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Michael Todd | profile | all galleries >> Greater Prairie-Chickens of Prairie Ridge State Natural Area; Newton, IL tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map

Greater Prairie-Chickens of Prairie Ridge State Natural Area; Newton, IL

I left the house a little before 1 AM to make the 5 hour drive up to Prairie Ridge, on 4/6/2012. I got very lucky, as when I arrived the group going out to the blinds (reservations a year in advance) hadn't left yet and due to a couple of cancellations there was room for me. It was much colder than I expected, or prepared for, but well worth it. I had planned on doing this for years now, glad it finally happened. The Chicken population has taken a big downturn, evidently from a very bad hail storm that hit the area during last nesting season.

I didn't carry my scope for digiscoping, which I should have. The birds were 60-75 yards away, a bit far for only 400mm, so most of these are close to 100% crops, and most are at high ISO due to the early morning light.
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Henslow's Sparrow
Henslow's Sparrow
Killdeer
Killdeer
Killdeer
Killdeer