Marker 323: Wisconsin's Greater Prairie Chicken

© Photographed September 26, 2015
Erected 1993 by Wisconsin Historical Society
Wisconsin Rapids, Portage County, Wisconsin
44° 20.222′ N, 89° 38.629′ W

(Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus)
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.
The marker is located on eastbound County Highway W, east of its intersection with County Highway F / North 120th Street, near Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin 54494.

Central Wisconsin Prairie Chicken Festival (Stevens Point, Portage County)

Central Wisconsin Prairie Chicken Festival Facebook Page

These markers are also at this location:

 Looking northeast.

 The south side of the kiosk.

 The north side of the kiosk.

 The east (to the right) and south sides of the kiosk.

 Looking northwest.

Signage leading to the marker location.

The marker is located at the Buena Vista Grasslands 
Prairie Chicken Management Area in Bancroft, Wisconsin.

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