MINOT, N.D. (AP) – Bird enthusiasts in Minot are helping the National Audubon Society compile data on the status of thousands of species around the world by counting and identifying birds in their hometown.
Organizer Ron Martin told the Minot Daily News that bird numbers have been trending down since the first Christmas Bird Count in 1981.
Another participant, Sherry Leslie, says there were thousands of birds in the field when they first started the count – so many that they struggled to count them. But Leslie says that these days they see fewer breeds and that the number of birds has dropped too.
Some of the birds spotted in the count are not native to the area, flying south to avoid the harsh Canadian winter and hoping for a better food supply.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Regulators say the volume of natural gas flared this year in North Dakota reached an unprecedented level. Operators burned off the natural gas associated with oil production due to the lack of plant and pipeline capacity in the state. The volume flared was 527 million cubic feet per day. In October alone, that’s enough to heat 4 million average homes.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Authorities in Sioux Falls have released the names of a couple killed when a small plane crashed in a residential neighborhood of the South Dakota city. The Minnehaha County coroner positively identified the victims as Vaughn and JoAnn Meyer of Sioux Falls. Both were 68. Authorities don’t know who was piloting the plane, which crashed between four homes on Tuesday. No one on the ground was hurt. The Argus Leader reports the Meyers were known for their philanthropy.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Forecasters posted a blizzard warning for parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota as a major winter storm delivered heavy snow and gusty winds to the region. The powerful storm is making travel difficult Thursday with motorists on the move during this holiday week. The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for central South Dakota, eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. The storm was expected to drop more than a foot of snow in the region before ending Friday.