There were over twenty birds on the lek which is quite an impressive number the habitat experts said. The male prairie chickens puffed out their orange air sacs, raised the feathers on their heads, stomped their feet as fast as they could, and made a continuous booming cry to attract the attention of the females who were certainly playing hard-to-get. It was a great show and one that participants were so happy they got to see.
During breakfast at Donna’s Diner in Wynot six habitat specialists and educators provided excellent information on the habitat needs of the prairie chicken, predators they face, and programs that are making a positive difference in increasing and maintaining their populations.
The hike in two native grasslands near the Missouri River Bluffs was worth it to see the Pasque flowers. They were abundant! Many on the tour had never seen them before which is not unusual because they aren’t very common in the landscape. This first flower of the spring is a native perennial, but not widely found so it was a thrill to see it up close. Prairies and open pine woodlands as well as dry rocky soils are the preferred habitat of the Pasque flower.
This event was sponsored by Nebraska Game & Parks, Pheasants Forever, Northern Prairie Lands Trust, Nebraska Environmental Trust, Nebraska Natural Legacy Project, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Northeast Nebraska Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council.
To get on the tours and events notification list, contact the RC&D Council at 402-582-4866 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The RC&D wants to continue providing environmental and educational projects that citizens enjoy and that will make life better for people in Antelope, Cedar, Dixon, Knox, Pierce, and Wayne counties.