Visitors 17
Modified 21-Apr-16
Created 30-Apr-12
79 photos

On April 23, 2012 and again on April 20, 3016, I was able to reserve a blind on the Fort Pierre National Grassland. The blinds are put up by the folks of the Fort Pierre Ranger District and they graciously allow you to reserve these blinds for free to allow you to view wildlife.

The blind was put in a location where the Greater Prairie-Chicken and Sharp-tail Grouse were found and at this time of the year is their mating season. These birds have a very unique mating ritual. The males put on displays by 'puffing' up their necks and fluffing their feathers. They also challenge each other with displays and even short fights can occur.

They call it "The Dance of The Prairie Chicken"! And it is quite a site to see and hear. On the first year of my visit, the winds were quite strong on the morning I was there, which cut down on several displays, but there was still a lot of activity and noise. I was surprised at all the 'chattering' and 'whooping' they did. It quite literally sounded like you were in a jungle surrounded by monkeys! On the second visit a few years later, the wind was much calmer, but there was a heavier cloud cover. Despite the initial poor lighting, the birds put on many displays for me to photograph and enjoy.

This gallery contains a variety of the photos I took on both my visits. Some photos I had to crop quite a bit since the birds stayed a distance from the blind and others the birds were quite close and are full size images. I hope you enjoy viewing these photos half as much as it was taking them!