Natural North Dakota | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Natural North Dakota

Saturday and Sunday at 8:35 am CT
  • Hosted by Prairie Public

Chuck Lura has a broad knowledge of "Natural North Dakota" and loves sharing that knowledge with others. Since 2005, Chuck has written a weekly column, “Naturalist at Large,” for the Lake Metigoshe Mirror, and his “The Naturalist” columns appear in several other weekly North Dakota newspapers. Lura was a biology professor at Dakota College at Bottineau, and published research on ecological aspects of grasslands in the northern Great Plains.

Thanks to Sunny 101.9 in Bottineau for their recording services.

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The North Dakota landscape is occasionally described as a stairway rising westward.  It is not a long stairway, and each step certainly differs in height.  Nevertheless, the stairway metaphor is a good descriptor.  


Bird watchers of all ages and knowledge levels are helping ornithologists better understand the populations dynamics and movements of birds around the world, and you can be a part of the effort.

The Missouri River

Feb 3, 2018


The Missouri River.  The Wild Missouri.  The big muddy!  It is the longest river in North America and was the main artery in the Great Plains for Native Americans, and early traders and trappers.  


Hope for a clear sky this next Wednesday the thirty-first.  That is because there will be a full moon.  But this is not your typical full moon.  

River Otters

Jan 20, 2018


Some of you may have heard that the first river otter trapping season of modern times in North Dakota closed in early December.  The season opened back on November 27 and closed on December 4 when the statewide limit of 15 animals had been taken.  

It is often this time of year, when the days are short, and temperatures are often below zero that the outdoors is not as inviting as we would prefer.  That is when we often look to the bookshelf to help us out.


Jan 5, 2018

I recently saw a falcon-like bird.  The sky was overcast, with poor lighting, so I was unable to get any good markings, but I suspect it may have been a merlin.


Dec 19, 2017


A few years ago, I was involved with an ecology exercise for elementary students.  We waded out into a lake, scooped up some of the substrate with pie plates, and observed all the little critters that were hidden among the substrate and overlying detritus.  

Animals in Winter

Dec 19, 2017


We have a fox living in our neighborhood.  I haven’t seen it now for several weeks. But I assume it is still in the area, because I have occasionally seen its tracks in the snow.  

The landscapes in most areas look quite bare this time of year with all the leaves off the trees.