January 29, 2016 - The prairie chicken population was dealt a harsh blow by the extreme cold winter of 2013/2014. Only the hardiest survived that winter and it appeared that it was the younger population. Without the adults to guide them the small numbers found were scattered and wide spread. Two mating seasons have come and gone without having any mating pairs visit our lek. As the seasons progressed last year, I started to see groups of young prairie chickens on our farm. The prairie chicken scouts have told me that there are about 40 prairie chickens around our farm feeding in the nearby grain fields. We are excited to hear that the birds are again making a comeback and are hopeful that they will return to our lek in the spring. Pretty soon the young males will be starting to practice their dance in hopes of attracting a female this spring. I will be watching for their arrival and will post the results here. By mid March I should have an idea if the population will be strong enough to allow limited viewing. We will post further updates as we know more.
March 8, 2015 -We Have Again decided to not place our blinds out on the lek this year, 2015. More information about this decision will be added soon.
March 1, 2014 - I believe that everyone would agree that this past winter was difficult and very cold for humans and animals alike. Whereas humans had houses that provided warmth and shelter from the brutal winter, the animals did everything they could. Sadly, for the animals, it has become apparent that the death loss will be higher than we want it to be.
This is the first year that the prairie chickens have not returned to the lek, and I was born here. The prairie chicken scouts have reported seeing them in areas that are not usually known to have a population. The chickens that they see are young and it appears that without the older birds to show them the ancestral booming grounds, they are lost and scattered. It has many people concerned.
As a result, I will not be setting out my blinds this year. I will carefully watch, hoping that some mature males will have survived and be able to make their way back to the lek, and if they do, I don't want them to be stressed in any way. Right now, that is all we can do, and I will do my part by continuing to farm in the manner that the birds found so inviting. I want to thank everyone for their past, present and future support.
It is fortunate that a prairie chicken study was scheduled to take place this year. It will be important to understand which chickens have survived, and what we might be able to expect in the future.
February 12, 2013 - A group of prairie chickens was seen this week. There was a count of about 70 birds!
April 17, visitors also saw a coyote on the booming grounds, meadowlarks & various raptors can also be seen at various times.
Check out this video Prairie Chicken Mating Display: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2_wdMmEupQ This video is from Missouri Dept. of Conservation, the description is the same for our Wisconsin birds.
To reserve a seat in a private blind on the Milk Crystal Dairy in Central Wisconsin call Carl Flaig (715)570-0782 or email [email protected] Displays take place in the early morning AND late afternoon through late May. A wheel chair accessible blind is available. Ask about group packages. April Sightings: 18 males & several females consistently visit the blinds in the morning; Afternoons fewer arrive but they still put on a command performance! All 50-75 feet from the blinds. Western Meadowlarks are also a common siting.
Milk Crystal Dairy, LLC 5417 County Road M,
Carl will escort you to the blinds just a few hundred feet from the road. A Donation of $25.00 is requested.
"It begins in the dark, pre-dawn silence of an early
POWER POINT PRESENTATION is available which highlights the history and mating behavior of Prairie Chickens. download on attached page or email [email protected] for a free copy to present to your group.
Thanks to the