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The Greater Prairie Chicken Also called the: Pinnated grouse; Prairie Grouse or Prairie Hen.

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Presentation on theme: "The Greater Prairie Chicken Also called the: Pinnated grouse; Prairie Grouse or Prairie Hen."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Greater Prairie Chicken Also called the: Pinnated grouse; Prairie Grouse or Prairie Hen

2 The Lesser Prairie Chicken Current Population about 20,000 total Range is the southern Great Plains: – Southern Colorado, – western Kansas, –Oklahoma, –New Mexico –Texas Notice the beautiful rose neck sacs.

3 The Attwater’s Prairie Chicken Closer to complete extinction than any other bird in the US (unless Ivory Billed Woodpeckers still exist). Only found in Texas Slightly smaller and darker than the Greater Prairie Chicken

4 The Attwater’s Prairie Chicken 1900 - 1 million 1971 - 2,200 1993 - 60 2007 - 44 total in the wild +150 birds in captivity, but after several generations in captivity they can’t survive in the wild.

5 The Heath Hen Some believe the bird is was our first Thanksgiving Dinner Early legislation eliminated spring and summer market hunting. What year was this legislation passed? Painted by Rex Brasher in the early 1900’s

6 The Heath Hen Legislation to preserve Heath Hen populations was passed in 1791, by the State of New York. The Heath Hen became extinct in 1932 Painting by Audubon

7 The Society of Tympanuchus Cupido Pinnatus (the Latin name of the Greater Prairie Chicken) Formed in 1960 to save the Greater Prairie Chicken from extinction $1,500,000 study captured 4,601 birds 1996-2003, many studied with radio telemetry Bird with radio transmitter

8 The Greater Prairie Chicken- Total population about 690,000 2006-2007, mostly in western states

9 Linneaus gave the Latin name Cupido because the pinnae reminded him of cupid’s wings.

10 The ‘drummer of love’ The air sacs are called tympani. tym·pa·ni - a set of kettledrums (Latin) Genus Name Tympanuchus

11 The courtship display area is called a Booming Grounds or Lek Groups of Males return annually to the same lek, which can be used for decades

12 Booming grounds must be treeless.

13 A northern harrier is a common predator of the Greater Prairie Chicken








21 The Prairie Chicken Dance

22 1913 photo of the Chicken Dance Society

23 Nesting Shallow depression in tall grass 10-12 eggs Hen takes chicks to food just hours after hatching Females alone incubate & care for young

24 Chicks

25 Food Sources Insects – especially grasshoppers Fruits, leaves, flowers, shoots, seeds, grain, weed seeds and rose hips Winter food sources: corn, soybeans, acorns, oats, wheat, rye & sorghum

26 Kansas, S. Dakota, Nebraska & Oklahoma have hunting seasons for Greater Prairie Chicken Cutting forests increased range Presettlement

27 Illinois Prairie Ridge Natural Area 1992 - 40 prairie chickens 2007 - 220 total prairie chickens

28 This map shows the approximate locations of prairie chickens. Due to survey data from 2008, it is believed that there are about 900 prairie chickens in Wisconsin.

29 Winter Survival Winter Survival rates have been found to be as low as 33% and in direct relationship to the available corn Prairie chickens prefer soybeans – but may assimilate only ½ of the energy from soybeans that they would from corn. Prairie chickens may not be able to reach the ears on newer varieties of corn

30 Loss of Genetic Variability makes the population weaker. In-breeding becomes a problem for isolated pockets which don’t migrate 1-2 males on each lek are responsible for 80% of the mating As the range decreases, there are fewer leks with more males per lek and, therefore, an even lower percentage of males breeding

31 Pheasants-an exotic species Nest Parasitism – a hen Pheasant will lay eggs in a Prairie Chicken nest Pheasant eggs hatch in 23 days rather than 25 days for prairie chickens When the pheasant eggs hatch, the prairie chicken hen leaves the nest with the pheasant chicks and prairie chicken eggs die. Pheasants also out compete prairie chickens for food and disturb booming grounds.

32 Maintaining Grasslands Habitat Prairie chicken hens don’t nest in areas which have been burned within the past Rural housing reduces open space The CRP program pays farmers to leave marginal land fallow; as the price of grain increases – some acres may come out of this program

33 Drs. Fred & Fran Hamerstrom Extensive Prairie Chicken research The reason that Prairie Chickens still exist in Wisconsin Students of Aldo Leopold

34 You can enjoy this amazing experience from Private Blinds – located on the booming grounds.

35 Blinds are located on the Milk Crystal Dairy, the Flaig family farm, in central Wisconsin. By viewing prairie chickens from their blinds, you are supporting their commitment to farming in harmony with nature so they can be a shining example for other farmers.

36 In addition, visit nearby Mead Wildlife Area for more birding opportunities.

37 CENTRAL WISCONSIN PRAIRIE CHICKEN FESTIVAL "A Celebration of Grasslands“ April 17-19, 2009 Earth Day Weekend For details: (715) 343-6215 Or google Prairie Chicken Festival

38 Prairie Chicken Viewing is a memorable experience! Reserve a space for April to mid – May Carl Flaig (715) 570-0782 or Carl will escort you to your blind just a few hundred feet from the road, There are early morning and late afternoon viewing opportunities.

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