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Jerry Pillarelli | profile | all galleries >> Travel and Nature >> US Travel >> South Dakota >> Badlands National Park – South Dakota >> Badlands National Park – Wildlife – South Dakota tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Badlands National Park – Wildlife – South Dakota

Images of Badlands National Park Wildlife – central South Dakota, taken in July 2017.

Badlands National Park provided me limitless photographic opportunities, as the light changed throughout the day each scene became something different than it had been earlier. This I expected; what surprised me was the abundance of wildlife in what seemed to be a desolate uninhabitable region. Prairie Dogs were everywhere and I had heard that there were Bison in the park but the large number of Bighorn Sheep stunned me. Now if you have followed my exploits over the years you might remember that I listed Bighorn Sheep as my “white whale” as I had no luck photographing them. That changed last year in Rocky Mountain National Park when I caught a glimpse of several on a hillside…from a long way away. Well I’ve now gotten plenty of close ups as they freely roam the Badlands in large numbers.

A second surprise were the owls; another animal on my “gotta get” list. These particular owls are Burrowing Owls and interestingly enough they prefer to stand on their dens in broad daylight so that they can see any predators that might be in the area. Although they are not easy to locate this made my effort to find them a little simpler.

I caught two other notable acts in this park; a fawn suckling its mother and, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, a pair of Bull Bison butting heads in a battle for herd supremacy.

Not bad for a place called “Badlands”…
Bison at the entrance in Badlands National Park
Bison at the entrance in Badlands National Park
Burrowing Owl stands guard above its den in Badlands National Park
Burrowing Owl stands guard above its den in Badlands National Park
Mature Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park
Mature Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park
A Coyote turns to survey the landscape in Badlands National Park
A Coyote turns to survey the landscape in Badlands National Park
Mother and baby Prairie Dogs outside of their den in Badlands National Park
Mother and baby Prairie Dogs outside of their den in Badlands National Park
Bighorn Sheep strolls through the tall grass in Badlands National Park
Bighorn Sheep strolls through the tall grass in Badlands National Park
Mother and baby Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park
Mother and baby Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park
Baby Bighorn Sheep feeds on short grass in Badlands National Park
Baby Bighorn Sheep feeds on short grass in Badlands National Park
Baby Whitetail Deer bounds toward its mother in Badlands National Park…
Baby Whitetail Deer bounds toward its mother in Badlands National Park…
…Baby Whitetail Deer feeding in Badlands National Park
…Baby Whitetail Deer feeding in Badlands National Park
Baby Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park
Baby Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park
Prairie Dog squeals in Badlands National Park
Prairie Dog squeals in Badlands National Park
Great North American Blonde (Majorus Blondisaurus) on the prairie in Badlands National Park
Great North American Blonde (Majorus Blondisaurus) on the prairie in Badlands National Park
Sunflower in Badlands National Park
Sunflower in Badlands National Park
Close up of a Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park
Close up of a Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park
Burrowing Owl on the edge of its den in Badlands National Park…
Burrowing Owl on the edge of its den in Badlands National Park…
…Burrowing Owl screeches in Badlands National Park
…Burrowing Owl screeches in Badlands National Park
Bull Bison on the prairie in Badlands National Park
Bull Bison on the prairie in Badlands National Park
Bison herd along a dirt road in Badlands National Park
Bison herd along a dirt road in Badlands National Park
Bison crossing a dirt road in Badlands National Park
Bison crossing a dirt road in Badlands National Park
Two Bull Bison joust in Badlands National Park…
Two Bull Bison joust in Badlands National Park…
…Bison battle in Badlands National Park…
…Bison battle in Badlands National Park…
…A powerful fight between two Bull Bison in Badlands National Park…
…A powerful fight between two Bull Bison in Badlands National Park…
…The victor stands his ground as the vanquished moves on in Badlands National Park…
…The victor stands his ground as the vanquished moves on in Badlands National Park…
…The alpha male Bison oversees the herd in Badlands National Park
…The alpha male Bison oversees the herd in Badlands National Park
Close up of a Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park
Close up of a Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park
Western Meadowlark in Badlands National Park
Western Meadowlark in Badlands National Park
A Bighorn Sheep walks through the tall grass in Badlands National Park
A Bighorn Sheep walks through the tall grass in Badlands National Park
Close up of a Whitetail Deer in Badlands National Park
Close up of a Whitetail Deer in Badlands National Park
Thistle flowers in Badlands National Park
Thistle flowers in Badlands National Park
A Bighorn Sheep stops traffic in Badlands National Park
A Bighorn Sheep stops traffic in Badlands National Park
A bee collects pollen in Badlands National Park
A bee collects pollen in Badlands National Park
Prairie Dogs gather together on a den in Badlands National Park
Prairie Dogs gather together on a den in Badlands National Park
A flower in Badlands National Park
A flower in Badlands National Park
Bighorn Sheep climb over a ridge in Badlands National Park
Bighorn Sheep climb over a ridge in Badlands National Park