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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Wisconsin Rapids in Portage County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Wisconsin’s Greater Prairie Chicken

(Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus)

 
 
Wisconsin's Greater Prairie Chicken Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 10, 2007
1. Wisconsin's Greater Prairie Chicken Marker
Inscription. These open grasslands in the Buena Vista Marsh, Portage County, were one of the last remaining strongholds of the Greater Prairie Chicken in Wisconsin. Once abun­dant in the state, this impressive bird nearly disappeared when its grassland habitat was converted to croplands, pastures and forests. Many committed individuals and organizations worked to preserve the “chicken,” purchasing nearly 15,000 acres of grasslands since 1954. Thanks to these conservation efforts, chickens can be observed gathering here on their territorial “booming grounds” each April. Hoping to attract a mate, the male birds frantically stomp their feet and spread their tails while inflating bright orange neck sacs and calling out with a low, mournful, booming sound that can be heard for great distances. After breeding, the birds dis­perse during the summer and early fall, gathering again in large flocks for the winter. An intensive grassland management and research program works to ensure the future of this important symbol of the prairie.
 
Erected 1993 by the Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 323.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 44° 20.222′ 
Wisconsin's Greater Prairie Chicken Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 10, 2007
2. Wisconsin's Greater Prairie Chicken Marker
N, 89° 38.629′ W. Marker is near Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, in Portage County. Marker is on County Highway W 0.2 miles east of County Highway F, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wisconsin Rapids WI 54494, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Championships (approx. 4.9 miles away); Milwaukee Gasoline Locomotive (approx. 8.8 miles away); Dr. Byron Robinson (approx. 9 miles away); V. F. W. Post 2534 Veterans Memorial (approx. 9.3 miles away); Elizabeth Daly House (approx. 9½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wisconsin Rapids.
 
Categories. Animals
 
Prairie Chickens Booming image. Click for full size.
By Joe V, April 20, 2007
3. Prairie Chickens Booming
Annual mating ritual of the greater prairie chicken, an activity known as “booming.” This primitive ceremony pits bird against bird as male chickens stake out territory to attract hens for mating.
Prairie Chicken Booming image. Click for full size.
By Joe V, April 20, 2007
4. Prairie Chicken Booming
Booming takes its name from the distinctive sound made by the male chicken, a deep and resonant three-noted ‘whoo, whoo, whoooooo’ accompanied by whoops and cackles that signal territorial possession. Source: Wisconsin DNR website
Prairie Chicken Booming image. Click for full size.
By Joe V, April 20, 2007
5. Prairie Chicken Booming
“The sounds of prairie chickens feet beating double time in a performance inspired the species’ scientific name, Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus, or ‘drummer of love’." Source: Wisconsin DNR website
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 13, 2007, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 2,348 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 13, 2007, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   3, 4, 5. submitted on July 19, 2007, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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