The Bighorn Sheep of the Badlands

Bighorn Sheep - Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Bighorn Sheep - Badlands National Park, South Dakota

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Mention Badlands National Park to most people, and the first thought to mind is spectacular scenery. To be sure, grand vistas and colorful landforms abound. But the park is also an excellent place to view wildlife, particularly large herbivores such as bison, pronghorn antelope, and bighorn sheep.

I found the bighorn sheep fascinating to watch as the scrambled around the steep cliffs and gullies. They're not the easiest thing to photograph, however, as they are very well camouflaged in this environment.

Well-camouflaged Bighorn Sheep lamb - Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Well-camouflaged Bighorn Sheep lamb - Badlands National Park, South Dakota

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Fortunately, they spend considerable time along the ridgelines, where, with some effort, it's possible to find suitable backgrounds against which to photographically isolate them.

Bighorn Sheep on grass-covered hill- Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Bighorn Sheep on grass-covered hill- Badlands National Park, South Dakota

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Bighorn Sheep surveying its domain - Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Bighorn Sheep surveying its domain - Badlands National Park, South Dakota

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Bighorn Sheep silhouetted at dusk - Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Bighorn Sheep silhouetted at dusk - Badlands National Park, South Dakota

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