Loading Events

Virtual Wisconsin Prairie Chicken Festival

April 12 - April 17


Every April, the Greater Prairie-Chicken dances at dawn, and typically people can assist researchers by sitting in a blind to watch, and log, the mating of this unique Wisconsin species. Due to COVID, the 2021 Wisconsin Prairie Chicken Festival (WPCF) is going to be a virtual, online experience.

The event is free, but spots may be limited, so registration is required:

April 12 to April 17
Scientific and literary legacies of the late Drs. Frederick and Frances Hamerstrom, featuring the Greater Prairie-Chicken and other grassland species and their habitats, benefits of rotational grazing and other grassland management techniques, research through the decades, children’s programs, techniques for backyard birders, and how the artist made the festival’s new logo.

On festival day, April 17th, the schedule includes: from 7 to 8 a.m. Dance with the Chickens; 10 a.m. Mary “Casey” Martin reviews numerous Hamerstrom Legacies, having worked with Frances Hamerstrom as her literary agent; 11 a.m. Paul Skawinski features creating prairie habitat in your own backyard; and the Noon Keynote, Dr. David Drake, presents a fascinating saga, the storied history of the Greater Prairie-Chicken of Wisconsin.

There’s a lot to learn from the professionals and volunteers involved in this annual effort highlighting a special Wisconsin bird.  Sharing the information expanded when the following statewide organizations and businesses teamed up to spread the word: Clean Green Action is an environmental organization that acts as an umbrella for WPCF. Wisconsin Rapids area: Bird City, Central Wisconsin Cultural Center, Hamerstrom Fund for Writing at Incourage Foundation, UW-Madison Extension at Wood County, Wisconsin Rapids Visitor & Convention Bureau, WFHR. Stevens Point area: Portage County, UW-Stevens Point; Wausau area: Janke’s Art & Books; and Madison area: Dane County Conservation League.

Review the schedule, and for any specific questions, email: wisconsinprairiechickenfestival@gmail.com. On Facebook, friend: WIPrairieChickenFestival, and Clean Green Action.

The festival’s one-day Silent Auction will be replaced with a month-long, nature-themed art and gift fundraiser to raise monies that support future educational and outreach aspects of WPCF. Hosted at Central Wisconsin Cultural Center (CWCC), 2651 Eighth Street South, Wisconsin Rapids.  Gift baskets, framed artworks, jewelry, bird related items, and select nature books are all part of the mix. One book is a special collection titled “Hamerstrom Stories” was compiled by Elva Hamerstrom Paulson to honor her parents’ lifelong contributions to saving the bird from extirpation in Wisconsin, by saving its habitat. Other titles, some rare and unique birding books, are sold and benefit the Hamerstrom Fund for Writing at Incourage Foundation of South Wood County: this fund has designated its dividends to support a nature writer/speaker for the annual WPCF.  Note: Books will remain available year round in the Cultural Center’s gift shop.

This year participants can enjoy the festival from the comfort of their own homes.

Register at: https://www.showtix4u.com/events/WIPrairieChickenFestival.

General questions and comments can be directed to wisconsinprairiechickenfest@gmail.com.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

All About Birds is a free resource

Available for everyone,
funded by donors like you


Need Bird ID Help? Try Merlin