have the immense luck to see one of the remaining Sprague’s pipits on our journey across the prairie. We hope we’ll be able to communicate just how beautiful and vulnerable this bird is and how precious the native grasses host to it and many others are– how imperative it is that they do not go the way of the buffalo and disappear from the prairie altogether. Speaking of buffalo, they’re back. We’ll be visiting one of the visionary Bison restoration projects in Northeastern Montana, and can’t wait to tell you all about it.
We only have about 3 weeks to raise the remaining $9,000 dollars needed to saddle up. We are so appreciative and moved by all the support everyone has shown (we have secured over $20,000 through generous donations, grants, and sponsorships). Please double your enthusiasm, lend a hand and make a contribution if you can, and let all of your friends know they can donate to our project through our website under the “Donate” tab and sidebar. We are so thankful for your help in our final push. Let’s make it happen.
Robin, Sebastian, and Winnie
p.s. Follow us on Instagram at RediscoveringThePrairie as we prepare to saddle up. Our most recent post is a great picture of Winnie choosing her favorite orange safety gear.Sprague’s Pipit, Photo: Greg Lavaty