Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spooky mornings.

Don't watch this video. Just listen. Listen to those strange, ghost-like and spooky hoots and cackles. Just as first twilight breaks the blackness of night, strange sounds haunt the morning. Imagine if this was your first experience at a prairie chicken booming ground. What if someone blindfolded you and brought you out to this prairie chicken lek without you knowing where you were? Its as if some little gremlins are out there mocking you, laughing at you. There is a plethora of outstanding videos and photographs of prairie chickens doing their amazing booming ground displays. But I wanted to try to share the amazing experience of hearing the strange noises of the lek in almost total darkness when the birds first arrive. You have to get up pretty early to beat the prairie chickens to their dance floor. They fly and walk in and almost immediately start cooing, cackling, whistling, and fighting. They hope for a chance to attract a hen and mate. Its a ritual played out in the prairie for eons. Few people get the chance to experience this fantastic phenomenon--a magic that starts way before dawn for a full two spring months. If you get a chance to experience any of the magic, don't pass it up. You'll never regret the fantastic experience of some of nature's best prairie drama.

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