My New Book


Quick & Dirty Post From Oklahoma

First, Penn Jillette has a segment on 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:

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8 comments to Quick & Dirty Post From Oklahoma

  • My son, Matty, is sitting here with me (he’s 13 yrs old and a birder), and he wanted to leave a comment, “The Prairie Chicken is by far my favorite bird. I had no idea that they were even around anymore, because I have never heard of anyone seeing one. That was a great video that you took, and I hope you see another Prairie Chicken soon.” (We live in Cincinnati and don’t have them here.)

  • Tisha

    Welcome to Oklahoma!

  • The video is just too cool! thanks for sharing…and did it survive the tornado that struck after you left?

  • Hi Matty,

    I hope you get to see prairie chickens some day, either lessers like these or come to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska to greaters–you’re gonna love ‘em!

    And all the blinds were still standing and the birds were dancing again this morning!

  • Thank you, Birdchick. Today I read about them in our bird guides. Now it is a goal for me to see them.

  • [...] I’ll leave you with this (humble little) video I made of the lekking chickens. Birdchick got some thoroughly awesome videos- you will definitely want to go on over and have a look. [...]

  • Wow! Nothing like a pro with the right equipment to really capture a moment! Those are beautiful. It was a pleasure learning more about birding from you and I look forward to seeing more pix and videos.