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Fighting Prairie-chickens

These two Greater Prairie-Chicken males were in a confrontation on the lek in eastern Colorado. It was spring time, but the females had mostly disappeared. That testosterone was still there, though, so they strutted around and if anyone came too close it was time for a fight! I was happy to get this aerial shot, as often the fight consisted of just some squabbling after which one would back off and walk away.

From Audubon: “At one time, the eerie hollow moaning of male prairie-chickens displaying on their spring “booming grounds” was a common sound across much of central and eastern North America. Today the prairie-chickens are quite uncommon and localized; the race on the Atlantic seaboard, called the Heath Hen, became extinct in 1932. Greater Prairie-Chickens still thrive on a few areas of native grassland in the midwest.”

Photo taken in Wray, Colorado, in April, 2017

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