For a number of years the annual Wisconsin Prairie Chicken Festival (WPCF) in Central Wisconsin has been a gathering of bird lovers and nature enthusiasts. Every April is the prime time to monitor the bird count, and see the mating of the greater prairie chicken at the Paul J. Olson Wildlife Area and other select sites in the region. This year it takes place April 14. While some events are free, others require registration and some fees. For a locally produced lunch, exhibits and workshops there’s a new venue at Camp Alexander-Lester Hall in Wisconsin Rapids.
A birding tour with Kent Hall and Stan Skutek is available at the wildlife area. There are viewing opportunities, too. The tour starts early because the male birds do their fascinating dance at dawn – their orange air sacs expanding as their little feet dance at a furious pace – all to impress the hens for a fleeting chance at creating new life on their landscape.
The schedule for all activities is subject to change, so stay up-to-date by calling 715.540.0236 or visiting cleangreenaction.org. To book reservations go to showtix4u.com.
Wisconsin neighbors and visitors are invited to this year’s Prairie Chicken Festival.