April 23-30, 2014
Questions? Contact John Kennington at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Join the Oklahoma Audubon Council For An Amazing Prairie Experience! See and hear the quickly vanishing Lesser Prairie-Chicken displaying on its gobbling grounds. Come share and experience the natural heritage of the high plains of northwestern Oklahoma.
Festival Highlights Include:
* Lesser Prairie-Chicken viewing from blinds or vans
* Greater Prairie-Chicken viewing from blinds in Osage County, Oklahoma
* An opportunity to actively participate in protecting the species by helping to mark fences
* Field trips led by local experts around northwest Oklahoma
* Special packages for photographers!
* Workshops with photographer Noppadol Paothong!
* Post-festival field trip to the Black Mesa, where Oklahoma meets the Rocky Mountains
* Post-festival field trip to the Wichita Mountains (where we’ll see Black-capped Vireos!)
* A variety of informative workshops and speakers
The Friday Lesser Prairie-Chicken viewing from the blinds and the van is now full! We still have plenty of room on Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to get your registrations in ASAP.
The early registration deadline is Feb 15. As long as it is mailed by the 15th you can pay the early fee of $20, or you can call John Kennington anytime this weekend at 918-809-6325 to ensure I have you down and save $10 on the fee.
We still have spaces available for all the field trips, but feel free to call if you want to double check. The Photographer’s Packages are limited to just 6 people, but all three days still have a few openings.
Registration for the 2014 festival is now open. Visit the Registration page for the details on how to register.\
We are also very pleased to announce our 2014 Keynote Speaker will be Laura Erickson. Laura is author of four books, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award and several conservation, research, and writing awards, and contributing writer for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She’s been producing her radio program, “For the Birds,” for a quarter of a century, since May, 1986. Visit her website at www.lauraerickson.com
The 2013 Festival is officially under way and has had a FRIGID start! The group on the pre-trip for Greater Prairie-Chickens braved freezing cold and rain. Due to decline in their numbers the bird had failed to return to the lek on the private ranch where we view them, so we had already cancelled the blind viewing this year. But about half the group stuck with the trip, since we planned to view a lek from the road.
And today we did observe a lek from the road. But the birds were also feeling the weather and only a few came in and were not very active. But we did get them! Fortunately the forecast in Woodward the rest of the week is looking much better!
Here is the list of species seen April 10 in the Tallgrass Prairie-Preserve area:
Am. Golden Plover
Here are some other species seen this week at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, but missed by our group due to the weather conditions:
Am Pipit, Merlin
|Here is the design for the 2013 festival t-shirt. They are now available for pre-order for $22.00. The price will be $25 during the festival, and we will have a very limited supply of extras.|
The 2013 festival is just around the corner. I’m pleased to report that Sue Selman is reporting she has the birds back on her ranch, and she is identifying the lek locations. And other migrants are starting to return, with the first reports of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers returning around Oklahoma just this weekend.
So far for this year we have participants from 15 states, from Alaska to Florida, and it is not too late to register! The Saturday morning Lesser-Prairie-Chicken blind viewing is now full, but we still have room on Friday and Sunday. The Friday and Saturday Photographer’s Packages are also full, with 2 spots left on Sunday. The other field trips still have openings.
I will be emailing some additional information later this week, but here is a link to a Google Map showing the various locations we will be visiting during the festival, so you can plan your drive into Woodward.
To emphasize we are dealing with mother nature I do have some possibly bad news about the Greater Prairie-Chicken viewing. I have already reported directly to the participants that the birds have failed to return to the private ranch we use for viewing. We are actively working on finding an alternative lek, but their numbers are down across the region. We do know of a lek visible from the road (which we cannot directly access) which we will use as a default location, but that really won’t provide an opportunity for photography. Hopefully we’ll find something, and we’ll make a final decision on what we will do by the end of this week.
Here is the 2013 Festival poster, featuring a wonderful Lesser Prairie-Chicken photograph from our featured artist Noppadol Paothong. Posters will be available for purchase for $15 at the festival, or may also be ordered over the phone. Contact John Kennington at 918-809-6325 for details. Click the image below for a larger image.
Welcome to our first post for the 2013 Festival! Registration is now open, and we already have participants from 8 different states, from California to Massachusetts! We still have plenty of room, but I do want to point out that the Greater-Prairie-Chicken viewing is limited to 20 participants, and we are already more than half full. So if you are wanting to come to Oklahoma and get both species send your registration in ASAP! Feel free to call John Kennington at 918-809-6325 with any questions.
You may have heard on the news that Woodward, Oklahoma was hit by a large tornado on Sunday, April 15, resulting in six deaths, many injuries, and many homes and businesses destroyed. Despite that very horrible news I am happy to report that the Selman Ranch, where we will view the Lesser Prairie-Chickens, sustained no damage, and our headquarters, the Northwest Inn, also was not damaged. So the Festival will proceed as planned.
We are at capacity on Saturday for the Photographer’s Package. We still have about 4 spots open on Sunday.