Prairie Chicken Viewing at NCORPE

Prairie Chicken Viewing at NCORPE


            On March 20, the NCORPE project in cooperation with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is starting a Wildlife Viewing Program on the NCORPE property and invites the public to view the wildlife, specifically greater prairie chickens.

            The viewing blind is available Mon.-Fri. March 20-April 28, Sat. April 8 and 22 as well as Sun. April 2, 16, and 30. Other weekend dates may be available upon request. Viewing sessions begin 1 ½ hour before sunrise so viewers can get into the blind without disturbing the prairie chickens in their natural habitat. For more information and to schedule a viewing time, contact Bill Sellers at 308-534-6752 or at bsellers [at]

            NCORPE is an augmentation project in cooperation with the Upper Republican NRD, the Middle Republican NRD, the Lower Republican NRD and the Twin Platte NRD that ensures that river flow obligations are met in accordance with the Republican River Compact. NCORPE is restoring 16,000 acres back to native rangeland which has led to a large increase in wildlife since NCORPE began. This new viewing area on the project’s property is a chance for the wildlife to be on display for the public.

            Bill Sellers, Range Manager at NCORPE, has watched the native prairie chickens and wants to be able to share this opportunity with the public. He believes that engaging with and understanding the local wildlife will help people understand the uniqueness of the species. “The opportunity to see wildlife up close and in person, instead of a picture in a book or maybe a written article, can a lot of times bridge the connection gap,” Sellers stated. His hope for the viewing area is to “allow viewing of the greater prairie chicken because they are somewhat over looked even though they are native to Nebraska unlike the more popular game bird, Ring-Necked Pheasant, which was introduced from Asia.”

            Sellers is passionate about the conservation of the prairie chickens because habitat loss is greatly impacting the birds. “Greater prairie chickens survive on a small portion of the central plains and are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species,” he stated, “Being able to view animals first hand interacting in their environment can emphasize the importance of that species and its conservation.”

            The blind was donated from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and it sits on a lek, a place where male prairie chickens assemble to compete for females’ attraction, so viewers will have a front row seat to watch this display. The males drum their feet and strut around their territory to keep other males away while they put on their dance. The males also have brightly colored air sacs on the sides of their necks that they inflate to attract females as well.

            Reservations are based on first-come, first-serve basis so get your time booked soon so that you can watch the greater prairie chicken mating ritual first-hand.

For More Information:

Kyle Shepherd

General Manager