We left at 3:30 a.m. to show up predawn as well as stealthily slipped via the cool darkness to wait at our blind. The faintest light showed up … gradually the men came … the dance as well as the growing, reverberating-through-your-body, other-worldly audios started. We were viewing the lek breeding routines of Greater Prairie-Chickens.
Men collect as well as present at their breeding premises each springtime. They quickly mark their feet as well as create the growing audios by blowing up the orange air cavities on the sides of their neck, the audio originates from air going through the syrinx as well as is intensified by the cavities, an expansion of the esophagus. Men additionally make babbling as well as whooping sounds. Women after that show up as well as make a decision which man to mate with, while the men complete for ladies. Women generally select older, a lot more seasoned men with longer legs, bigger eye combs, as well as the most effective regions within the lek. After mating the ladies nest as well as elevate the young themselves.
This occurred a variety of years ago (when we were with our buddies Gary as well as Diane Cole) at the Grassy Field Ridge Natural Location, Illinois, the only staying area eastern of the Mississippi where Greater Prairie-Chickens, a decreasing varieties, can be discovered on their historic premises.