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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Prairie chickens: Come and see them strut at a 'lek' near you!

  • Crookston Chamber and CVB can help you arrange a viewing.
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  • As spring approaches, one of nature’s most dazzling displays takes place a short distance from Crookston.  At the Glacial Ridge Wildlife Refuge, Greater Prairie Chickens gather for their ritualistic mating display. Traditionally the best viewing is in April through mid-May.
        By special arrangement, it’s possible to observe these spectacular displays from an observation blind placed on the edge of the lek (booming grounds).
        The viewing blinds are available seven days a week beginning April 8. One must arrive in the blind one hour before sunrise, as the prairie chickens usually come to the booming grounds before daylight. As dawn approaches, the motion of the male chickens will slowly become visible, and then as if turned on by a light switch, the booming will begin. After this, the prairie comes alive with sound, motion and excitement.  
        The Crookston Chamber/CVB is handling reservations for the viewing blinds at the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge.  There are a total of four blinds available, and each will hold three people comfortably.  
        One blind has been specifically designated for people with mobility impairments. There is no cost, but reservations are required.
        Reservations may be made by calling 1-800-809-5997 or 281-4320, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or email  skegler@visitcrookston.com.         Once your reservation is confirmed, you will be sent more information and directions to the blinds.  
        A flashlight, warm clothing and waterproof footwear are a must, along with binoculars and a camera.

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