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While People Sheltered in Place, Prairie Chickens, Sharptails Danced

A sharp-tailed grouse, Buffalo Gap National Grassland.

The elaborate Spring mating rituals of prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse are worth waking up early for. The birds start at twilight and wrap up around sunrise.

In recent years, Buffalo Gap National Grassland staff have placed blinds near the leks for viewers. This year that program was put on hold. The birds… still pushed their life cycle along.

Prairie Strut: Sage Grouse and Prairie Chicken Dances

"Most of the chicks hatch in May and June," says BGNG wildlife biologist Phil Dobesh. "Within about ten to twenty days a lot of the chicks fledge, and within ten weeks a lot of the chicks move on and live independently."

Bird fans will have to wait till next Spring to find out if blinds will again be available.