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03-02-2022, 09:41 AM   #1
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Spots Still Available for Prairie Chicken Lek Tours but filling fast 6 per day

This morning

I grabbed my slot for 4/01 [ I was assured that the trip on that date was no joke ]

and a back up on 4/02

I plan on staying in Great Bend Kansas

only 6 slots per day, $40

anyone interested ?

QuoteQuote:
Spots Still Available for Prairie Chicken Lek Tours
In the early hours of spring mornings across the prairies, a performance for the ages must go on. Prairie-Chickens are busy putting on a show that is critical to their survival. Male Prairie-Chickens strut around on communal mating grounds known as “leks,” where they fight, call, and dance to win the affection of females. It is one of the most fascinating and unique natural phenomenon people can watch. Lek tours draw people from around the world each year to the Great Plains.
The Kansas Wetlands Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms, invites you to come and witness this wonderful show during a Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Tour. Tours are available to the public on select days from mid-March through mid-April by reservation only. Tours are $40 per person.

QuoteQuote:
The Kansas Wetlands Education Center, invites you to come and witness this wonderful show during a Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Tour. Staff will drive you to a local Greater Prairie-Chicken lek, where there is a trailer blind sitting. From the blind, you will be able to observe the Prairie-Chickens on the lek, and the guide will be there to tell you all about these interesting birds and the incredible spectacle.
https://wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu/events/greater-prairie-chicken-lek-tours.html .

Call the KWEC 877-243-9268 to register and receive more information.
Tour dates are:
Thursday, March 24
Saturday, March 26
Monday, March 28
Tuesday, March 29
Friday, April 1
Saturday, April 2
Tuesday, April 5
Tuesday, April 12 (FULL)
Friday, April 15 (FULL)
Tuesday, April 19
https://wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu/index.html

Great chance to visit Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area:

QuoteQuote:
Cheyenne Bottoms is the largest marsh in the interior of the United States and was designated a Wetland of International Importance in 1988 by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, one of two sites in the state - the other being Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. The area is considered the most important shorebird migration point in the western hemisphere. Approximately 45 percent of the North American shorebird population stops at the Bottoms during spring migration.
http://naturalkansas.org/cheyenne.htm

and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge:

QuoteQuote:
Quivira National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1955 to provide and protect vital habitat for migratory waterfowl in the Central Flyway. Its 22,135 acres feature a unique combination of rare inland salt marsh and sand prairie. Quivira is listed as a Wetland of Global Importance. Many opportunities exist for visitors to explore this oasis of the Great Plains.
Quivira National Wildlife Refuge | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


Last edited by aslyfox; 03-02-2022 at 11:12 AM.
03-02-2022, 01:19 PM - 3 Likes   #2
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Are you sure this isnít a snipe hunt? Lol.
03-02-2022, 02:15 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Are you sure this isn’t a snipe hunt? Lol.


wrong type of habitat

QuoteQuote:
Habitat of the Prairie Chicken
Prairie chickens have a specific type of habitat that they prefer… can you guess what it might be? That’s right, prairie chickens like living in prairies! Specifically, they inhabit prairies with tall grasses, and prairie-woodland mixed habitats.
Snipes are shore birds

don't know if any might be found at Cheyenne Bottoms or Quivira though

QuoteQuote:
A snipe is any of about 26 wading bird species in three genera in the family Scolopacidae. They are characterized by a very long, slender bill, eyes placed high on the head, and cryptic/camouflaging plumage. The Gallinago snipes have a nearly worldwide distribution, the Lymnocryptes snipe is restricted to Asia and Europe and the Coenocorypha snipes are found only in the outlying islands of New Zealand. The four species of painted snipe are not closely related to the typical snipes, and are placed in their own family, the Rostratulidae.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snipe

__________________________

these will be the Greater Prairie Chickens Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Greater_Prairie-Chicken/id

_________________________________

my attempts in 2019 at the same blind

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pre69cubfan/albums/72157680292470578

my only encounter I have had with these birds

Last edited by aslyfox; 03-02-2022 at 04:19 PM.
03-09-2022, 02:01 PM   #4
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more details about the event:

QuoteQuote:
Participants will meet at [ Kansas Wetlands Education Center 592 NE K-156 Highway Great Bend, KS 67530 ] by 5:20-6:00am depending on the time of sunrise. Transportation to the lek will be provided . . .

Space is limited to a max of 6 people for each date
Participants must be Age 12 and older
Participants must be able to sit in a blind for up to 4-5 hours with no facilities
Participants must be able to step up two 12Ē steps into the blind
Participants must be able to walk approximately 200 yards through a pasture
Dress appropriately (temperatures can be quite cold; while inside a blind, it is still cold)
Cameras and tripods are allowed. We recommend silencing any noises on your cameras.
The closest birds are typically 20-25 yards from the blind
https://wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu/events/greater-prairie-chicken-lek-tours.html

follow the above link for photo of interior of the blind and photographers

planning on -

stocking cap

layers

insulated boots

pad for cold seat

tripod/monopod in case I try to use them

spare batteries and sd cards

03-26-2022, 08:00 AM   #5
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Update on my planned trip to see the Greater Prairie Chickens

just learned that a few Whooping Cranes Grus americana have been spotted at Cheyenne Bottoms -

QuoteQuote:
Do They Migrate?
Yes, whooping cranes do migrate. They will tend to migrate south towards Texas during the fall, typically around mid September. They will then migrate to back up north to Canada during late March or early April.

They have been known to migrate more than 2,400 miles each year.

It is estimated that around 1,400 whooping cranes were known to migrate across North America during the mid-1800s. Unfortunately, this population has now dropped down to an estimated 600 to 800.
https://operationmigration.org/whooping-crane-the-ultimate-guide/#Do_They_Migrate

QuoteQuote:
With a height of approximately five feet (1.5 meters), whooping cranes are the tallest birds in North America. Whooping cranes have a 7.5-foot (2.3-meter) wingspan. They are lean birds, and despite their height, weigh only about 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms). . . Today there are two migratory populations and one non-migratory population of whooping cranes. The largest flock is also the only natural migratory flock. It spends winters in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas and breeds in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. The non-natural migratory flock winters at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Florida and breeds in the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin. The non-migratory flock was formed in Florida as a reintroduction program. They live near Kissimmee in Florida year-round. . . . Whooping cranes call with a loud, trumpeting bugle. It's louder and more defined than the call of the sandhill crane. In flight, they also call with a deep trill. . . .
https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Birds/Whooping-Crane

these would be part of the wild flock from Texas going north

no telling how long they will be around

so I booked a 90 minute tour ( $5.00 ) on March 31

I hope I get lucky

a few years old now and long but still informative


Last edited by aslyfox; 03-26-2022 at 08:45 AM.
03-26-2022, 09:39 AM   #6
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Good luck! Iím sure it will be fun.
04-01-2022, 01:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Good luck! I’m sure it will be fun.
you were correct

it was fun

even though the Whooping cranes were a no show

did find a number of great blue herons in the Cheyene Bottoms yesterday

and 6 male prairie chickens this AM

working through the photos now

I have an album set up on my flickr.com account:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pre69cubfan/albums/72177720297791932

will post some here, there and ever where in the near future

[ Here is one ]

crop and pp

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PENTAX K-3 Mark III  Photo 

Last edited by aslyfox; 04-02-2022 at 08:11 AM.
04-02-2022, 05:32 AM   #8
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back story learned about this opportunity

years ago a graduate student from Fort Hayes University studying the greater prairie chicken was interning at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center.

[ https://wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu/about/index.html ]

as she was driving down the public roads listening she heard the males booming and approached the landowners. Permission from them was obtained and that is how the temporary trailer blind was placed on their private land
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