It's that time of year - prairie chickens

Joined
May 18, 2005
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Western Slope of Colorado
45 years and 6 days ago I got married in Missoula, MT. My best friends in TX were expected to show up, play music and help party. Unfortunately, Atwater's Prairie Chickens decided to mate early—and all my friends, biologists all, had to stay home and work. My wife has never forgiven those damn chickens.
Well, on the bright side, your wife of 45 years didn’t blame you for that! And both you two and the Atwater’s are still hanging in there!👍
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
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Nebraska
45 years and 6 days ago I got married in Missoula, MT. My best friends in TX were expected to show up, play music and help party. Unfortunately, Atwater's Prairie Chickens decided to mate early—and all my friends, biologists all, had to stay home and work. My wife has never forgiven those damn chickens.
The birds will gather on the lek even in early March, but when the hens show up it the show really picks it up a notch. Rightly or wrongly, I'm not surprised your biology buddies chose the birds.
 

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Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
2,123
Location
Nebraska
Sadly, I know, Brad. Researchers @ K-State have been trying to put in place alternatives that might help to mitigate this somewhat. Are you still up @ Grand island? I recall stopping by many years ago to meet you on my way up to Kearney and the Platte for the Sand Hills' migration.
Eric, yes, I'm still in Grand Island and try to get out out to the Platte as much as possible. Spring is the best time of year. I hope you can make it back sometime soon and if you do, let me know and we can do some shooting together. Also, I plan to make my way in the next few weeks up the the sandhills and photograph sharptail grouse. Sage grouse are on my bucket list which may be out in your part of the world.
 
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Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
2,123
Location
Nebraska
Wonderful image. Do they stay at the lek all day?
I like to shoot the Sage Grouse and they perform at sunrise then leave the lek for the day only to return before sunrise.
They fly onto the lek and 1/2 hour prior to sun up and dance for three or four hours. They do come back at sundown but the action is much more calm.
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
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Sugar Land, Texas
They fly onto the lek and 1/2 hour prior to sun up and dance for three or four hours. They do come back at sundown but the action is much more calm.
It is the same here with the Attwater prairie chicken. The event starts right at sun up and goes through probably about 10:00 am. By then the lek is about empty. The friends of the NWR do continue to give guided tours of the refuge during the day. There are some paths where you can get a good view of other birds there.
 

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