Prairie Chicken Battle

Here’s a video of two males engaged in battle.

I was going to edit this down, but then I thought you might enjoy it more to see it unedited and uncut, from the beginning of the fight to the end.

A little background: The center part of the praire chicken display grounds, or lek, is off to your left. That’s where the more dominant males hang out. Females will only mate with the males in the center of the lek.

So pretend you’re cramped up in a blind. It’s early spring on the Kansas prairie and you’re watching as an ages-old story unfolds:



If it looks violent, it’s because there’s a lot at stake here. The winner not only gains dominance but a chance to mate with the females and pass on his genetics to future generations.

So these battles are the most important events in male prairie chickens’ lives.

Hope you enjoyed your trip to the prairie. Have a great day everyone.



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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11 Responses

  1. Doe in Mi says:

    Wow that was interesting. They sized each other up, then battled, then the winner showed off and told the other to get lost. The loser really looked sad and beaten for sure. They sure do get vicious. Thanks for that video – something I’d never see otherwise.

    • Suzanne says:

      You’re welcome Doe. It’s hard for me to watch just how vicious they get. I want to hop out of my blind and say, “hey, cut it out!”

  2. Kathy Swiger says:

    WOW! can actually hear ’em “smacking” each other! kinda comical, too…thanks for sharing!

    • Suzanne says:

      Oh yea, they beat each other with their wings too, besides the clawing and pecking. By the end of the season, they must have a lot of bald spots.

  3. Evelyn says:

    sure sounded as if they were talking some “trash” to each other, too!

  4. judyktw says:

    That was great~~ I live around Illinois prairie, but I’ve never seen wildlife like that! Thank you for showing us your beautiful surroundings….I read you every day!

    • Suzanne says:

      Thanks Judy! I think there are prairie chickens in Illinois. Worth looking into to see if you can find any leks in your area.

  5. Karen says:

    Wow! They sure looked mad at each other! I can just imagine what one of those bites felt like. I have a male cockatiel and even he gets territorial this time of year and gives me a little nip if I get too close to his ‘nesting box’. I can tell you he can bite hard! I hope you went and gathered up some feathers! Looks like there might have been a few left over! Great video, Suzanne! xx

    • Suzanne says:

      There are always a number of feathers around, and in fact that’s part of how we determine where to set up our blinds in the dark before the birds show up. Well, that and all the bird poo. 🙂

  6. Becky L. says:

    Thanks for sharing. Hope you guys don’t get any tornadoes. Loved the landscape in your video. Have a great week!

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