First, Penn Jillette has a segment on Crackle.com called Penn Says. This time he's talking beekeeping and Mr. Neil and I are referenced in it (Mr. Neil more so than me), but still super cool to hear someone in the mainstream talking about a subject I love.
There's really nothing quite like sitting in a cold dark box on the prairie watching birds flirt. I'm currently at the Woodward, OK Leks, Treks, and More aka a Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival and this morning, I met our group at 5am to go to a local ranch to watch the lesser prairie chicken males dance for a mate. How close were we to the birds?
At certain points the lesser prairie chickens were so close, I could only get a head shot. This is the first year for this festival and the town of Woodward is so dedicated to this crazy dancing bird. Lesser prairie chickens are in a bit of trouble conservation wise, their habitat is threatened by fragmentation and development (more on that later). But the big highlight of the festival is getting up close looks at these elusive birds. I took over 500 photos and over a dozen videos at the lek, so expect some prairie chicken coverage.
Here is a video of the male in his display. If you've ever heard greater prairie chickens booming, these guys sound different. You will also hear a western meadowlark in the background and a camera: