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A male lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) attempts to entice female lesser prairie-chickens at sunrise with a showy mating display on a lek near the Smoky Valley Ranch in Logan County, Kansas. Prairie chickens return to the same lek year after year to mate. Males will battle each other to have the prime spot on a lek.
Lesser prairie-chickens are found in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas with about half of the current population living in western Kansas.
Males have bright yellow eye-combs. During courtship on a lek, males inflate their red esophageal air sacs and hold erect pinnae on each side of the neck. They rapidly stomp their feet making a drumming-like sound. The booming call of lesser-prairie chickens, amplified by the air sacs, can be heard as far as a mile away.
- Lesser prairie-chicken-3.jpg
- © John L. Dengler
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- 8256x5495 / 18.5MB
America Kansas Logan County North America Smoky Valley Ranch The Nature Conservancy Tympanuchus pallidicinctus U.S. US USA United States United States of America animal animals aves avian bird birds courtship daybreak fauna fowl-like birds gallinacean gallinaceous bird grassland grouse lek lesser prairie-chicken mating behavior mating display nature prairie prairie chicken scenery shortgrass shortgrass prairie spring sun up sunrise sunrises sunset water wildlife