Greater prairie chicken

Greater prairie chicken males strut their stuff on display grounds called leks each spring.

The sun had set on a lovely, summer-like afternoon…and now it rose on the cold, gray, damp of early spring. Well, at least I assume it did. The only sign of our star’s presence was a gradual decrease in my reliance on headlights.

Thanks to the magic of GPS, I managed to find the school bus parked in a soggy gravel lot in the middle of farm country. I darted through the raindrops and claimed a seat behind a few other groggy people. More straggled on, and as the 6 a.m. meeting time arrived, volunteer coordinators Sharon Schwab & Dan O’Connell introduced themselves and took attendance. Seven of about 20 registered participants had decided not to brave the cold rain for a rare chance to see prairie chickens.

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