Female lesser prairie-chicken.
BWD MAP BY CLAIRE MULLEN
alone. Females make
their nests on the
ground, typically laying 12 eggs that hatch
in 24–26 days. The
young hatch downy
and capable of following their mother.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The Annual High Plains Lesser Prairie-Chicken
Festival was started by a group of local enthusiasts to celebrate and raise awareness about the
lesser prairie-chicken. Because of Milnesand’s
small size and lack of amenities, attendance is
limited to 100 participants, and every year the
festival sells out.
In order to avoid lengthy drives from towns
with motels, the festival provides names of local
ranchers willing to take in boarders. I stayed with
Exa Kay and Orbrie Luman, retired ranchers and
longtime residents of the high plains. Staying
with them certainly enhanced my prairie-chicken
adventure, not to mention my knowledge of cattle ranching, oil wells, pipelines, water wells, and
the hardships of their homesteading forebears.
The festival is a homespun venture that many
of the local ranchers attend. Meals are prepared
by local volunteers and served cafeteria style. The
festival’s homey atmosphere and casual nature
bring many repeat attendees.
For more information, contact Tish McDaniel
firstname.lastname@example.org) at The Nature Conservancy in Clovis, New Mexico.—R.B.
Also note: The Oklahoma Audubon Council
hosts a lesser prairie-chicken festival of its own
each spring in Woodward, Oklahoma, where
BWD’s editor Bill Thompson, III, will be the keynote
speaker in 2011.
Bird Watcher’s digest • March/april ’ 11 •