2015 Bird Tour registration deadline is May 30

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — The South Dakota Grassland Coalition is organizing the 2015 annual South Dakota Bird Tour, “Birds. At Home on the Range,” for June 5-6.

“Birds are indicators of rangeland health, and as is the tradition, the Bird Tour will be conducted on a working ranch where participants can experience the interaction of bird conservation, wildlife, and livestock,” said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.

This year’s tour is located near Marvin and will be hosted by Abbey Grasslands owner/operator Tracy Rosenberg.

Participants will not only have the opportunity to visit this working ranch on the grounds of the historic Blue Cloud Abbey, they will also have the unique opportunity to lodge at the Abbey of the Hills and hear Rosenberg’s unique story of transition from an Iowa crop farm to a South Dakota grass-based cattle operation.

This family friendly event will include birding, presentations, social, meals and hands-on fun including bird banding, creak ecology, and kid’s activities.

The cost to attend “Birds. At Home on the Range” is $20 per person. Students are free and meals are included. Make checks payable to the South Dakota Grassland Coalition

For planning purposes, registration form and fee must be received by May 30, 2015.

Lodging is on your own. Accommodations include: Abbey of the Hills, 605-398-9200,; or Milbank Super 8 605-432-9288. Mention “Bird Tour” for a special rate. Visit for more lodging options. Additional family recreation available including: swimming, adult/parental supervision required; fishing, – catch and release only. Bring your own equipment. Inquire at registration.

Directions: From Marvin, travel southeast of town on Hwy 6 approximately 1 mile. Enter Abbey grounds at main sign.

For more information, contact Judge Jessop, coordinator, at or 605-280-0127; or Pete Bauman SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist, or 605-886-0465.