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Lek treks & More: The 2009 Woodward Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival
April 17-22, 2009

Other Perspectives on the Festival

Here are some blog posts from our keynote speaker Sharon Stiteler, The BirdChick:

Best Bird Festival Idea Ever

Oklahoma Porcupines

Other Oklahoma Birds Besides Prairie Chickens

Lesser Prairie Chicken aka Jets vs Sharks

Lesser Prairie Chicken Attempts At Mating

Quick & Dirty Post From Oklahoma


Our featured artist Debby Kapsari also has blogged about the Festival:

The Fabulous (Prairie) Chicken Dance

Chickens Come Home, Roosting Nicely

Out on the lone prairie, a painting comes to life

This Is Real Oklahoma


Travel writer Sophia Dembling was a guest at the festival and has a wonderful blog entry, from the perspective of a non-birder:

Lessons From The Dancing Chickens

Doing the prairie chicken dance


Our Own Eric Beck has also blogged about the weekend:

The Woodward Oklahoma Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival

Thank you to the over 100 participants who made the Oklahoma Audubon Council's first annual Lek Treks & More: The Woodward Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival a great success! We had registrants from 15 different states and two provinces.

Despite the challenging conditions caused by the rain, everyone had great views of the Lesser Prairie Chickens displaying on the lek, along with a great story of how they got to the blinds! All enjoyed a wonderful ranch breakfast at the Selman Guest Ranch and participated in marking fences, a direct conservation action that saves prairie-chickens. We also had a variety of other field trips, workshops and other events.

Please scroll down to view photos and more details form the weekend.

Click here for original brochure

Selman's Bluff by Debby Kaspari

Debby was our featured artist and created Selman's Bluff for the festival. Her painting is be available as a signed, limited edition print, and is featured on our festival poster and t-shirt. These items are still available in limited quantities and may be purchased here.

Photos from the Festival
Photos by John Kennington unless otherwise noted.

Be sure to visit the BirdChick's blog entries noted above for some great photos and videos
of the Lesser Prairie-Chickens in action!

Also visit Susan Walker's album of photos from the 2009 festival

Everyone received a TogetherGreen Bag from Tulsa Audubon for participants to hold their fence marking materials.

A variety of artists had their work on display

Half awake birders at the 4:45 a.m. departure.

The blinds are entered in the dark, before dawn. Climbing the pasture fence with the blinds (of course, these photos taken on the way out in the daylight!). Above photos by Sharon Stiteler,

A happy birder after seeing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken, returning to Sue Selman's ranch house for breakfast.

The feeders outside Sue Selman's kitchen window.

Dr. Dwayne Elmore explaining the fence marking procedures

The result of work by Eric Beck, Oklahoma Audubon Council's Important Bird Area Coordinator, cutting the vinyl siding starter strips for marking fences.

Participants marking fences after viewing the chickens.

Field trip to Prairie Dog Town and Fort Supply Lake.
Photos by Amy Marcoux

Harper County Field Trip, birding the Buffalo Creek Salt Flats. Even the four wheel drive vehicles got stuck in the mud!
Photos above by Jim Mitchell and  Sharon Stiteler,

Photo by Dave Faintich

Dr. Steve Thompson and Dr. Andrine Shufran lead the Prairie Bugs and Plants field trip.
Photos by Amy Marcoux


A variety of workshops were well attended.

The Saturday Banquet features a keynote address by Sharon Stitler, The BirdChick. Below are festival organizers John Kennington, Sue Selman, Eric Beck and Dr. Dwayne Elmore.

Sunday evening featured a tour of the Shattuck Windmill Museum, followed by dinner at the Whistlestop cafe.
Sharon Stiteler enjoyed her meal!

Saturday's Owl Prowl was rained out, but Sunday we traveled to Doby Springs and had two cooperative Barred Owls. Dr. Shufran also set up her black lighting equipment, but it was too cold to attract many moths or insects. But the local Sheriff did visit to investigate various reports of teenagers drinking and people poaching turkeys!

Monday's dinner was a cookout at the Selman Living Lab.
Sharon Stiteler again enjoyed her meal, as did this young man!

Above photos by Amy Marcoux

Cowboy singer Chuck Milner serenaded us as we ate and the sun set, and we roasted marshmallows over the fire.

It was a beautiful evening on the prairie.
hotos by Amy Marcoux

As the stars appeared Dr. Steve Maier opened the observatory and showed us several celestial objects in the telescope.
Photos by John Kennington

The Woodward community supported the festival, and the Plains, Indians & Pioneers Museum featured a special exhibit on Lesser Prairie-Chickens. Photos by Jim Mitchell.

Birding at the Boise City Sewage Ponds, a stop on the way to Black Mesa in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

A late lunch at the Hitching Post B&B, followed by some birding in "downtown" Kenton.

The Three State Marker (the other two sides say "Colorado") and guide Jane Apple brought her broom to brush the dirt from the dinosaur tracks. Leader Jimmy Woodard spotted two Golden Eagles while at the dino track location.

Birding at the Hoot Owl Ranch. We were unsuccessful calling in the resident Western Screech-Owl.

Wednesday lunch was at the Kenton Mercantile, followed by a visit to the Kenton Museum.

On the return we stopped at Autograph Rick, featuring "graffiti" by settlers on the Santa Fe Trail. We also found two Barn Owls nesting on the cliffs.

Our last stop was in Guymon for dinner and a presentation by artist Brian Test.



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