Chicken Run (Denver to OKC)

Friday April 7. 2017 to Friday April 14, 2017

Sharp-tailed Grouse

 

Our trip will cover a lot of ground and take us to a variety of habitats including high mountain passes all the way to open grasslands. Our main goal will be to observe and photograph the beautiful and interesting courtship displays of several species of grouse including Greater Sage Grouse, Dusky Grouse, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Greater Prairie-Chicken and Lesser Prairie-Chicken.


We have worked hard to find the best leks and blinds for photography making this trip a special opportunity to get top quality photos of these amazing birds at the height of their breeding rituals.  Guests will be able to take advantage of the years of work we have done building relationships with landowners to gain access to some of the choicest places available to capture a glimpse (and photos) of these age-old dances.

 

On this trip we hope to offer our guests much more than simply seeing these grouse, our goal is for everyone to come home with images they are proud of and an experience they will never forget.

Bald Eagle
Black-billed Magpie

 

Since most of the action happens at dawn and dusk, this trip will involve a lot of very early mornings.


In order to keep the schedule manageable this trip will be focused on the grouse.  We will certainly be seeing other avian species along the way and will try our best to make the most of the opportunities they present us with.  However, we are not trying to make this trip about a high species count where we spend lots of effort finding every species of bird possible.  We hope this strategy will keep our guests fresh and able to make the most of the stars of the show.

Barrow's Goldeneye
Common Redpoll
American Tree Sparrow

Some of the bird species we have encountered on previous grouse trips include Barrow’s Goldeneye, Common Redpoll, American Tree Sparrow, Northern Shrike, Three-toed Woodpecker and more.

Greater Prairie-Chicken

As one would expect, seeing all of the desired grouse species requires that we cover a lot of ground.

In order to accomplish our goal we will start in Denver, make our way around Colorado and then into Nebraska, eventually ending up in Dallas, TX. During our travels we will visit several blinds that will allow us to observe the displaying birds without disturbing them. For most of the grouse we have scheduled two separate lek visits per species in an attempt to insure against missing a species due to bad weather or any other unforeseen complication.

American White Pelican
Gray Jay

April is a beautiful time in Colorado and should present us with numerous opportunities for scenery photography as we move from location to location.

McCowan's Longspur
Northern Shrike

The trip shouldn’t be very demandingly physically.  There aren’t any long hikes and we shouldn’t have to deal with much rough terrain.  Our main physical challenge will be the long drives between birding locations.  We do our best to get comfortable vehicles and take breaks to stretch our legs along the way.  It should also come as no surprise that the weather can be fairly cold, though dressing appropriately should keep everyone comfortable.

Horned Lark
Greater Sage-Grouse

In order to offer the best photography possible we are limiting this trip to four guests.

Rough-legged Hawk
Lesser Prairie-Chicken

All of the photos here were taken during the 2013 iteration of this trip.

The cost per person will be $2800 per person. This includes all transportation starting in Denver and ending in Oklahoma City. Also included are all guide and blind fees, some of which are substantial and all lodging starting the night of April 7 and ending the night of April 13th. Guests will have the option to fly out of Oklahoma City on the night of the 14th, however if preferred we can help make hotel arrangements near the Airport for the night of the 14th for flights leaving on the 15th.  Guests flying out on the 15th will be responsible for their lodging for the night of the 14th.

Greater Sage-Grouse