Welcome back to Nebraska – The Greater Prairie Chicken

Greater Prairie Chicken

Well, after another year, we are back in Burwell, Nebraska to photograph the Greater Prairie Chicken and Sharp-tailed Grouse (both are actually grouse) at the Switzer Ranch. These birds put on an awesome display and each are vastly different and provide their own challenges to photograph.

The Greater Prairie Chicken is actually in decline due to the climate but most importantly loss of habitat to development and grasslands being transitioned to other crops. The grouse perform their dance on what is called a lek or better known as a booming ground. Here, the grouse will defend their territory and try to attract the females.

One of the ranches in Nebraska still farms traditional grassland pasture for cattle which also happens to be the type of habitat the grouse look for. The Switzer family has run this ranch over 3 generations and it is still going strong. Working with the World Wildlife Fund, the Switzers work their ranch in support of the grouse and the leks.

This photo taken with the venerable Nikon D5, Nikkor 800mm at f/5.6.

This entry was posted in Travel, Wildlife.

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Copyright Eric Mitch 2018