Prairie Chickens

Boom! Thud, thud, thud….

It’s early morning on the lek. In the darkness before dawn, the booming has begun and male Greater Prairie Chickens have started to display. The mating ritual of these beautiful birds is so unique; it challenges the concentration of the first time photographer.

The males put on a display only a female Greater Prairie Chicken can understand. Their booming and dancing becomes much more fervent. Standoffs are turning into fights as they claim their territory on the lek.

Standing on the sidelines in the tall grass, the coyness of the female is interrupted. She wants to become better acquainted with a male that has caught her eye.

As the sun begins to rise higher in the sky, the activity has subsided. Some of the pairs will mate and others will have to wait until the next morning. It’s a rite of survival only a Greater Prairie Chicken can understand.

Boom, thud, thud, thud...

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