Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lesser Prairie Chickens at Milnesand Prairie Preserve

Eric writes: Greetings from Tucson,

From Austin, Texas I drove west to the Roswell, New Mexico area.  This part of eastern New Mexico is comprised of grasslands with a number of rivers creating wetlands.  The Lesser Prairie-Chicken specializes in these grasslands  in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Colorado.

Lesser Prairie-Chicken
The Prairie-Chicken was also another of the species that would be a lifer for me on my drive out to Tucson.  I had one location in mind to try first, and boy was I glad I did.  The lek was right next to the road and the chickens were very easy to watch.  I spent two mornings watching the chickens; the first was great but I didn't know where to park and didn't want to move once the chickens were displaying, the second morning the weather was terrible; very windy and cloudy so the chickens didn't display for as long and the light was never good.  
A beautiful Eastern Meadowlark at the prairie-chicken lek.
After spending one morning at the lek, I headed to Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge.  I hadn't heard of this refuge but just saw a sign so went to check it out on a whim.  It was an extremely productive stop with lots of waterfowl.  I could only imagine how awesome this refuge was before the birds started heading north; I guess I will just have to make another visit!

Northern Shoveler
-Eric

1 comment:

Laurence Butler said...

Very cool! SE AZ is straight up buzzing with good stuff right now. Enjoy!