Like Humans: Mating Male Prairie Chickens Strut, Females Ignore

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This state has a slew of bird festivals, tours and trails. Opportunities abound to check out all kinds of birds like cranes, eagles and even prairie chickens. Each spring, hundreds of visitors to northeastern Colorado fork over $100 to get out of bed really early. They wait in the dark and cold. Then about 45 minutes before sunrise they hear something. It's the eerie sound of the male Greater Prairie Chicken. These guys are looking for love, and to get it they have to dance. It isn’t exactly Swan Lake. Feathers fluff, bizarre orange air sacs inflate, feet tap. The females pretend they don't care. Josh Melby, of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, leads tours of this spectacle. He told CPR’s Elaine Grant what it’s like to peek into these mating rituals.

[Photo: Josh Melby]

Colorado Parks and Wildlife video of Greater Prairie Chicken Dance

Colorado Bird Festivals, Tours and Trails