Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fowl's Day

Friday, March 30th, John arrived in Wray, CO for their Greater Prairie Chicken Tours. That night was an orientation with local rangers. The next morning, early, the participants boarded a bus, drove out to a blind set up right next to the lek and waited until dawn for the chicken dance. More than 40 GPCH showed up for the photo shoot. After the show, the people got back on the bus, and drove over to the ranch house for a celebratory breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Thanks, Wray Chamber of Commerce and the Kitzmiller Grazing Association, for making this possible.

Next stop, Fort Collins. Highway 14 winds over Cameron Pass to Walden. John spent the afternoon on the east side of the pass. The next morning, April 1st, he drove over the pass to Walden and explored that area. Most of the surviving leks of Greater Sage Grouse are on private land, which protects the fowl from overzealous birders and hunters. Walden lek tours don't start until midApril, too late for John's schedule. But, just before sunset, the chicken crossed the road, I don't know why, and John got some nice shots of two GSGR.

No rest for John, he drove back up the pass, stopped and listened, and was rewarded with an owl hoot. Boreal Owl! A nice ending for April Fool's Day.

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