Zenfolio | Keith H. Hemmelman | Greater Prairie-Chicken & Sharp-tail Grouse
Visitors 20
Modified 21-Apr-18
Created 30-Apr-12
143 photos, 3 videos

On April 23, 2012, April 20, 3016, and April 21, 2018, 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 blinds are 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. The weather can have an affect on how much they display, such as if it is windy or raining. On my visits, I've had good sunlight, wind, and heavy cloud cover. But they were willing to display on all my visits. I was surprised at all the 'chattering' and 'whooping' they did. It quite literally sounded like you were in a jungle surrounded by monkeys! Even if your photographs don't turn out, it is quite an enjoyable experience!

This gallery contains a variety of the photos I taken on my multiple. 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!