PRAIRIE CHICKENS PERFORMED ON CUE
The lek, a small area where the males gather to “strut their stuff” for the females, is typically located on land that is covered with short grasses and is slightly raised so that the birds have a good view of the surrounding landscape. The Greater Prairie Chicken returns to these same sites every mating season and most of the females nest within two miles of the breeding grounds.
There were about twenty prairie chickens out and about that morning. 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 happy to see. Most of the breeding is done by just one dominate male, but that doesn’t mean the other males aren’t making their presence known.
Participants learned that there’s more to a prairie stream than meets the eye. Game & Parks staff used an electro-shock device to stun some of the creatures found living in the stream. There were top minnows, a little sunfish, water scorpion, a leach, and more that were caught - just for viewing - before they were returned to the stream. The ones that were seen are examples of those that can live in somewhat impaired waters. This stream is rich in nutrients and falls within the boundary of the Bazile Creek Watershed Initiative.
This event was sponsored by Nebraska Game & Parks, Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, Northern Prairie Lands Trust, Nebraska Environmental Trust, Nebraska Natural Legacy Project, and the Northeast Nebraska Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council.
To get on the RC&D’s tours and events list, contact the office at 402-582-4866 or via email at email@example.com. The Council wants to continue providing environmental and educational projects that citizens learn from and enjoy.