While cranes are the area's main avian attraction, the greater prairie chicken puts on a great show of its own. Check out this video:
(Video by Bob Fagan, courtesy of Don Fagan)
Last April, Brad and I led a field trip to the Sandhills to view chickens in the morning and the stars during the evening -- both put on a great show, and participants really enjoyed the experience. So we're doing it again in 2011, and you're invited!
Our 2nd annual "Chicken and Stars" tour takes place April 22-24, 2011. We'll meet at Sandhills Motel in Mullen late Friday afternoon, eat and, if weather allows, stargaze that evening. The next morning we'll be driven to a dancing ground or "lek," where male prairie chickens defend territories in the hopes of attracting hens to mate. (The "master cock" near the center of the lek gets most of the matings.)
This time, we're extremely honored to have Dr. Paul Johnsgard as a guest on the trip. Between dinner and night sky viewing Friday, Dr. Johnsgard will present a program on grassland grouse (including the greater prairie chicken).
Cost for "Chicken and Stars" is $150/person (double occupancy), including Friday night lodging, Saturday a.m. chicken viewing, and stargazing both Friday and Saturday nights. For further details, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.